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Section Direction - Ops


Ops Section Overview


The Ops Section is comprised of the Verify, Package, Release, Configure and Monitor stages of the DevOps lifecycle. Market analysts (internal - i) often describe these stages as automated software quality (ASQ, partially correlated with Verify, Package and Release) IT automation and configuration management (ITACM, correlated with Configure) and IT operations management (ITOM, partially correlated with Monitor). The section also covers CI/CD (Verify/Release), IT Infrastructure Monitoring/APM (Monitor), CDRA (Release), Infrastructure Configuration (Configure) and Package and Binary Management (Package) analyst categories.

In some contexts, "ops" refers to operators. Operators were the counterparts to Developers represented in the original coining of the term DevOps. That definition highlighted the rift between the two groups and a need for collaboration. At GitLab, we use "ops" to mean operations - any component of the value stream delivery platform after a developer commits code. Our developer first perspective means our use of the word ops is focused on enabling developers to configure tools and perform operations tasks first. We have early support for platform operations teams who provide Pipelines and Infrastructure to development teams, and ambitious plans to support traditional operators in the future.


The total addressable market (TAMkt) for DevOps tools targeting these stages was $3.2B in 2018 and is expected to grow to $7.6B by 2022 (18.8% CAGR) (i). This analysis is considered conservative as it focuses only on developers and doesn't include additional potential users. This is a deep value pool and represents a significant portion of GitLab's expanding addressable market. As organizations further adopt DevOps, developer focused ops tools account for a larger share of market. This market has traditionally targeted IT Architects, System Admins and Operators where large hardware budgets enabled expensive IT tools to flourish.

The market is well established (i), but the participants are evolving rapidly. Existing leaders in single stages of the DevOps lifecycle are expanding to build value stream delivery platforms (i), what GitLab calls complete DevOps platforms delivered as a single application. These existing players are doing so via acquisition and product development. The leaders run the gamut from GitHub with their strong position in the SCM market and their growing capabilities to compete in CI/CD, to DataDog and New Relic with their strong positions in APM. All are pivoting to pursue the value stream delivery platform market.

Expanding market players such as GitHub are taking market share from traditional participants like CloudBees in the Verify stage. In the Package stage, JFrog is looking to expand their leadership position in artifact repositories into other part of value stream delivery. In the Release stage Spinnaker is a new open-source, fast growing entrant enabling CD workflows. Harness has capabilities which span Verify, Release and they have taken an integrative approach covering the Configure and Monitor stages. Both Spinnaker and Harness are taking market share from traditional Application Release Orchestration vendors. Splunk, New Relic and Datadog are dominating market share in the Monitor stage and fiercely competing to be a central monitoring platform. IBM (+RedHat), HashiCorp, Puppet and Chef share a large chunk of the fragmented market in the Configure stage.

Current Position

Despite many strong players, GitLab's market share in the Ops section is growing, especially in the Verify, Package and Release stages. For the Configure and Monitor stages, our unique perspective as a single and complete DevOps application positions us for growth.

You can see how useres currently use our various stages in our Ops Section product performance indicators and Ops Section Usage Dashboard.

Our current R&D investment in Ops Section stages is modest. The maturity of each stage and category can be found in our maturity page. Our investment in the Ops section stages is critical to both enabling enterprise users to continue on their DevOps maturity journey and completing our complete DevOps platform vision. Driving adoption across multiple Ops stages enables early adopters to recognize the benefit of a single application.

We would appreciate your feedback on this direction page. Please take our survey, email Kenny Johnston or propose an MR to this page!


Our current challenges span a wide range, first and foremost, market challenges:

Outside of market challenges we have some internal ones as well:


Given these challenges, here are some key opportunities we must take advantage of:

3 Year Strategy

GitLab's Ops strategy follows that of GitLab's company strategy. Just like our company mission, we will enable everyone to contribute beyond application code to other digital artifacts that increasingly define the performance, reliability, and resilience of the world's software. We will pursue that mission and capitalize on the opportunities (such as, developer buyer power, IT skills gaps, a move towards Kubernetes, and our roots in source-control and CI) by utilizing a dual-flywheel approach. This approach starts with attracting developers performing DevOps tooling and operations tasks to our Free/Core tier. As we build best of breed tools for them we will co-create to drive product improvements. This will generate revenue for higher product tiers and additional investment for supporting the modern development teams.

More specifically, we will achieve this by enabling easy-to-discover, working-by-default, workflows that support doing powerful, complex actions with a minimum configuration. We want to take advantage of our single application so that, while each team may have their own views or dashboards in the product that support their day to day, the information is available everywhere and to everyone, embedded naturally into their day-to-day workflow where it's relevant. For example:

The end result is that even complex delivery flows become part of everyone's primary way of working. There isn't a context shift (or even worse, a switch into a different tool) needed to start thinking about delivery or operations - that information is there, in context, from your first commit. The centerpiece of this strategy is our Get Things Done Easily theme.

Market Predictions

In three years the Ops market will:

GitLab Goals

As a result, in three years, the Ops stages in GitLab will:


Our direction for Ops is to enable today's modern best practices in operations without the burden of specialized teams, multiple tools, and heavy workflows that are the largest barriers to adoption in these stages of the DevOps lifecycle.

Our goal is to empower DevOps teams to own their code's path to production as well as the performance of their production application itself. We also want to ensure they have the tools to contribute to feature development and the complete end-user experience of their application.

Our themes are directly aligned to our overall Product Principles especially:

In addition to our broad product themes there are some specific call-outs relevant for the Ops Section stages.

Speedy, Reliable Pipelines

GitLab CI/CD was built from the ground up with speed and scalability in mind. This is reflected both in the product design as well as product direction. To enable our users to go from monthly shipping releases to truly enabling continuous delivery, everything that we do must be concerned with the scalability and speed of continuous integration and testing. Not that sword fighting on office chairs isn't fun, but we do want people to be able to contribute at the speed of development. We will achieve this through automated tuning where possible, and faster feedback on potential issues where not.

Wall clock time for a pipeline is an important measure here. You feel this many times every day - when you make a commit and a pipeline starts, but you need to go have lunch before you see the result, that's not fun for anyone. We produce best practices to ensure your pipeline is efficient. Issues like our auto-determining the test parallelization factor and running tests likely to fail first represent how we want GitLab CI/CD to automatically find and solve these problems for you. We are building more speed into the workflow itself with features like the dependency proxy to help speed up the tax you pay on every job invocation setting up the environment, fetching dependencies, and so on.

Progressive Delivery

Progressive Delivery is a set of emerging CD best practices, oriented around being able to control and monitor deployments incrementally over time, and in an automated and safe way. It takes Continuous Delivery to the next level by providing more options around how and when different users get access to your new features, making software delivery a continuous activity, rather than frequent but punctuated moments in time.

Ops as Code

There have been three major trends impacting operations; they are all three essential to enabling Developer style workflows for operational tasks by defining those activities as code (or data). They are Pipelines as Code, Infrastructure as Code (IAC), Observability as Code (OAC) and Policy as Code. At GitLab, our roots in SCM make us especially well suited for supporting these trends.

Pipelines as Code

GitLab CI/CD is based on pipelines as code principles and a key competitive advantage against other tools that require manual configuration of pipelines. Standardizing on common CI/CD pipeline tools has been proven to increase business results. The value of defining pipelines as code (i) is evident:

GitLab will continue to lean into our pipelines as code capabilities by adding support for releases, advanced deployments and complex builds directly in your .gitlab-ci.yml files. We'll also add more support for sharing common pipeline code across groups to create a consistent CI/CD platform within your organization.

Infrastructure as Code

IAC provides DevOps teams with a method to maintain consistency with the infrastructure their applications run on. The best practices defined in IAC prevent configuration drift, and allow teams to maintain consistent performance and security characteristics without the need for ongoing manual intervention.

IAC was made possible by the availability of rapidly deployed cloud infrastructure (IaaS platforms), and the corresponding buildup of tools to enable generic usage and consistent deployment to that infrastructure (Container Management Platforms).

With our roots as a source code management system, we will build on our existing workflows for code management, and extend our ability to define and manage infrastructure configuration in your project repositories so you can achieve reliability and consistency in your application.

Observability and Operations as Code

Observability is a measure of your application which defines how well you can understand the state of your production system from its external outputs. The more observable your application is, the more reliably you can operate it, both manually and through automation. Our vision is to allow you to define your observability and operational automation in code, alongside your application code. Whether that is the configuration of dashboards, metrics, alerts, runbooks, automation scripts or incident issues - GitLab will source-control those configurations and ensure they are reliably deployed to your production systems.

Policy as Code

Policy as Code is the idea that requirements for auditing and compliance teams can be collected with zero additional cognitive load from developers and other team members participating in software delivery. Because GitLab has an end-to-end view of the artifacts that are associated with releases (issues, merge requests, feature flags, and so on) we are uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive view of compliance-related activity, collected on an ongoing basis throughout the build, test, and release process. Our vision here can be found in our strategy page for Release Evidence.

Operations for All

Truly integrated DevOps teams are difficult to create. While large organizations have the budget to staff dedicated teams with roles like "Cost Optimization Engineer" and "Site Reliability Engineer" smaller teams require "Jack of All Trades" engineers.

Our vision at GitLab is that everyone can contribute, and that small teams, without specialization, can leverage and adopt the same tools as those in larger organizations. By building on our preference for convention over configuration, we can take the guess work out of operations. We will enable you and your team to quickly build a production application and iterate on it. We'll make it easy for teams to start from modern operations practices where you avoid alert fatigue by detecting real user events and are able to resolve like a pro. Not just on its features, but on the overall experience delivered to your users. Rapidly.

Smart Feedback Loop

Defining your infrastructure, observability, and operations as code is just the first step. The real magic happens when you rapidly iterate on those definitions. As a single-application for the entire DevOps lifecycle GitLab completes what is commonly a major gap in the DevOps loop - the feedback from ops back into planning.

Our vision is to provide not just an easy ability to identify, suggest, complete, and deploy changes to your production system, but also enable new insights that other tools can't. During incident response, GitLab can quickly identify the last deployed commit, lines of code changed, and author to guide the response to the right place. During deployment, GitLab can quickly tell you if your production system is already out-of-bounds from defined service-level indicator (SLI) metrics and roll back. During post-mortems, GitLab can suggest runbook or alert changes. We are very excited about enabling DevSecOps teams with these smart additions.

Performance Indicators

The performance of the Ops section is defined as the total adoption of its stages as measured by the Ops Section Total Stages Monthly Active Users) (Ops Section CMAU). Ops Section TMAU is a sum of all SMAUs across the five stages in the Ops Section (Verify, Package, Release, Configure & Monitor).

To increase the Ops Section TMAU, the product groups are focused on driving their stage adoption. We are especially focused on increasing adoption of the Verify and Release stages by driving CI usage from existing SCM users and driving CD usage from existing CI users. This will activate users into Ops Section TMAU and enable them to continue to adopt other Ops section stages as described on Ops section adoption journey (see also the product-wide adoption journey):

graph LR %% Define Styling classDef OpsStage fill:#11f,color:#fff classDef OtherStage fill:#ddd,color:#888 %%% Define Stages P[Plan]:::OtherStage C[Create]:::OtherStage V[Verify]:::OpsStage Pa[Package]:::OpsStage R[Release]:::OpsStage Co[Configure]:::OpsStage M[Monitor]:::OpsStage S[Secure]:::OtherStage D[Protect]:::OtherStage %% Define Connections C -.- P P -.-> M V -.- S C ==> V V ==> R V ==> Pa V ==> Co R ==> M R -.- Co Co -.- D Co ==> M M -.- D subgraph "Legend" Legend1[Ops Stage]:::OpsStage == Critical Path==> Legend2[Other Stage]:::OtherStage Legend1 -. Additional Path .-> Legend2 end

The majority of our Ops section product groups are focused on driving adoption first, and then monetization within their category scope. Some groups are well placed to focus on monetization right away by adding tier value for buyer personas (e.g. development manager, director) on top of existing stages which already have heavy usage. Those groups will adopt Paid Stage Monthly Active Users (Paid SMAU) as their Primary Performance Indicator. Today that list of groups is:

See more details about our Product Performance Indicators in our Ops Section Product Performance Indicators page.

Critical Jobs to Be Done

GitLab will focus on the jobs to be done (JTBD) found in the workflows identified across all of our stages. Today we've identified those critical JTBD in the Package, Release Management, Configure and Monitor stages.

The most critical are:

Who is it for?

We identify the personas the Ops section features are built for. In order to be transparent about personas we support today and personas we aim to support in the future we use the following categorization of personas listed in priority order.


To capitalize on the opportunities listed above, the Ops section has features that make it useful to the following personas today.

  1. 🟩 Sasha - Software Developer
  2. 🟩 Devon - DevOps Engineer
  3. 🟨 Simone - Software Engineer in Test
  4. 🟨 Delaney - Devleopment Team Lead
  5. 🟨 Rachel - Release Manager
  6. 🟨 Priyanka - Platform Engineer
  7. 🟨 Allison - Application Ops
  8. ⬜️ Ops Teams
  9. ⬜️ Central IT / System Admins

Medium Term (1-2 years)

As we execute our 3-year strategy, our medium term (1-2 year) goal is to provide a single application that enables collaboration between cloud native development and platform teams.

  1. 🟩 Sasha - Software Developer
  2. 🟩 Devon - DevOps Engineer
  3. 🟩 Allison - Application Ops
  4. 🟩 Priyanka - Platform Engineer
  5. 🟩 Simone - Software Engineer in Test
  6. 🟩 Delaney - Development Team Lead
  7. 🟩 Rachel - Release Manager
  8. 🟨 Ops Teams
  9. ⬜️ Central IT / System Admins

One Year Plans

Each Stage maintains Direction content that contains upcoming plans.

Ops Section Plan

Our plan is quite simple. We see a common progression in all of our GitLab stages and categories. That progression is:

  1. Create MVCs which showcase the possibility of new categories in a single-application
  2. Leverage the high rate of learning provided by dogfooding to achieve viability
  3. Shift focus to awareness and aquisition of viable capabilities by increasing SMAU & GMAU
  4. Begin building completeness and tier value as a result of increased SMAU

As a result our performance indicators and tier strategies are aligned to the maturity of each stage.

In doing so, over the next 12 months we will choose NOT to:

What's Next

Each Product Group in the Ops Section maintains a version of their What's Next.

Acquisition Plan

GitLab pursues acquisitions which will help accelerate our product roadmap. There are a few categories across the Ops Section stages which have a higher appetite for acquisition. We look for one of two things:

  1. Planned future category maturity increments where the jump from minimal or viable to complete or lovable would nessecitate significant R&D investment and an acquisition would accelerate that maturity significantly.
  2. Filling gaps in our themes that span our current categories. As a result our top priorities are:

Acquisition top priorities

  1. CI Testing - Tools that immediately increase our capability in a Verify:Testing group category AND provide a framework for an over-time and cross-project view of testing results.
  2. Build and Pipeline Optimization - Tools that enable pipeline efficiency and increase pipeline speed to save developers time
  3. Infrastructure Cost Optimization - Tools that provide insights into cost implications (especially in MR workflows), alerting and dashboarding enabling users to optimize their infrastructure utilization.
  4. A/B Testing - Tools that enable an integrated experience for progressive delivery and experimentation of product feature rollout

Longer horizon acquisition options

Some acquisition options in the Ops Section aren't immediate requirements for our single-devops platform. Instead they represent our vision for an expanded DevOps platform.

  1. In line with our theme of Smarter Feedback Loops we are also considering Tools that enable the continuous improvement of applications via efficient feedback loops from production to the Plan and Create stages, including product product analytics, user forums, suggestion mechanisms, and real-user monitoring. These are distinct from Marketing focused tools that are meant to provide feedback on campaigns and content.
  2. In line with our theme of Operations as code we are also considering tools and software that improve the ability to define observability systems and repeatedly deploy them alongside application code.
  3. In line with Operations for All we are also considering tools that help developers quickly understand complex infrastructure setups, including service catalogs, cluster cost optimization, and observability interfaces.

Future Investment

In the Ops Section we must dilligently prioritize and sequence our investments in a very expansive market from CI adoption from existing SCM users to MVCs in Monitor and Log Management markets.

+10% Investment Priorities

As a result we maintain a list of our +10% investment priorities to ensure we are balancing capturing short-term and long-term markets. The following are our current +10% investment priorities:

  1. CI Scale, Quality and Usability Optimization
  2. Code Quality PGMAU Acceleration

You can see a full list of investment cases using this issue search.

Strategy Development

The Ops Section includes many market categories each with their own significant TAMs. We prioritize evaluating and developing a strategy for pursuing each of these markets via the following priority list:

  1. Monitor & Log Management - This is a large market that we must compete in over time but that we aren't currently prioritizing any investment towards.
  2. A/B Testing and Expirementation Framework
  3. Product Analytics & Feedback - We have an internal team pursuing this effort but only as part of a dogfooding initiative.

Useful Resources

Below are some additional resources to learn more about Ops:

Current Validation Track Initiatives

Check out the following links for current problem validation cycles and solution validation cycles for the stages in the Ops section. You can also see the recently completed problem and solution validation issues in our issue tracker.

You can also find Opportunity Canvas artifacts for Ops Section Validation Track activities in our:

Stages and Categories

The Ops section is composed of five stages, each of which contains several categories. Each stage has an overall strategy statement below, aligned to the themes for Ops. Each category within each stage has a dedicated vision page plus optional documentation, marketing pages, and other materials linked below.


Akin to other Ops Stages, Verify is propelled to drive forward our north star metric of SMAU, which is unique users triggering pipelines.

With millions of developers using GitLab CI globally, we want organizations to ship their code as fast as possible without compromising quality, security, ease of use or the integrity of their software. We believe that we can empower users and enterprises to employ the most advanced best practices for Continuous Integration for use in application development across Data, ML/AI, Infrastructure as Code, as well as Operations Workflows.

In the next two quarters, to make this happen we will be:

  1. Delivering on our promise of Speedy, reliable pipelines by doubling down on reducing our technical debt/bug backlog via gitlab&5123 and adding Sticky Runners
  2. Empowering you to take advantage of Operations for All with our new new pipeline editing experience via gitlab&4540
  3. Expanding your awareness of code coverage in gitlab&2838 enabling you to make more informed decisions about your pipelines from Smart Feedback Loops.

We have also been working on 3-year visions for groups within Verify, such as Continuous Integration's mocks which can be found in gitlab4793 and Pipeline Authoring's mocks located in gitlab&4534.

Verify Stage Categories

持续集成 (CI)

Gain the confidence to ship at blistering speed and immense scale with automated builds, testing, and out-of-the-box security to verify each commit moves you forward. This category is at the "complete" level of maturity.

Learn moreDocumentationDirection

Pipeline Authoring

Category containing features associated with editing/authoring your .gitlab-ci.yml.

Learn moreDocumentationDirection

GitLab Runner

GitLab Runner is the execution agent that is used to run your CI jobs and send the results back to GitLab. This category is at the "lovable" level of maturity.


Jenkins Importer

The Jenkins Importer helps unblock teams from migrating to GitLab CI. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Automatically analyze your source code to surface issues and see if quality is improving or getting worse with the latest commit. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Code testing and coverage ensure that individual components built within a pipeline perform as expected, and are an important part of a Continuous Integration framework. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



Be confident in the performance of your changes by ensuring that they are validated against real world load scenarios. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Use browser performance testing to ensure performance of your software. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Testing to ensure usability flows work and are actually understandable and valuable to your users. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Beyond being a compliance requirement in many cases, accessibility testing is the right thing to do. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.


Merge Trains

Keeping master green and ensuring the stability of collaboration on branches is vitally important. GitLab has introduced Merge Trains as an important way to accomplish this. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



The Verify group is at the entrypoint to the funnel in our user adoption journey, so our features are an critical enabler for users seeking a complete DevOps platform. While we do try to drive adoption in order to support multi-stage growth at least partially through features at the free tier, it's also important for us that we have features at the paid tiers. For our group, these will typically be cross-department and cross-company views related to CI templates, quality and pipelines. See below for the how we are thinking about each of the tiers, and the kinds of features that will be included.


The foundation of the Free strategy for Verify is that enhancements to baseline CI YAML features will be available in this tier by default. The rationale for this approach is that we want to preserve a consistent experience. Users must always be able to use the same .gitlab-ci.yml in all tiers.

Beyond this, features that drive broad adoption and help with onboarding (including generally making it easier to get started with GitLab CI) are also good candidates for inclusion in this tier. Providing solutions to simplify the deployment and management of Runners at scale for self-managed is also critical for all tiers of users.


The default paid tier for enterprises, Premium will cater to directors operating a medium to large instance. We will focus on features that solve for typical entry-level enterprise needs: reporting and analytics, operational efficiency, and other needs that are must-haves for medium to large organizations.

You can see features that we are considering including in this tier in this issue search.


There is an opportunity to support inner-sourcing/collaboration for CI in this top tier since it's only if you are utilizing CI across thousands of projects that those types of capabilities are warranted. This would be exemplified by issues like gitlab#24939.

You can see features that we are considering including in this tier in this issue search.


The goal of the Package Group is to build a product, that within three years, is our customer's single source of truth for storing and distributing images and packages.

You can read more about the Package stage plan on the Package Direction page.

The Package stage is made up of several categories:

Package Stage Categories


Every team needs a place to store their packages and dependencies. GitLab aims to provide a comprehensive solution, integrated into our single application, that supports package management for all commonly used languages and binary formats. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



A secure and private registry for Docker images built-in to GitLab. Creating, pushing, and retrieving images works out of the box with GitLab CI/CD. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.


Helm Chart库

Kubernetes cluster integrations can take advantage of Helm charts to standardize their distribution and install processes. Supporting a built-in helm chart registry allows for better, self-managed container orchestration. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



The GitLab Dependency Proxy can serve as an intermediary between your local developers and automation and the world of packages that need to be fetched from remote repositories. By adding a security and validation layer to a caching proxy, you can ensure reliability, accuracy, and auditability for the packages you depend on. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.


Dependency Firewall

GitLab ensures that the dependencies stored in your package registries conform to your corporate compliance guidelines. This means you can prevent your organization from using dependencies that are insecure or out of policy. This category is planned, but not yet available.


Release Evidence

Release Evidence includes all the assurances and evidence collection that are necessary for you to trust the changes you're delivering. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Git LFS (Large File Storage) is a Git extension, which reduces the impact of large files in your repository by downloading the relevant versions of them lazily. Specifically, large files are downloaded during the checkout process rather than during cloning or fetching. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.



Our goal is to ensure that any organization can rely solely on GitLab as a universal package manager. Our pricing strategy and product strategy are closely correlated to the size of a given organization. That is because as team size increases, so does the complexity in managing how packages are shared, consumed, and distributed. When comparing GitLab's Package offering to Artifactory, you may find this pricing comparison helpful.


We will continue to invest in our Package and Container registries to ensure that anyone can use their GitLab project as their default registry, leverage GitLab's many authentication options and easily publish/share packages. We will focus our efforts on a few key areas.

We must make the use of our Free offering frictionless. To do this we'll focus on usability, reliability, and seamless integrations with GitLab continuous integration and delivery. We will ensure that our product is easy and rewarding to contribute to. We will continue to rely on the GitLab Community to help define and refine our product offering. This includes adding support for new package manager formats.

Roadmap features targeted for tier:


The default paid tier for enterprises, Premium will cater to directors operating a medium to large instance. We'll direct features that solve for typical entry-level enterprise needs: reporting and analytics, operational efficiency, deployment automation, security and compliance, and other needs that are must-haves for medium to large organizations. While this type of organization should be able to get started in GitLab at lower tiers, they won't be able to thrive at scale. Roadmap features targeted for tier:


Directed toward an executive likely buyer, we will focus our efforts here on serving the needs of our larger, enterprise customers. This means introducing features that help to drive compliance and shift security left into development pipelines. Roadmap features targeted for tier:


For details about the Release Stage Direction please check out that handbook page.

The details of how we'll achieve different elements of this can be found in the individual category pages below:

Release Stage Categories


Deliver your changes to production with zero-touch software delivery; focus on building great software and allow GitLab CD to bring your release through your path to production for you. This category is at the "complete" level of maturity.

Learn moreDocumentationDirection


Use any static site generator to create websites that are easily managed and deployed by GitLab. This category is at the "complete" level of maturity.

Learn moreDocumentationDirection

Review Apps

Get a full production like environment for every merge request that updates on each commit. See code running and enable user acceptance testing before you merge. This category is at the "complete" level of maturity.

Learn moreDocumentationDirection


Mitigate the risk of production deploys by deploying new production code to a small subset of your fleet and then incrementally adding more. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



Feature flags enable teams to achieve CD by letting them deploy dark features to production as smaller batches for controlled testing, separating feature delivery from customer launch, and removing risk from delivery. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



Management and orchestration of releases-as-code built on intelligent notifications, scheduling of delivery and shared resources, blackout periods, relationships, parallelization, and sequencing, as well as support for integrating manual processes and interventions. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



To support our goals in 2020 and our 3-year strategy, Release will continue enriching the free features while adding tier value. In our adoption journey, the Release features are typically consumed after continuous integration and source code management, so we will work to expand the independent use of continuous delivery features. While investing in the reduction of barrier to entry into Release we will spend time meeting the needs of the Enterprise by adding visibility into the benefits of using GitLab end-to-end.


Release will continue investing in the free solution to reduce the barrier of entry into Release as both as part of additional Gitlab adoption from existing CI users and as an independent solution without needing to use CI or SCM. We will focus on simplifying the process of managing releases and deploying progressively while empowering developers to release independently using GitLab. Roadmap features targeted for this tier include:


As the default paid tier for enterprises, Premium will cater to directors operating a medium to large instance. We'll direct features that solve for typical entry-level enterprise needs: reporting and analytics, operational efficiency, deployment automation, security and compliance, and other needs that are must-haves for medium to large organizations. While this type of organization should be able to get started in GitLab at lower tiers, they won't be able to thrive at scale. Roadmap features targeted for this tier include:


This tier is directed toward an executive likely buyer. Release groups will direct capabilities into Ultimate which serve the organizational needs of a complex enterprise operating a large GitLab instance. We'll focus on features which will help drive compliance into the continuous delivery workflow and shift security left into the development pipelines. Roadmap features targeted for this tier include:


While the market for the Configure stage has many strong incumbent players, it is splintered across many traditional IT management tools (Ansible, Chef, Puppet). There are emerging trends (i) showing a consolidation on containers (i) and specifically Kubernetes (i) for cloud-native application development. This will have the effect of stymying commercial players from locking in market share based on proprietary tools. So while there are strong players, the current market dynamics means there is upside for us.

You can read more about the Configure stage plan on the Configure Direction page.

The Configure stage is made up of several categories:

Configure Stage Categories

Auto DevOps

Commit your code and GitLab does the rest to build, test, deploy, and monitor automatically. Eliminate the complexities of getting going with automated software delivery by automatically setting up the pipeline and necessary integrations, freeing up your teams to focus on the culture part. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: medium • Learn moreDocumentationDirection


Connect Kubernetes clusters to GitLab for deployments and insights. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: high • Learn moreDocumentationDirection


Securely deploy with CI/CD Variables, Deploy Keys, Deploy Tokens, and HashiCorp Vault Integration. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.



Tight integrations with Slack and Mattermost make it easy to manage and automate software development and delivery right from your chat app. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.

Priority: low • DocumentationDirection


Run cloud-agnostic serverless workloads on Kubernetes, deployed via GitLab CI/CD. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.

Priority: low • Learn moreDocumentationDirection

Infrastructure as Code

Manage your infrastructure effectively to create, configure, and manage a complete software development environment. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: high • DocumentationDirection

Cluster Cost Management

Gain insights and recommendations about your cluster spending This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.

Priority: low • DocumentationDirection




The market for the Monitor stage is aligned around key players New Relic, Splunk, ServiceNow and Datadog. Datadog, New Relic and Splunk are all headed towards integrated observability platforms based on collecting all available product analytics. ServiceNow (i) is considered a standard for help-desk and Incident Management workflows. Strong existing players with large sustained R&D investment will make it difficult for GitLab to compete head-to-head for Monitor stage market share, especially with traditional Operations and System Administration users.

You can read more about the Monitor stage plan on the Monitor Direction page.

The Monitor stage is made up of several categories:

Monitor Stage Categories


Runbooks are a collection of documented procedures that explain how to carry out a particular process, be it starting, stopping, debugging, or troubleshooting a particular system. Executable runbooks allow operators to execute pre-written code blocks or database queries against a given environment. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.

Priority: low • DocumentationDirection


GitLab collects and displays performance metrics for deployed apps, leveraging Prometheus. Developers can determine the impact of a merge and keep an eye on their production systems, without leaving GitLab. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: high • DocumentationDirection


Track incidents within GitLab, providing a consolidated location to understand the who, what, when, and where of the incident. Define service level objectives and error budgets, to achieve the desired balance of velocity and stability. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: high • DocumentationDirection


GitLab makes it easy to view the logs distributed across multiple pods and services using log aggregation with Elastic Stack. Once Elastic Stack is enabled, you can view your aggregated Kubernetes logs across multiple services and infrastructure, go back in time, conduct infinite scroll, and search through your application logs from within the GitLab UI itself. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: medium • DocumentationDirection


Tracing provides insight into the performance and health of a deployed application, tracking each function or microservice which handles a given request. This makes it easy to understand the end-to-end flow of a request, regardless of whether you are using a monolithic or distributed system. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.

Priority: medium • DocumentationDirection

GitLab Self-Monitoring

Self-managed GitLab instances come out of the box with great observability tools, reducing the time and effort required to maintain a GitLab instance.

Priority: low • DocumentationDirection

Error Tracking

Error tracking allows developers to easily discover and view the errors that their application may be generating. By surfacing error information where the code is being developed, efficiency and awareness can be increased. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.

Priority: low • DocumentationDirection

Synthetic Monitoring

Proactively simulate, monitor, and report on success rates and executions for user actions and behavior pathways. This category is planned, but not yet available.

Priority: high • Direction


This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.
Priority: medium • Documentation


Monitor is a critical component for all software development and operations. The Monitor stage's tier strategy will be broken down by workflow as described below.


To execute our land and expand strategy and to receive as much feedback from our potential user base, Free contains the vast majority of the Monitor features, including metrics, logs, incident management, traces, and error management.



Upcoming premium Monitor functionality include:


Upcoming ultimate Monitor functionality include:

What's Next

See what is coming across all of the DevOps stages in our Upcoming Releases page.

Git is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and our use of 'GitLab' is under license