Blog Insights CERN uses GitLab to remove the obstacles around global researchers
Published on: October 12, 2018
2 min read

CERN uses GitLab to remove the obstacles around global researchers

Learn how GitLab helps particle physics laboratory CERN manage over 7,000 projects globally


CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Using highly sophisticated instruments, the organization’s physicists and engineers study the fundamental particles that are the building blocks of the universe. This organization was looking for a way to overcome the challenges associated with managing thousands of projects with numerous contributors located all around the world.

To assist with these challenges, the CERN IT department searched for a streamlined solution for code review. In addition to having the capacity to get a large number of projects and users up and running quickly, they were also looking for their selection to be easy for those users who are less experienced with Git. GitLab met their requirements and they began utilizing these features.

CERN chose to make the move to GitLab for their code hosting needs approximately three years ago. CERN has long been a strong advocate for open source software, and solutions enabling data sovereignty. GitLab’s open core, self-managed model was attractive to the organization because of these desires.

Today CERN has more than 12,000 users using GitLab and runs 120,000 CI jobs per month

“It’s clearly a powerful tool to do our operations, code collaboration and record discussions on our development and deployment process. We can do more because we can handle more complex projects. As an individual, I’m able to be involved with several large projects because I can rely on GitLab, and the other development tools that we have deployed around GitLab, to keep track of things. This is my perception as a GitLab user for three years: it’s not that I can do new things, but I can do more because of the efficiency of the tool,” said Alex Lossent, Version Control Systems Service Manager, CERN IT department

The team at CERN's IT department recently sat down with us to share the details of how GitLab is helping them bridge the gaps of working and communicating in a global workspace. “We have this main analysis code on GitLab with millions of lines of code. Each team of physicists also has their own repositories with their specific data analysis. And the on-premise nature of GitLab is really useful because we can access other CERN services, data storage and other information that we wouldn’t have on GitHub,” Lukas Heinrich, a partner physicist currently studying at New York University, explained.

You can learn more about CERN's story and how they are using GitLab in this case stuy Particle physics laboratory uses GitLab to connect researchers from across the globe

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