Getting Started Guide / Curated Deployment Methods
We offer a lot of choices on how to get started GitLab, which is great. A package based install, docker containers, virtual images, Terraform, GitLab.com and more! Soon we will start having automated cloud deployment support as well, by leveraging tools like CloudFormation and Deployment Manager.
I think we can do a better job of:
- Guiding our customers to our recommended deployment for their use case (self-hosted, SaaS, GKE, etc.)
- Choosing the edition (EE or CE)
- Automating more of the process to enable more of our features by default
- and providing a better out of the box experience
We could accomplish this by asking three simple questions.
- SaaS or Self hosted?
- Where would you like to run GitLab? (GCP, AWS, Azure, or self deploy)
- What type of GitLab installation would you like? (Quickstart, Starter, or Enterprise)
SaaS or Self-hosted
We can "grow into" this one if we want while GitLab.com continues to mature, but it would be nice to have an easy break point here right at the top. This is especially important since some of the plans and licensing changes.
Where would you like to run GitLab?
If self-hosted, we learn where the end user wants to deploy GitLab. By learning this up front, we can provide additional details on the options available for that deployment method.
For example, we may not provide an "Enterprise" deploy option on Google, due to the lack of a managed SQL service. (And Postgres HA not being ready yet.)
For self-hosted, this also provides an opportunity to ask further questions if we would like: Helm, Omnibus, etc.
What type of GitLab installation would you like?
This question tries to drive at what type of install would they like to have.
Do they want a large enterprise install that sets up HA, is highly scalable, but requires (eventually) EEP with higher operating costs?
Or would they like a QuickStart version, which is sized to run within the Free Trial limitations of GCP. (Again, since we know they want to deploy there.)
The panel on the side provides additional color and information on what the deployment looks like, and average running costs if it is on cloud infrastructure. This can help them choose the right solution for them, and get insight into what will be deployed. This also provides an opportunity to link to additional documentation as necessary.