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GitLab
vs
GitHub
Decision Kit
Decision Kit

For Business Decision Makers

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GitHub’s Strengths

User Base: Large user base of developers using GitHub.

Open Source Support: Many Open Source projects hosted on GitHub, although GitHub itself is not Open Source.

Community: Very strong developer community.

GitHub Marketplace: GitHub has a large marketplace of third party applications that they make available to their community.

GitHub’s Limitations

Cost and Complexity: GitHub extends the functionality of their toolchain by integrating third party plugins called “Actions”. GitLab provides a single platform for DevOps, with tools for different stages of the Software Development Lifecycle natively built in all seamlessly working together.

End-to-End Security: GitHub’s reliance on extending the functionality of their DevOp solution through Actions (plugins) introduces security risking within the Software Development workflow. Most Actions are not certified by GitHub and are governed by separate terms of service, privacy policy, and support documentation. GitLab provides native functionality built into a single instance.

Transparency, Flexibility and Adaptability: GitHub’s source code is proprietary and not Open Source. Customers, partners and their community can’t view, edit or security test GitHub source code. GitLab is Open Source code allowing easy viewing, editing and security testing of GitLab source code

Scaling: GitHub can not scale out the component nodes of their application to different machines which would improve performance. The performance of writes is limited to the speed and availability of the primary appliance. GitLab is enterprise class and scales to > 32K users. With GitLab, you can scale the GitLab application components to multiple machine nodes which increases the performance and scalability of your GitLab instance.

High Availability: GitHub HA solution is at best a warm-standby. This approach could lead to more downtime and even information loss if backups are not made frequently. GitLab provides HA from two standpoints. First the Application itself is Highly Available through seamless failovers into remaining nodes. Second, the data is highly available through the use of Gitaly. Gitaly is a service that provides high-level RPC access to Git repositories. GitLab fails over seamlessly - if a Gitaly node or another node drops there is no downtime. In case of a catastrophic event, GitLab can fail over to another Geo. This process in case of catastrophic failure takes only 5-20 minutes. Business is up and running at full speed without problems.

Zero Downtime Upgrades: GitHub does not provide Zero Downtime Upgrades, with downtime for upgrades lasting as many as four hours. This is a major requirement for most enterprises. Due to GitLab’s strong HA architecture, GitLab is able to provide zero downtime upgrades..

Security Features Cost: Security features such as Static Application Security Testing and Secret Scanning requires adding an ADDITIONAL Advanced Security License for private repositories on top of their base license. Feedback from customers signals that GitHub’s Advanced Security License is expensive and drives the overall price point higher. GitLab Free offers both Static Application Security Testing and Secret Scanning.

Security Features Availability: The Advanced Security License is not available for private repositories in their Free and Team License Tiers. GitLab Free offers both Static Application Security Testing and Secret Scanning

Azure DevOps vs. GitHub Confusion: There is market confusion over the future of Azure DevOps vs GitHub. Customers have questions:

  • Will Azure DevOps legacy features be ported into GitHub?
  • What will the new leadership team look like?
  • Will there be any adjustments in product pricing?
  • What will the new support model look like?
  • Will Azure DevOps be completely replaced by GitHub?

Three Strong GitLab Differentiators

Breadth and Capabilities of Offering: GitLab’s DevOps capabilities are deep and broad. Customers need to rely on several moving parts with GitHub, whereas with GitLab it’s a single application. In areas of overlap, GitLab has superior capabilities. Some of the benefits are shorter cycle times, better security, increased collaboration amongst developers.

Better Customer Support: GitLab provides a support model that is simple and easy to understand. Unlinke GitHub, GitLab has a single contact portal for support questions managed by one cohesive team. GitHub’s support model is confusing, with two support portals and two isolated support paths that customers must choose from. Visit the GitLab vs. GitHub Support page for a detailed comparison between GitLab’s and GitHub’s support offerings.

Superior Value: Both GitLab and GitHub offer Free License Tiers and Paid License Tiers. Though there are some similarities between GitLab’s and GitHub’s License Tiers, there are also some GitLab differences that yields greater value delivered by GitLab within each Tier. Visit the GitLab vs. GitHub License page for a detailed comparison between GitLab’s and GitHub’s Licensing Tiers.

GitLab vs. GitHub Solutions to Common BDM Problems

💚Complete Support 💛Partial Support 💔No Support

The BDM Problem The DevOps Solution GitLab GitHub
Modernization

Modernize aging systems and processes. Shifting DevOps development processes to the cloud.
Simplify cloud native workflow integration with built in Integration for Kubernetes Monitoring and Management 💚 💔
Employee Experience

Improving the experience of employees and their day-to-day operations.
Simplify application delivery steps with preconfigured pipelines (Auto DevOps). Proper management and understanding of security risk. 💚 💔
Competing

Become more competitive in a rapidly changing environment.
Quickly deliver application enhancements in a controlled manner with Progressive Delivery features. 💚 💛
Requires 3rd Party Plugins
Developer Return On Investment (ROI)

Freeing up developers’ time for more value-added work.
Reduce the time and simplify the steps to deliver code updates with Pipeline Orchestration and preconfigured pipelines (Auto DevOps). 💚 💔
COVID-19

Increased demand for greater access to applications.
Meet developers needs for efficient Software Development Tools with Enterprise Scaling and Pipeline Orchestration. 💚 💔
User Trust

Reducing risk by meeting security requirements.
Deliver well vetted code with Distinctive Scans and effective methods to address Security Risk. 💚 💛
Some Security Scans Require 3rd Party Plugins
User Experience

Quality application and digital engagement experience which ultimately improves the quality of service.
Preview applications to reduce delivery risk with dynamic Application Reviews. 💚 💔
Compliance Management

Meeting Compliance requirements.
Define, enforce and report on compliance policies and framework with out of the box reporting support for Financial Services Regulatory Compliance, PCI, HIPAA and other regulations. 💚 💔