We have a few core goals with this initiative:

  1. Easy to scale horizontally
  2. Easy to deploy, upgrade, maintain
  3. Wide support of cloud service providers
  4. Initial support for Kubernetes and Helm, with flexibility to support other schedulers in the future


We will launch with support for Kubernetes, which is mature and widely supported across the industry. As part of our design however, we will try to avoid decisions which will preclude the support of other schedulers. This is especially true for downstream Kubernetes projects like OpenShift and Tectonic. In the future other schedulers may also be supported like Docker Swarm and Mesosphere.

We aim to support the scaling and self-healing capabilities of Kubernetes:

  • Readiness and Health checks to ensure pods are functioning, and if not to recycle them
  • Tracks to support canary and rolling deployments
  • Auto-scaling

We will try to leverage standard Kubernetes features:

  • ConfigMaps for managing configuration. These will then get mapped or passed to Docker containers
  • Secrets for sensitive data

Since we might be also using Consul, this may be utilized instead for consistency with other installation methods.

Helm charts

A Helm chart will be created to manage the deployment of each GitLab specific container/service. We will then also include bundled charts to make the overall deployment easier. This is particularly important for this effort, as there will be significantly more complexity in the Docker and Kubernetes layers than the all-in-one Omnibus-based solutions. Helm can help to manage this complexity, and provide an easy top level interface to manage settings via the values.yaml file.

We plan to offer a three tiered set of Helm charts:

Helm chart Structure