Prepare Auto DevOps for deployment

If you enable Auto DevOps without setting the base domain and deployment strategy, GitLab can’t deploy your application directly. Therefore, we recommend that you prepare them before enabling Auto DevOps.

Deployment strategy

Introduced in GitLab 11.0.

When using Auto DevOps to deploy your applications, choose the continuous deployment strategy that works best for your needs:

Deployment strategy Setup Methodology
Continuous deployment to production Enables Auto Deploy with the default branch continuously deployed to production. Continuous deployment to production.
Continuous deployment to production using timed incremental rollout Sets the INCREMENTAL_ROLLOUT_MODE variable to timed. Continuously deploy to production with a 5 minutes delay between rollouts.
Automatic deployment to staging, manual deployment to production Sets STAGING_ENABLED to 1 and INCREMENTAL_ROLLOUT_MODE to manual. The default branch is continuously deployed to staging and continuously delivered to production.

You can choose the deployment method when enabling Auto DevOps or later:

  1. In GitLab, go to your project’s Settings > CI/CD > Auto DevOps.
  2. Choose the deployment strategy.
  3. Select Save changes.
note
Use the blue-green deployment technique to minimize downtime and risk.

Auto DevOps base domain

The Auto DevOps base domain is required to use Auto Review Apps, Auto Deploy, and Auto Monitoring.

To define the base domain, either:

  • In the project, group, or instance level: go to your cluster settings and add it there.
  • In the project or group level: add it as an environment variable: KUBE_INGRESS_BASE_DOMAIN.
  • In the instance level: go to Menu > Admin > Settings > CI/CD > Continuous Integration and Delivery and add it there.

The base domain variable KUBE_INGRESS_BASE_DOMAIN follows the same order of precedence as other environment variables.

If you don’t specify the base domain in your projects and groups, Auto DevOps uses the instance-wide Auto DevOps domain.

Auto DevOps requires a wildcard DNS A record matching the base domain(s). For a base domain of example.com, you’d need a DNS entry like:

*.example.com   3600     A     1.2.3.4

In this case, the deployed applications are served from example.com, and 1.2.3.4 is the IP address of your load balancer, generally NGINX (see requirements). Setting up the DNS record is beyond the scope of this document; check with your DNS provider for information.

Alternatively, you can use free public services like nip.io which provide automatic wildcard DNS without any configuration. For nip.io, set the Auto DevOps base domain to 1.2.3.4.nip.io.

After completing setup, all requests hit the load balancer, which routes requests to the Kubernetes pods running your application.