Licensing

You must procure a license for each resource that Prisma Cloud protects. Licenses are valid for one year, after which they can be renewed.
The Prisma Cloud license uses a metering system based on workloads. Prisma Cloud Compute protects your hosts, containers, and serverless functions using a security agent called Defender. The number of workloads you consume directly correlates with the type and mix of Defenders you deploy.
Resource
Workloads per resource
Defender type
Hosts that don’t run containers
1 workload
Host Defender
Hosts that run containers
8 workloads
Container Defender
On-demand containers (such as AWS Fargate, Google Cloud Run)
1 workload
Container Defender - App Embedded
Serverless functions (such as AWS Lambda)
1 workload per 1 million invocations
Serverless Defender
Both Prisma Cloud Enterprise Edition (SaaS) and Prisma Cloud Compute Edition (self-hosted) are licensed with the same workload metering system.

Defender types

The type of Defender you deploy depends on the resource you’re securing.
  • Host Defender
     — Secures legacy hosts (Linux or Windows) that don’t run containers.
  • Container Defender
     — Secures hosts (Linux or Windows) that run containers. These types of hosts have a container runtime installed, such as Docker Engine or CRI-O. Container Defender protects both the underlying host and any containers it runs, and the license (8 workloads) includes coverage for both. A container host consumes 8 workloads whether it runs one container or a hundred containers.
  • Container Defender - App Embedded
     — Secures containers which are run by a managed service, where the service provider maintains all infrastructure required to run the container, including the underlying host and container runtime. For this type of deployment, a Container App Embedded Defender is embedded into each container to be secured.
  • Serverless Defender
     — Secures serverless functions. For this type of deployment, a Serverless Defender is embedded into each function to be secured.

Workload fluctuation

Prisma Cloud Compute Defenders are licensed on the honor system. License limits are not 'hard-enforced'. If you exceed your license count, Palo Alto Networks will notify you with a prominent banner at the top of the Prisma Cloud UI, but will neither disable any security functions nor prevent the deployment of additional Defenders. Protection is only disabled when your license expires.
Workload consumption is measured using a 30 day rolling average. To determine if you’re within your licensed coverage, the rolling average is compared to the workload count in your license.
Prisma Cloud samples of the number of protected nodes hourly, then creates a daily average based on these samples. The preceding 30 daily averages are averaged to determine the workload consumption. If there is less than 30 days of data available, the average is calculated using the days available.
Example
: Assume you’ve licensed 800 workloads to cover 100 container hosts, and usage fluctuates from week to week:
Nov 1-7: Lower demand, uses 90 nodes (720 workloads) Nov 8-15: Uses 100 nodes (800 workloads) Nov 16-22: Uses 100 nodes (800 workloads) Nov 23-30: High demand, uses 110 nodes (880 workloads)
Even though you used 880 workloads for a short period of time, you’re still properly licensed because the 30 day rolling average is 800:
(720 + 800 + 800 + 880) / 4 = 800 workloads

Example scenarios

For hosts and containers, the number of workloads you need to procure depends on the number of Defenders you intend to deploy.
Example
: Assume you have a Kubernetes cluster with 100 nodes (hosts). You deploy Container Defender to each node. You would procure a license with 800 workloads:
100 container hosts * 8 workloads per container host = 800 workloads
Serverless functions are licensed based on the number of invocations, and averaged over the period of a month. Every 1 million serverless invocations in a one month period counts as 1 workload.
Example
: Assume you have 5 functions and, in total, they are invoked 8 million times over the period month. You would procure a license with 8 workloads.
8 million invocations / 1 million invocations per workload = 8 workloads

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