Sep 17, 2020 - Vick Kelkar  

GitLab enhances DevOps journey on Linux on IBM Z and Red Hat OpenShift

GitLab integrates with IBM Linux on Z and RedHat OpenShift to help app developers deploy to more resilient systems.

September 2020 marks 20 years of IBM Linux on Z. If you are using DevOps practices to develop your application on IBM Z, this article is for you. You will learn about how you can leverage GitLab integrations on these resilient systems to enhance your DevOps journey.

GitLab's journey on Linux on IBM Z and Red Hat OpenShift

Regardless of whether you are using IBM Z or Red Hat OpenShift, revenue-generating applications must be up and available. For example, if a banking application or Point of Sale (POS) application is down for even just five minutes, the company runs the risk of lost revenue during application downtime. This is where high availability (HA) of container platforms like Red Hat OpenShift or hardware stacks like Linux on IBM Z shine. HA strategies such as a horizontal, vertical, consensus, or distributed architectures used by these systems are outside the scope.

So, how would developers develop and deploy the revenue-generating application to resilient systems mentioned above? How can developers deploy, patch, upgrade, and scale applications in these systems using techniques such as canary deployments? Developers can use GitLab and the GitLab Runner open-source project to run GitLab CI/CD cloud-native pipelines on these resilient systems in the following ways:

  • GitLab can be implemented on Linux on Z using logical partitions (LPAR) and virtualization hosts Z/VM. You can learn more about running GitLab on IBM Z using the whitepaper published by the joint GitLab and IBM teams, back in 2017. Request a copy of the whitepaper by reaching out to Suchitra Joshi at IBM (suchi@ibm.com).

  • GitLab, with its 13.2 release, announced GitLab Runner support for Linux on IBM Z. The GitLab 13.2 release supports the execution of runners on Linux on Z and has a Docker image of the runner for the platform. Developers can leverage the full GitLab CI stack through the use of SSH executors on Mainframes and can take advantage of public GitLab CI/CD examples.

  • GitLab and Red Hat teams teamed up to develop the GitLab Runner Operator for Red Hat OpenShift. You can find GitLab Runner Operator in the OpenShift embedded OperatorHub and Red Hat container image catalog.

DevOps, cloud native, and containers

Cloud computing is becoming more mainstream with enterprise IT because it offers composability, speed, and elasticity to organizations on a global scale. Cloud computing is also ideal for big transformation projects that are trying to modernize infrastructure and software development processes. Along with cloud computing, enterprises are exploring hybrid cloud and cloud native approaches for developing and deploying their mission-critical workloads. When it comes to cloud-native approaches, DevOps plays a crucial role as more and more organizations are adopting modern software development methodologies to develop and scale their workloads.

It's not a hard requirement but cloud native approaches are usually coupled with containers, which are becoming basic unit of deployment. Containers allow application developers to package and scale applications using a container orchestrator like Kubernetes.

What is GitLab?

GitLab is an open source DevOps platform delivered as a single application. The open source project has more than 3,000 contributors and a growing community. GitLab fundamentally accelerates the software development lifecycle while addressing important enterprise concerns such as security and compliance. GitLab helps organizations with collaboration, version control, continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD) and DevSecOps workflows. GitLab can integrate with existing tools using custom webhooks as well. Read up on GitLab features to learn how to improve developer productivity.

Looking forward

GitLab aims to help developers deploy their mission-critical applications to the resilient systems of their choice. As the joint teams increase their collaboration, we plan to announce the availability of GitLab on OpenShift in the future. You can follow the progress in the engineering epic.

Resources

Cover image by Matt Howard on Unsplash

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