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Open Source vs. Commercial On-premise

Levels of support for private deployments.

Why do you need this?

  • :lock: You are looking for a private CARTO solution
  • :closed_lock_with_key: You are considering a commercial on-premise license
  • :question: You need help with an Open Source installation

As we describe here, CARTO’s stack is Open Source, which basically means that anyone could install it on their own servers and use it for their projects in a way that is totally private and independent from the CARTO SaaS platform. A very recurrent question we get from prospects is “What value do you add to your commercial on-premise offering if all your software is Open Source?”. This article tries to answer that question.

Open Source documentation vs. Commercial Installer support

The steps for deploying a basic version of the stack are described here. That documentation covers the necessary steps to spin up a working CARTO server in ‘development’ mode. This kind of deployment is normally very useful for proofs of concept or small projects where performance, high concurrency, or security are not big concerns.

While we don’t provide direct technical support to Open Source installations; it is possible to engage in technical conversations with the community and part of the CARTO team (including some team members like Solutions, Support, Backend, and Frontend engineers) in our Google Groups forum and GIS Stack Exchange.

Email access to our Support Team, as well as architecture advising, direct help with deployments, integrations and configuration, screen sharing sessions for troubleshooting, or even scheduled maintenance operations carried out by ourselves (remotely, provided SSH access to the servers) are some of the various offerings included as part of our subscription license offerings.

On a more technical note, our Commercial On-premise Installer comes with all components packaged in RPM, all external dependencies included, and a powerful library for installing, upgrading, and maintaining the instance. There is also a handy set of tools for making configuration tasks a bit easier. Thanks to all this, organizations can deploy a fully production-ready CARTO stack with just a few commands in, in most scenarios, seldom more than a couple of hours. There is more extensive documentation around this in our Developer Center.

Additionally, there are a number of third-party components (all of them are also Open Source projects) that we ship with the installer to ensure performance in production setups. These are not described in the Open Source documentation. Some examples are: Nginx as a web server for static assets and reverse proxy, Varnish as a cache layer, or Unicorn to spin up several instances of Builder’s Rails server. There is a more in-depth description of the usual production stack here. All of them are also managed by the installer library, and configured automatically during the installation process using templates and a self-documented global configuration file.

What’s next?

Interested in taking your solution to the next level? Contact us! We’re here to help.