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Mirantis releases Lens Pro Kubernetes IDE

Mirantis, the cloud-native development company, is monetizing its Lens Kubernetes Integrated Development Environment with its new Lens 6 version.
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Lens, the most popular Kubernetes Integrated Development Environment (IDE), is still open-source software under the new name OpenLens. But, its parent company, Mirantis, is seeking to profit from it with the release of Lens Pro. This has a revised end-user license and includes new features for enterprise users. 

Here's how it works. OpenLens, under the MIT License, is as free as it's always been in the full sense of open-source, free software. But, things get more complicated with Mirantis's new Lens subscription versions, Lens Personal and Lens Pro.

According to a blog post by Miska Kaipiainen, Mirantis's VP of product engineering, the new Lens subscription model also has a revamped Lens Terms of Service Agreement. This covers the use of Lens Desktop and all related services. This includes, for example, access to Desktop's integrated Lens Spaces cloud-based service.

Specifically, Kapianinen detailed that under the new Lens commercial packages, Lens Personal subscriptions are free for personal use, educational users, and companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue or funding. Larger business and government users, however, will need to subscribe to Lens Pro. This is currently priced at  $19.90 per user/month or $199 per user/year. 

To continue using Lens Desktop, you'll need to create a Lens ID to activate Lens desktop. You use this ID to register your Lens Desktop and access Mirantis's cloud services. You can sign into all Lens services with a single Lens ID and password.

However, even with a Lens ID, you don't need to pay anything yet. All users are currently under a grace period until January 2, 2023. Come that day, though; your Lens Desktop will stop working if your Lens ID isn't associated with a free or paid subscription. 

You may not want to hold off on subscribing for too long, though. For a limited time, all present Lens users can get 50% off from all new Lens Pro subscriptions for up to 5 years. 

And, yes, as per the Lens FAQ, Lens will continue to work in air-gapped environments. But, you will need to create a Lens ID. Then with this, you can get an activation code to register your air-gapped Lens Desktop.

Why do this? Well, as Kaipiainen explained in a press release, "Kubernetes has quickly become the de facto operating system for the cloud, but developers are still struggling to deal with its complexity -- and that slows the development of critical applications. Lens provides developers and DevOps practitioners with a single platform to develop and operate their workloads and environments."

To get down to brass tacks, said Adrian Ionel, Mirantis CEO and co-founder, in a statement. "Lens users report saving eight hours per week on average."

Also: Kubernetes: Your guide into the future of virtual infrastructure

The just released Lens 6 desktop also comes with several new features. These include: 

  • The Lens Desktop Kube feature can spin up a local Minikube development environment with the click of a button. The single node Kubernetes cluster runs on a local virtual machine (VM). 
  • The Lens Container Security enables you to see the appropriate Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) security reports directly on your Lens desktop in its correct context. With this, you can spot and remediate vulnerabilities while you're developing your application.
  • The Lens Desktop 6 also has a built-in chat to converse with a live support engineer. Of course, you need a subscription -- with about 650,000 developers, there aren't enough engineers to go around.   

The new Lens Desktop 6 looks like a worthy successor to the earlier versions. And, for what Lens supplies, the new Lens Pro subscription looks like a good deal for cloud-native severe developers.

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