Since December 2021, GitLab Incubation has partnered with Google Cloud to develop
solutions that will help customers address one of their biggest business requirements: accelerating cloud adoption.
We are thrilled to announce the release of Cloud Seed at Google Cloud Next 2022,
and we are even more excited to follow up with our community. Cloud Seed is an open
source partnership between GitLab and Google Cloud to accelerate cloud adoption and
The origins of Cloud Seed date back to late 2020 when I worked closely with GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij on an experiment called “5 Minute Production". Our focus was to improve developer experience while consuming cloud services and enabling DevSecOps best practices by default.
For this, GitLab needed to collaborate with the hyper clouds, and Google Cloud emerged as our natural choice. In this post I’d like to shed light on our collaboration, the results our partnership has achieved, and the positive business outcomes our customers will realize.
Refining the use case
First, we reached out and polled our customers to try and understand their cloud adoption use cases.
We found the enterprise market segment focused on migrating existing systems to the cloud to achieve their digital transformation targets, while the SMB and startup segment focused on embracing the cloud for greenfield initiatives.
Cloud Run and Cloud SQL
While motivations for enterprise and SMB segments varied, the underlying use case —– deploying web applications to the cloud —– remained the same. Thus, we selected two of the more popular Google Cloud managed services that web applications make use of: Cloud Run and Cloud SQL.
Cloud Run makes it possible to build and deploy scalable containerized apps written in any language (including Go, Python, Java, Node.js, .NET, and Ruby) on a fully managed platform. Meanwhile, Cloud SQL is a fully managed relational database service for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server with rich extension collections, configuration flags, and developer ecosystems.
Open source collaboration
GitLab comes with a rich tradition of open source. Our partners at Google Cloud understood and complemented that remarkably, which made for a close collaboration between our two teams. We agreed quite early in the process that all capabilities built within Cloud Seed will be open source and, therefore, available for all GitLab users regardless of their market segment, license tier, or any other consideration.
Preview environments on Cloud Run
The Cloud Seed private beta was made available to trusted testers in May 2022, and based on the successful beta program, Preview Environments with GitLab and Cloud Run emerged among the most popular use cases.
Take a look at Preview Environments on GitLab with Cloud Seed:
Most Git-based development workflows make use of temporary feature branches. In larger teams and organizations, it is required that feature branches are made available for review and testing.
With Cloud Seed, a Cloud Run deployment pipeline can be generated in less than two minutes that deploys all feature branches to Cloud Run. Given Cloud Run’s free tier, this can be a cost-effective method to deploy and manage preview environments.
Relational databases with Cloud SQL
Another common use case, typically in the app migration scenario, is to set up and migrate relational databases in the cloud. Our beta-test users voted for Cloud SQL as their most popular data storage option among a myriad of Google Cloud services.
With Cloud Seed, traditional relational databases such as Postgres, MySQL, and SQL Server can be spun up from the GitLab web UI. Similar to the Cloud Run workflow described above, these database instances can be made branch, tag, and environment specific. Alternatively, a GitLab project can be spun up for database operations, where Cloud Seed creates a suitable Cloud SQL instance while the Git repository serves as the host for configuration and migration operations.
Our purpose is clear: We learn from our users and customers about their use cases and needs, and we build capabilities to support them through their cloud adoption journeys. We are thrilled to announce the release of Cloud Seed at Google Cloud Next '22, and we are even more excited to follow up with our community. Connect with us @OpenCloudSeed on Twitter and try out Cloud Seed today at GitLab.com.