Did you know there are CF Docker images? Have you wondered what were the licensing implications for using them?
[Originally authored March 19, 2019, latest update Feb 27 2021]
You may know that Adobe offers Docker images for CF and related CF services, for CF2021, CF2018 and CF2016. But have you wondered what the licensing is, to run such containers in production?
Using them for development is free, of course, per typical Developer edition licensing.
The licensing for production container deployment varies between Standard and Enterprise editions, and for now the only information we have is these brief mentioned in the FAQ pages for each CF edition. (There is no mention of Docker or containers in the EULA.)
For ColdFusion Enterprise, the FAQ page discussion on containers (“How do I license ColdFusion on containerized deployments?“) indicates that it allows 8 containers per license (from https://helpx.adobe.com/coldfusion/enterprise/faq.html):
ColdFusion Enterprise Edition allows a maximum of eight containers to be used for every Enterprise license, provided the underlying instance is licensed as per the ColdFusion End User Licensing Agreement (EULA).
For ColdFusion Standard, the discussion of that same question indicates that you need a license for EACH container (from https://helpx.adobe.com/coldfusion/standard/faq.html):
With ColdFusion Standard Edition, every containerized deployment needs to be licensed as per the ColdFusion End User Licensing Agreement (EULA). For instance, if ColdFusion is being deployed on two containers on a single VM instance, then both containers running ColdFusion will have to be licensed separately as per the ColdFusion EULA based on that VM instance being used.
There are certainly many questions one could have that are not answered by those. You should reach out to Adobe to ask more.
Update (Aug 2019) : Since posting this, there was news of some planned dramatic improvements about CF and Docker deployment, including with respect to licensing. For more, see my post, In brief: CF2020 to offer still-better deployment on Docker, cloud.
Update (Nov 2020): Now that CF 2021 has been released, I’m sad to have to report that the licensing for Adobe CF as Docker has not changed. The links above to the FAQs go to pages which HAVE been updated to refer to Cf2021, but the sections on Docker licensing terms are unchanged from what I quoted above. (Confirmed also in Feb 2021.) That’s very sad to hear, when there had been acknowledgment in mid-2020 of a change needed for practical containerized deployment. Again, though, use for dev is free. It’s just use for prod requires licensing, like with regular CF deployment. And maybe we may hear new info from Adobe in time, if somehow licensing for Docker use may change.