Gitlab hero border pattern left svg Gitlab hero border pattern right svg

Category Direction - Kubernetes Management


The main motivating factor behind using a container orchestration platform is cost reduction. Kubernetes has become the most widely adopted container orchestration platform to run, deploy, and manage applications. Yet, to seamlessly connect application code with the clusters in various environments, has remained a complex task that needs various approaches of CI/CD and Infrastructure as Code.

Our mission is to support the Platform Engineers in enabling developer workflows, to make deployments to every environment frictionless for the developer and reliable for the operator, no matter the experience level. We do this by supporting an integrated experience within GitLab and leverage the existing tools and approaches in the Kubernetes community.

Market overvoew

Kubernetes is emerging as the de facto standard for container orchestration. Today, Kubernetes runs in half of container environments, and around 90% of containers are orchestrated. (Source).

How can you contribute

Interested in joining the conversation for this category? Please have a look at our global epic where we discuss this topic and can answer any questions you may have or direct your attention to one of the more targeted epics presented below where our focus is today. Your contributions are more than welcome.


In two years, GitLab is an indispensable addition in the workflow of Kubernetes users by making deployments reliable, frictionless and conventional. As we are primarily focusing on enterprise customers, we want to support highly regulated, air-gapped use cases along with generic, public-cloud based environments.

Target User

We are building GitLab's Kubernetes Management category for the enterprise operators, who are already operating production grade clusters and work hard to remove all the roadblocks that could slow down developers without putting operations at risk.

What's next & why

GitLab agent

Using the GitLab Kubernetes Agent, we want to offer a security oriented, Kubernetes-friendly integration option to Platform Engineers. Beside providing more control for the cluster operator, the agent opens up many new possibilities to make GitLab - cluster integrations easier and deeper. We expect the agent to support various GitLab features with automatic setups and integrations.

We are currently working on:

We are preparing to

Please, join the discussion.

GitLab Managed Applications

Many GitLab features rely on 3rd party applications being available in the user's clusters. We are changing our approach to GitLab Managed Apps to GitLab Integrated Apps where platform operators can bring their own applications and processes, and GitLab can integrate with them to provide its features. As a result, we are moving away from the one click, UI based installation, but we want to support our users to install the required applications if they don't have them installed them already.

At the same time, we do not intend to create a marketplace of apps inside of GitLab, instead we would like to integrate with solutions like OperatorHub. As a result, we are looking at providing apps as GitLab Managed Apps if they satisfy the following criteria:

While we build out an IaC driven approach to GitLab Managed Apps, we are deprecating the existing approach to GitLab Managed Applications in order to provide an experience that fits the above requirements and is more customizable.


We see Kubernetes as a platform for delivering containerised software to users. Currently, every company builds their own workflows on top of it. The biggest challenges as we see them are the following:



Kubernetes Management is currently Viable. We want to make it Complete by February 2021.

Competitive landscape

IBM Cloud Native Toolkit

It provides an Open Source Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and complements IBM Cloud Pak solutions. The Cloud Native Toolkit enables application development teams to deliver business value quickly using Red Hat OpenShift and Kubernetes on IBM Cloud.


Spinnaker is an open-source, multi-cloud continuous delivery platform that helps you release software changes with high velocity and confidence. It provides two core sets of features 1) Application management, and 2) Application deployment.

Backstage with its service registry oriented approach and kubernetes integration provides an umbrella to integrate other DevOps tools and provides some insights required by developers of Kubernetes workloads.

Analyst landscape

This category doesn't quite fit the "configuration management" area as it relates only to Kubernetes. No analyst area currently defined.

Top Customer Success/Sales issue(s)

Customize Kubernetes namespace per environment for managed clusters

Top user issue(s)

Top internal customer issue(s)

Top Vision Item(s)

Git is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and our use of 'GitLab' is under license