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Choosing a Git Hosting Solution: Is GitLab Right for You?
A little GitLab history
GitLab is the youngest of the “Big Three” Git repository hosting services. GitLab began with its first commit in 2011, but it did not become a full company until 2014.
Gitlab estimates it has 30 million estimated registered users, more than 1 million active license users, and an active community of more than 2,500 contributors.
Today, GitLab has a three-year strategy to become the leading complete DevOps platform. Let’s dive into some of the reasons GitLab might be the right solution for your company:
GitLab Company Transparency
GitLab publicly shares their mission, strategy, and OKR metrics. This level of transparency provides a foundation of trust for customers planning out their digital transformation initiatives and product roadmaps.
In addition to sharing their product direction, GitLab has been an all-remote workforce since before COVID. They’ve shared their remote playbook so that customers can learn from GitLab’s experiences.
GitLab DevOps Platform and Value Stream Management
The GitLab DevOps Platform goes beyond Git repository hosting. The platform offers customers one application to help manage software projects throughout the entire software development lifecycle. This includes planning, coding, release management, security, monitoring, and performance metrics. To learn more about the DevOps phases and features that GitLab offers, visit: https://about.gitlab.com/features/.
GitLab is the only one of the three Git hosting providers to be ranked in the Forrester Wave Report for Value Stream Management Solutions.
GitLab’s Code Review offers a collaborative experience where teammates can offer suggestions, compare diffs, or ask questions. Code Review Analytics helps teams identify bottlenecks that may be slowing down development cycles.
Fetching and cloning large repositories can take a long time, particularly for teams distributed across two or more locations. To reduce this time and improve collaboration, GitLab Geo allows for read-only mirrors of your GitLab instance.
GitLab offers a free plan that is suitable for individual developers. The free plan is available both on cloud (GitLab-hosted) and self-managed. The GitLab-hosted option has storage limits and transfer limits that do not apply to the self-managed option. Despite being free, you’ll still need to provide a credit card to access the free monthly CI/CD minutes.
All plans have unlimited private repositories. Let’s take a closer look at the two paid enterprise plans:
GitLab Premium is available both as a SaaS offering or self-managed. Some of the features included in GitLab Premium are Advanced CI/CD (with 10,000 CI/CD minutes per month), roadmap planning, code reviews, and release controls. It also offers support.
Pricing for the Premium plan is $19/user/month, billed annually.
Like the Premium plan, GitLab Ultimate is available as either a SaaS offering or self-managed.
Compared to GitLab Premium, the Ultimate tier adds more CI/CD minutes (50,000 per month versus 10,000). GitLab Ultimate offers advanced security testing and risk mitigation, value stream management, compliance features, and portfolio-level Agile planning. Ultimate even allows for guest users.
Pricing for the Enterprise tier is $99/user/month.
Customers can buy additional CI/CD minutes or storage.
How to try GitLab
If you want to test the features available in the Ultimate tier, you can sign up for a free 30-Day trial. This will allow you to try out the DevOps platform features that aren’t available in the Free plan.