GitLab used the recent Google Next event to further tighten its embrace of the Google cloud ecosystem that it fully jumped into last year. That includes a deeper integration of Kubernetes into its DevOps processes.
Priyanka Sharma, director of technical evangelism at GitLab, said the most impactful part of the Google event was the commercial launch of its Kubernetes-based Anthos hybrid-cloud platform. That fully-managed platform runs on premises and supports multiple clouds including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
“It’s a stake in the ground by Google that Kubernetes is the way to go, and here is a multi-cloud platform that allows you to do what you need to do,” Sharma said. She also slyly added what could be the main benefit for Google: “And hopefully you can use more Google products.”
Sharma explained that the expansion of Kubernetes across the ecosystem has had a profound impact on how organizations deal with DevOps. This has been mostly due to the ability to now integrate developers more tightly into the continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) flow central to DevOps.
“The reason it’s been hard is that you are interrupting their workflow,” Sharma said. “It’s disruptive for a developer to get involved in operations. But with Kubernetes we are truly part of the developer workflow.”
Sharma said that while everyone is “singing the Kubernetes mantra right now,” GitLab is different because of its cloud-agnostic view. She noted that many organizations that initially moved into the cloud used a “lift-and-shift” model that was easiest to accomplish with just a single cloud partner. However, as those organizations have begun to spin out new greenfield services, they have started to bring in different cloud providers to support those efforts. This in turn has increased the need for multi-cloud management options.
“Enterprises want to know that vendor lock-in is as minimized as possible,” Sharma said. “It’s psychological and practical.”
She added that, “A lot of enterprises trust us so those folks going to Kubernetes through GitLab are in their comfort zone,” noting that the route is similar to what developers are seeing by going through Kubernetes to get to Knative.
“There are so many offerings out there in terms of serverless and that’s great,” Sharma said. “But we win because we already have the trust of developers.”
GitLab is also fully on board with the move toward serverless platforms. The company late last year partnered with TriggerMesh to integrate Knative into the GitLab DevOps model.
GitLab’s Google Bet
GitLab last year moved its operations from Microsoft Azure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The move included transitioning all data and files into various GCP products and for greater use of Kubernetes.
Andrew Newdigate, GCP project manager at GitLab, at the time said the move was tied to the company’s desire to further exploit the Kubernetes container orchestration platform. “Google invented Kubernetes, and GKE [Google Kubernetes Engine] has the most robust and mature Kubernetes support,” he wrote in a blog post. “Migrating to GCP is the next step in our plan to make GitLab.com ready for your mission-critical workloads.”
The move also followed tightly on the heels of Microsoft announcing plans to buy GitLab rival GitHub for $7.5 billion. Despite Microsoft’s softening approach to open source, many were alarmed by the deal.
The move seems to have paid off for GitLab, which last September closed on a $100 million Series D funding round that valued the company at more than $1 billion.