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Section Direction - Ops - Tiering Strategies

Tiering Strategies by Stage


The Verify group is at the entrypoint to the funnel in our user adoption journey, so our features are an critical enabler for users seeking a complete DevOps platform. While we do try to drive adoption in order to support multi-stage growth at least partially through features at the free tier, it's also important for us that we have features at the paid tiers. For our group, these will typically be cross-department and cross-company views related to CI templates, quality and pipelines. See below for the how we are thinking about each of the tiers, and the kinds of features that will be included.


The foundation of the Free strategy for Verify is that enhancements to baseline CI YAML features will be available in this tier by default. The rationale for this approach is that we want to preserve a consistent experience. Users must always be able to use the same .gitlab-ci.yml in all tiers.

Beyond this, features that drive broad adoption and help with onboarding (including generally making it easier to get started with GitLab CI) are also good candidates for inclusion in this tier. Providing solutions to simplify the deployment and management of Runners at scale for self-managed is also critical for all tiers of users.


The default paid tier for enterprises, Premium will cater to directors operating a medium to large instance. We will focus on features that solve for typical entry-level enterprise needs: reporting and analytics supporting Ops Insights, operational efficiency driving effective project management, and supporting visibility in consumption related to 10,000 CI/CD minutes per month medium to large organizations.

You can see features that we are considering including in this tier in this issue search.


Using GitLab CI across hundreds or thousands of projects in large enterprises means a greater need for portfolio management and consistency of experience in development practices. This is accomplished by making templates discoverable via gitlab#320698 and a consistent authoring experience such as in these issues. Additionally, the larger the organization the greater the need for regulation and compliance which is where features like Protected Runners captured in gitlab&6058 or better integrations with Compliance Pipelines become especially attractive. Lastly, our core promise for Ultimate tier is enabling users to effectively monitor and best use their 50,000 CI/CD minutes in visualizations such as a energy consumption dashboard via gitlab#325852.

You can see features that we are considering including in this tier in this issue search.


When considering which tier new feature belongs, we use two a buyer-based and thematic model.

The former helps us to consider who the feature is for and the latter to consider how the feature fits within the broader GitLab application. If you are interested, consider reading more about the GitLab pricing strategy.

The below details how we are thinking about each of the tiers and the kinds of features that will be included.


The Free version of the product includes the ability to publish, download, and share dependencies using your GitLab credentials.

We'll focus on usability, reliability, and seamless integrations with GitLab continuous integration and delivery. We will ensure that our product is easy and rewarding to contribute to. We will continue to rely on the GitLab Community to help define and refine our product offering. This includes adding support for new package manager formats.

Roadmap features targeted for tier:


From a buyer perspective, Premium features will be focused on team(s) usage, with the purchasing decision led by one or more Directors. The features in this tier will generally align with the themes

  1. Faster code reviews
  2. Ops insights

Faster code reviews mean that you can deploy and iterate faster. By using GitLab for your project's dependencies, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to verify and validate that a package or container image has been built properly.

But we know that you likely rely on dependencies from a number of remote repositories. That's why we'll be focused on adding support for remote and virtual registries and a generic proxy for container registries. This set of features will ensure that your team can view and manage all of their dependencies in one central location, making code reviews easier and more efficient.

Once your team(s) are using GitLab to manage dependencies, it's important to understand how those dependencies are being used at your organization. That's where the theme of Ops insights comes in. On the roadmap, we have a feature planned to help you measure and display the number of downloads for dependencies.


Directed toward an executive likely buyer, we will focus our efforts here on serving the needs of our larger, enterprise customers. This means introducing features that align with the themes:

  1. Advanced security testing
  2. Compliance

This means that the planned dependency firewall category will fall under this tier.


To support our goals in 2020 and our 3-year strategy, Release will continue enriching the free features while adding tier value. In our adoption journey, the Release features are typically consumed after continuous integration and source code management, so we will work to expand the independent use of continuous delivery features. While investing in the reduction of barrier to entry into Release we will spend time meeting the needs of the Enterprise by adding visibility into the benefits of using GitLab end-to-end.


Release will continue investing in the free solution to reduce the barrier of entry into Release as both as part of additional Gitlab adoption from existing CI users and as an independent solution without needing to use CI or SCM. We will focus on simplifying the process of managing releases and deploying progressively while empowering developers to release independently using GitLab. Roadmap features targeted for this tier include:


As the default paid tier for enterprises, Premium will cater to directors operating a medium to large instance. We'll direct features that solve for typical entry-level enterprise needs: reporting and analytics, operational efficiency, deployment automation, security and compliance, and other needs that are must-haves for medium to large organizations. While this type of organization should be able to get started in GitLab at lower tiers, they won't be able to thrive at scale. Roadmap features targeted for this tier include:


This tier is directed toward an executive likely buyer. Release groups will direct capabilities into Ultimate which serve the organizational needs of a complex enterprise operating a large GitLab instance. We'll focus on features which will help drive compliance into the continuous delivery workflow and shift security left into the development pipelines. Roadmap features targeted for this tier include:




Monitor is a critical component for all software development and operations. The Monitor stage's tier strategy will be broken down by workflow as described below.


To execute our land and expand strategy and to receive as much feedback from our potential user base, Free contains the vast majority of the Monitor features, including metrics, logs, incident management, traces, and error management.



Upcoming premium Monitor functionality include:


Upcoming ultimate Monitor functionality include:

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