Difference between GitLab.com managed shared runners and user registered shared runners in their own instances should be more clear.
Problem to solve
Currently, our documentation and other public communication are not entirely clear about the difference between a Community Shared Runners (managed by Gitlab used through CI minutes quotas in GitLab.com) vs Runners configured by the customer but that are tagged as Shared and used in a Shared setting in their own Gitlab instance (generic Runners that pick non-specific jobs)?
For example, this page in the Runner documentation (https://docs.gitlab.com/runner/) only explains the process of installing and registering a Runner, which makes sense. The page explains that " You can only register a shared Runner if you have admin access to the GitLab instance." However, it doesn't tell that GitLab.com itself is an instance that gives shared runners to community users.
I suspect this is not a reported problem or confusion by customers because the natural flow of the product allows them to figure out this by themselves or never get the two things mixed. Since Gitlab.com out of the box works with the Gitlab managed Runners, there's no need for a customer to dig deeper into this until they realize that they want to bring their own specific runners.
At this point is where documentation is very vague when explaining the benefits of one or the other, the differences, and what applies to GitLab.com vs. Self-Hosted GitLab.
Another potentially problematic area for this is when a user migrates from managing their instance to using GitLab.com. In this case, the meaning of a "Shared Runner" stops making sense.
Example of an article that mentions "Shared Runners" that is referring to the GitLab.com managed runners:
Example of documentation that mentions "Shared Runners" that is referring to the GitLab.com managed runners:
Example of documentation that mentions "Shared Runners" that is referring to the GitLab instance runners registered by the user:
References to "Shared Runners" in Self-Hosted:
References to "Shared Runners" in GitLab.com:
Still brainstorming this. This is an area of potential confusion so anything that we can do moving forward to be more clear about this would be helpful.
One potential clarification that might be worth exploring is adding some disclaimer that shows when a Runner is managed by GitLab (in GitLab.com):
Who can address the issue
- Technical Writers