Whether any of the 'Mender Enterprise' features will come to Standard Mender?

I have seen the ‘Mender Enterprise’ announcement inside the Mender blog.

I’m happy to see a lot of features listed under the Enterprise edition which is currently not available in the standard Mender (say, MCU support, peripheral updates, bootloader updates etc.)

Hence, I’m curious to know whether these features are only strict to the Mender Enterprise or will come to the Standard Mender (during the upcoming releases)? Is there any roadmap for these features?

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Thanks for the question, this is an important area to discuss. The business model of Mender has always been publicly available, you can also see it as a FAQ item here: https://mender.io/product/faq

It is critical for Mender to build and maintain a healthy and thriving open source community. At the same time, like all companies, there needs to be a business model so that future development of Mender can be supported and accelerated to ensure every device will be OTA-enabled.

If you’d like to support Mender development we have these primary offerings: 1) professional services 2) Hosted Mender 3) Mender Enterprise. The plan is for Mender Enterprise and Hosted Mender to have (the same) commercial value-add features on top of Mender, and this is part of the value proposition. Most people would be familiar with this as the “open core” model.

The primary areas/themes that is planned as commercial value adds are around 1) salability and 2) security. So it is more “advanced” or “large-scale production grade” functionality. Mender is Apache 2.0 licensed and there is of course nothing stopping anyone to use Mender as they please and it should always be a great option (no “crippleware”), however the goal for Mender Enterprise and Hosted Mender will provide cost & time savings in these areas (e.g. it is much more costly and time-consuming to develop & support these features yourself or not have them than to simply use Mender Enterprise/Hosted Mender).

All this said and back to your question, we cannot guarantee that all commercial offerings made in Mender will be open sourced in the future. This is the direction that is planned now and it might change in the future as well.

Did that answer your question? Let us know if you have any other feedback / ideas in this area!

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Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I completely agree with the business model. More over, some of the features of Enterprise (say security, peripheral updates etc.) have direct dependency with the platform. Hence, these features can not be open as a standard one.

At the same time, some of the options (say, MCU support) will be give more interest to anyone who is using the Mender and towards the goal of using mender in every device. Even though, this is an enterprise feature, a document with an idea of achieving this will help open community to come up with different approach towards it. This will eventually grow mender as a complete solution in future.

I would prefer to see the growth of Mender in both business and community side and mutually share the good approach from one to another if possible :slight_smile:

Makes a lot of sense, “restricting” which devices Mender can be used on seems counter-productive.

So broad board/MCU support specifically should be available to- and enabled by the community. On the Linux side there is already a category for this: “Board integrations” and mid/long term we should aim for the same for MCUs if it makes sense to share (those are even more custom that Linux, so a bit uncertain how reusable they will be still).

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