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New GitLab Offering Strengthens DevOps Platform Provider’s Hand In The Kubernetes Realm

GitLab Operator speeds deployment of the GitLab Platform in Kubernetes environments – and deepens the company’s alliance with Red Hat and its OpenShift software.

With the general availability of GitLab Operator, GitLab is expanding the ability to run production instances of its DevOps lifecycle software on Kubernetes platforms – with a particular emphasis on support for Red Hat OpenShift.

“We see customers increasingly choosing Kubernetes-based platforms to deploy their applications,” said Joshua Lambert, GitLab director of product management and enablement, in an interview with CRN.

“And they want GitLab to be a part of that as well. Now we can meet customers where they are on their chosen technology platforms,” Lambert said.

[Related: The 10 Coolest DevOps Tools Of 2021 (So Far)]

GitLab’s flagship DevOps lifecycle platform helps businesses and organizations manage and secure software development workflows.

Tuesday the company said that its new GitLab Operator, which facilitates the deployment and operation of GitLab on Kubernetes and OpenShift clusters, is now generally available.

GitLab Operator is used to continuously monitor and update GitLab instances and automate operations such as upgrading components and autoscaling. It provides customers with a more advanced installation experience, Lambert said, reducing the overall total-cost-of-ownership of implementing and running the GitLab server.

Kubernetes has emerged as a de facto standard for container orchestration and Red Hat’s OpenShift is a popular enterprise-grade distribution of Kubernetes. With GitLab Operator IT organizations that use Red Hat OpenShift can deploy and run GitLab on the same infrastructure, according to GitLab.

Operators are software extensions to Kubernetes that make use of custom resources to manage applications and their components, according to the Kubernetes.io website.

A beta release of the new tool, based on the Operator pattern developed by CoreOS, accompanied the April release of GitLab 13.11.

“This gives customers the maximum flexibility to use [GitLab] the way they need to, run it where they want, and be able to maximize the utility of the overall platform for DevOps,” said Nima Badiey, GitLab vice president of alliances, in the interview with CRN.

“We definitely want to be able to not only target the different environments that customers have, whether it is bare metal, virtual machine, container – managed by Kubernetes or not – as well as mobile, edge, IoT, but also be able to run our platform where customers are running the majority of their applications,” Badiey said.

The GitLab Operator announcement also underlined the close alliance GitLab has with Red Hat, Badiey said. “They are a very important partner for us,” he said, noting that in addition to working closely in technology development, the two companies also collaborate on go-to-market initiatives and work jointly with channel partners.

GitLab Operator provides GitLab partners with more flexibility to sell GitLab to customers in the format, packaging and configuration they need for their specific environments, Badiey said.

“We’re working with partners across the board to support their specific topologies, their version of Kubernetes, and more generally the partner community at large,” he said.

GitLab has been expanding its channel presence in the last two years including launching its inaugural channel program in April 2020 and offering an expanded lineup of partner services certifications in June of this year.

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