Cloud Licensing allows GitLab customers to activate paid subscription features on self-managed instances using an activation code, rather than managing license files and manually uploading them to instances. This licensing method was first introduced in August 2021 and became the default activation method for Self Managed customers in July 2022. By activating through Cloud Licensing, a customer’s GitLab instance will synchronize subscription data daily with GitLab.
These regular synchronizations of usage data enable GitLab to better support you as you grow, and provides you with a simpler and more efficient billing and subscription management experience for subscription overages reconciliation, mid-term add ons, and renewals.
GitLab is moving away from license files so that we can more efficiently support you and your company's growth. Cloud Licensing provides:
Cloud Licensing is made up of two parts:
The data transmitted is limited to what is necessary to administer a GitLab license and support future renewals, add ons, and seat reconciliation. The data does not include any intellectual property, source code, or user personal information except the name, company name, and email address of the administrator account associated with the subscription, which are all encrypted within the License Key. No fields can be excluded from what is transmitted.
For the exact list of data fields included in License Sync, please refer to our Subscription Data documentation.
Cloud Licensing is available to all GitLab Self Managed customers – both those who work with GitLab directly, and those who work indirectly through a Channel or Alliances partner, regardless of payment or contract method. Cloud Licensing is not currently available for Education, Open Source, Startup, or Free Tier customers.
To use Cloud Licensing, you must be on GitLab version 14.1 or higher and have an internet connection. If you are not yet on version 14.1, you can upgrade your instance to take advantage of the benefits of Cloud Licensing. You may also be unable to use Cloud Licensing if your instance is blocked by a firewall. If you are unable to apply an activation code you received to your instance, please contact our Support team for troubleshooting or to receive a legacy license file.
If you purchase(d) a new or renewal GitLab Self Managed subscription after July 2022, you can access your Cloud License activation code in your initial purchase email or from the Customer Portal. You can review our documentation for further details on how to activate your instance with an activation code.
If you are an existing customer using a legacy license file, you can activate Cloud Licensing mid-term - no need to wait for a renewal!
For customers with an offline or air-gapped instance on GitLab version 15.0 or higher who want to take advantage of the benefits of Cloud Licensing, an Offline Cloud License may be an option on an approval-only basis. Offline Cloud Licenses offer an alternative to online License Sync by requesting you to manually provide usage data to GitLab on a monthly basis. Offline Cloud Licenses can help with smoother renewals and add-ons by providing GitLab with insight into the current state of a subscription, but does not support automated syncs of additional purchases given the lack of internet connectivity. Additional license files will be required.
If you have been approved for an Offline Cloud License, you will receive your license file via email. If you purchased from GitLab directly, you can also access your Offline license from the Customer Portal.
Once you upload your license file to your instance, you will receive monthly email reminders (sent to the account's
Sold To contact) and in-app banners (visible to all instance admins) to export your usage data and email it to
[email protected]. Exported usage data files include the same data fields as a Cloud License online sync and help GitLab to understand the current state of your subscription. When we receive this data, we automatically match against the file’s contents (not on the
From email address) to ensure this data is stored correctly. Mime-types of
'application/vnd.ms-excel' are supported for shared usage files.
The in-app reminder banners will appear until an admin completes the export of data, at which point they become dismissable and will not be displayed again until the following month. If usage data is not shared monthly while on an Offline Cloud License, GitLab will not have any insight into your current usage, which can complicate additional purchases and the renewal process. However, you will not be at risk of any downgrades or other impacts to your instance.
If you are interested in Offline Cloud Licensing, please reach out to your account manager to understand if you may be a candidate.