Deployment automation is essential for any company involved in software development to stay competitive. QPage, a company that provides an end-to-end sourcing and recruitment solution for SMEs, realized it quickly and migrated to GitLab’s DevOps Platform to accelerate their deployment process.
We spoke with Pouya Lotfi, the co-founder of QPage, to see how they use GitLab at QPage and how it has helped the company.
QPage was initially using a local bespoke CI/CD for about the first two months, but they soon realized they needed a more professional DevOps Platform system. Because Pouya and the team at QPage had already used GitLab at a previous employer, they knew it would be the right fit. So, they didn’t consider other options and opted for GitLab straight away.
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"We started from the local CI/CD, but soon we realized that would be something we can actually do with GitLab,” said Pouya Lotfi, co-founder QPage. “I had the experience with GitLab back in the other companies I was part of, so we soon actually migrated to GitLab, and we brought everything we could actually have in GitLab’s DevOps Platform to accelerate our deployment and the processes.”
QPage chose GitLab’s paid subscription plan.
How GitLab’s DevOps Platform works
QPage is using several CI/CD integrations that GitLab offers.
"We are using it end-to-end, but we did use the benefit of integrating it with other platforms as well," Pouya said.
They are using the GitLab-Kubernetes integration for CI/CD funnels, which allows building, testing, and deploying to cluster, as well as using Auto DevOps to automate the CI/CD process.
Another key integration for QPage is the JIRA integration - they get notifications and assign a ticket to one of the developers/engineers. However, a part of this process is still done manually as they are not yet using issues, boards, and milestones within GitLab. But, they are considering using GitLab altogether to automate the whole process.
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QPage is also taking advantage of the Docker-GitLab integration. They use containers and images, push them through the GitLab CI and then finally deploy.
They start with the staging environment, then move to testing and QA, and finally, they push it to the production; their deployment and release part is divided into staging and production. For deployment, QPage is using cloud providers AWS and Digital Ocean.
The dev team and GitLab
The developers at QPage find GitLab an easy solution to work with because they already knew how it worked; one of QPage’s basic criteria to hire a developer or an engineer is to have experience with using GitLab or GitHub CI/CD.
Additionally, they find GiLab’s documentation very helpful. When they come across any problem with using GitLab, they quickly reach for the documentation to solve their problems. This eliminates the bottleneck of depending on one person on the team, who is an expert, to solve a problem.
Key DevOps Platform benefits
One of the major benefits QPage has seen from using GitLab is achieving automatic deployment. GitLab has made their CI/CD process more efficient as they have integrated it with tools like Kubernetes, Docker, and JIRA.
They believe the management within GitLab is also a huge plus where they can now test the codes and push them. Additionally, they like the visibility of work and collaboration among the developers. Their team can now know the status of the deployment in terms of whether it was successful or it failed and where it was deployed, such as the staging environment or the production.
How DevOps gets easier with a DevOps platform
Another big benefit of migrating to GitLab is the operational efficiency. Their deployment time has now reduced by 80% - with the local CI/CD, it took around 6-8 hours, but with GitLab, it’s between 15-20 minutes.
"In the beginning, when we had done it through the local server CI/CD, it would take around 6-8 or 10 hours, and that was a real hassle for us," Pouya said. “With our GitLab migration, and we push something to production, it takes like 15 to 20 to 30 minutes.”
Although QPage has one main product, they have around 29 sub-products, like API algorithms, and they've seen great optimization in deployment with all of their products after using GitLab.
Last but not least, QPage believes using GitLab is also cost-effective for them.