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About the connection between GitLab and OpenShift


As a company that deals a lot with GitLab and Kubernetes and helps many customers with these issues,
We are often asked about the nature of the connection between GitLab and GitLab CI/CD and Kubernetes, and in particular OpenShift.
From ongoing engagement on the subject, we have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge and decided to share it with our readers, below.

What is OpenShift?

OpenShift is a platform for managing containers and Kubernetes,
in a way that facilitates the distribution and management of container-based applications.

When using Kubernetes and containers, after some time we have a large collection of containers,
And often quite a collection of Kubernetes clusters as well,
And it is likely that at some point we will look for a way to manage this conveniently, and this is where OpenShift can help us.
OpenShift is based on Kubernetes (open source), and adds additional capabilities on top of Kubernetes, including:

  • Convenient management of our applications over Kubernetes, through a UI or command-line interface (CLI).
  • Convenient management of increasing and decreasing the amount of machines in the cluster, according to our needs
  • Built-in information security capabilities, such as Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • Support for standards and regulations (such as GDPR for privacy protection, HIPAA for medical information and more) for compliance purposes

What is GitLab Operator?

GitLab Operator for Kubernetes is an (open source) tool that helps you install and manage GitLab environments on top of OpenShift.
It is actually a Kubernetes operator that uses Kubernetes API functions to help automate tasks of distribution, management and configuration of applications running on top of Kubernetes.
There are several advantages to using Operator, among them:

  • Ease of use: Using operator makes GitLab installations on OpenShift easier
  • Support for scalability: the operator helps to increase or decrease resources around GitLab, as needed
  • The operator helps with the security settings around GitLab and the standardization of the settings
  • The operator helps comply with the standards and regulations of information that resides in GitLab

Demos: GitLab + OpenShift

Below are recommended videos that we have collected and prepared. We’ve also added a short summary for each, for your convenience.

Latest demo of GitLab + GitLab CI in Hebrew:

A fresh and up-to-date recording that we prepared in Hebrew, reviewing the latest GitLab and GitLab CI/CD capabilities, Includes a technical demo of GitLab CI and Security and DevSecOps capabilities.

gitlab demo גיטלאב הדגמה

Demo of the GitLab Runner Operator for Kubernetes

The following video gives an overview of how to install GitLab Runner on a Kubernetes cluster
By using the GitLab Runner Operator

Demo: GitLab on OpenShift

Another, shorter video demonstrating installing GitLab CI Runner into OpenShift includes:
installing the operator; the registration of the runner; creating a secret; building a basic pipeline; Preparing OpenShift and demonstrating what it looks like in the OpenShift Dashboard

?Demo: How to configure GitLab runner on OpenShift


שאלות נפוצות (FAQ) :

Finally, I am attaching here some frequently asked questions. I summarized the answer in a nutshell. You can contact us for more questions and more detailed answers (details below).

  • Can GitLab run from within Kubernetes?
    Yes, absolutely. The server (GitLab Server) can also be run from within a Kubernetes cluster (and this has some consequences as well as some advantages); You can also run GitLab Runners from within Kubernetes to run GitLab CI/CD dynamically and managed.
  • Do you offer support or advice for OpenShift?
    Definitely. Our professional team has a lot of accumulated knowledge in Kubernetes, OpenShift, Docker, containers and a variety of alternative distributions and tools, and of course a lot of experience (over 8 years in GitLab), as well as a lot of experience in DevOps / IT / DevSecOps and development.
    You can contact us by email (openshift@almtoolbox.com) or by phone.
  • Do OpenShift and GitLab also work in a closed network (Self-hosted / Air-gapped)?
    Yes, both are also suitable for closed networks and disconnected from the Internet.
  • How is the product priced in its commercial version?
    The price of the license depends on several parameters. You can contact us regarding prices and/or a quote, and we will be happy to assist and help you choose the license that best suits your needs.

The ALM-Toolbox company is the official distributor of GitLab and OpenShift in Israel, and provides licenses, consulting, planning, managed services, hardening environments (including Kubernetes and Vault), building HA and DR solutions, training, adapting Enterprise licensing to the customer’s needs, and Connection to development processes, tests and CI pipelines.

We will be happy to answer any question – you can contact us by email at gitlab@almtoolbox.com or by phone at 072-240-5222

Relevant links:

Photo credit: Wikipedia