GitLab Pushes Kubernetes-Based Update for Auto DevOps

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GitLab released the latest version of its namesake platform that leverages Kubernetes to automate the handling of code on its journey to being a running application. The move comes as the online Git repository manager is riding an attention bump following Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub.

GitLab CEO and cofounder Sid Sijbrandij said the 11.0 update basically allows developers to push code and the platform does the rest. That includes building, testing, code quality scanning, security scanning, license scanning, packaging, performance testing, deployment, and application monitoring.

“These things are normally a time sink in that there are plugins that need to be added and endpoints need to be set,” Sijbrandij explained. “Now with this update those things just happen.”

Sijbrandij describes the process as “auto DevOps” that runs on top of Kubernetes. “Auto DevOps would not be possible without Kubernetes,” he said. “The ability to spin up new processes is the real superpower and is what we get from the integration.”

GitLab in April announced a deal with Google to support automated container cluster deployments using Kubernetes. That deal includes native Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) integration, which allows users to connect their current managed Google container account into GitLab. That integration then allows for the automatic creation of Kubernetes-managed clusters that are fully managed by Google and run on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

“It been everything we had hoped for,” Sijbrandij said of GitLab’s work with Kubernetes. In fact, he notes that GitLab is currently working on ways to use Kuberenetes as the basis for an idling feature that would take non-running containers offline so they don’t consume compute or financial resources. That ability is similar to advantages touted by serverless platforms, which only run when needed.

On the topic of serverless, Sijbrandij said GitLab is increasing its focus in that arena. That includes working with a partner on a platform that could tap into serverless offerings like OpenFaaS and Kubeless.

While not yet ready to provide details on that serverless work, he did note that developers are challenged by serverless due to a lack of visibility into serverless deployments and not being able to have revision control.

“There is not really a clear leader yet in open source serverless, but we think with a partner we can make something that is useful,” Sijbrandij said.

GitHub Bounce

GitLab is also gaining more attention following Microsoft’s plans to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion. That deal drew barbs from some in the open source community averse to Microsoft buying control of one of the ecosystem’s largest code repositories.

GitLab, which offers a similar platform to GitHub, said at that time that it had imported more than 100,000 repositories and seen a 7x increase in orders shortly after the Microsoft deal was announced. It was looking to capitalize on the deal by offering discounts on its top-tier plans.

“There are users that were concerned with the Microsoft deal and moved to GitLab,” Sijbrandij said. “But I think that will be temporary.”

Sijbrandij said that long-term he thinks users might take a longer look at GitLab as their platform of choice because of what he said was a more comprehensive DevOps approach.

“Many were satisfied with GitHub, but see that they can do more with GitLab,” Sijbrandij said. “This will create more opportunities and open some doors for us. Anything that gets more awareness on how we are different is good.”

As for longer-term financial ramifications from the GitHub acquisition, Sijbrandij noted that the deal “puts a valuation out there, and it was high.” GitLab itself last year closed on a $20 million Series C funding round from Google Ventures, which Sijbrandij said has the company “well financed.”

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