GitLab this week announced it has moved 18 features that previously organizations had to pay for into the core open source version of its namesake continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform.
Scott Williamson, executive vice president of product management for GitLab, said as a general rule the company makes available DevOps tools for teams across the four tiers of services that organizations can employ. Features now being migrated to the Core offering include:
Plan: Synchronize collaboration with “related issues,” “export issues,” “issues board focus mode” and “Service Desk”
Create: Build better code and branch with the “web terminal for WebIDE,” “file syncing to web terminal” and “design management”
Verify: Improve code quality with reports on merge requests
Package: Build and share more efficiently with a set of package managers in one place
Release: Continuous delivery simplified with “canary deployments,” “incremental rollout,” “feature flags” and “deploy boards”
Configure: Support for multiple Kubernetes clusters to ease deployment of different environments
Defend: Bolster application security with network policies for container network security
As the global economy falters in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely reliance on open source software will increase. Most organizations would rather throw IT labor at the ongoing management of an IT environment to manage open source software versus having to lay off IT employees that would be extremely difficult to find once the economy recovers. It remains to be seen to what degree that strategy will play out in DevOps environments, but Williamson said historically most of GitLab’s customers are organizations that first adopt the open source version of its platform.
Less clear is the degree to which the downturn might also induce many of the organizations to employ a DevOps platform delivered as a set of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. GitLab has been for the past several years for an integrated approach to DevOps based on a single code base that is ultimately easier to deploy and manage. Many IT organizations may decide that rather than manage DevOps infrastructure, they now prefer to allocate what limited resources they have on hand to writing code.
The number of application development projects being launched could also decline while others are suspended. At the same time, however, there are some vertical industry segments, such as digital entertainment and education services, that might see a spike in demand for additional services now that many people are staying home to help limit the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, many DevOps teams are among the legions of workers that now need to remotely access platforms. Williamson said supporting remote DevOps teams has long been a strength of the GitLab platform. GitLab also makes available a playbook that provides DevOps teams with guidance on how best to work remotely.
Clearly, it will be a few months before the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is fully appreciated. Regardless, many IT organizations are clearly preparing for the worst of times while continuing to hope for the best outcome possible.