GitLab 8.5 Brings Improved Performance, Todos, and Geo-Replication

by Sergio De Simone on Mar 02, 2016 |

GitLab 8.5 brings a host of new features and improvements, including a significant performance boost, especially when running very large instances; Todos, a new feature aimed to help keep track of pending tasks for developers; and GitLab Geo, only available for GitLab Enterprise Edition, that supports geo-replication to improve performance for geographically distributed teams.

Speaking of performance, GitLab touts a performance improvement of at least 1.4 times up to 1.6 times for 99th percentile response times, roughly meaning that the worst 1% of measured response times show that improvement. For slower pages, though, the improvement can be even higher than that, e.g., very large issues load up to 3.5 times faster. This is in itself a big achievement, and the GitLab team is committed to making GitLab fast again . Yet, in the performance area, GitHub has still the lead, by sporting a 414ms 98th percentile, as opposed to GitLabs’s 1.5–2 seconds 95th percentile.

Todos are a new feature that aims to automatically manage a list of to-do items. Todos are created for any issue or merge request that is assigned to a developer, and automatically set as done when the developer updates the issue, carries the merge out, etc.

GitLab Geo aims to speed up fetching of large repositories for geographically distributed teams by enabling GitLab mirror instances. A mirror is used to clone and fetch repositories, or generally read data, while pushing, or generally writing data, is always carried through against the main GitLab instance. GitLab Geo is still in alpha and is only included with GitLab Enterprise Edition.

Other notable improvements in GitLab 8.5 are:

  • GitLab Pages allows to host static websites associated to custom domains and TLS certificates;
  • GitLab’s UI makes it now uttermost easy to revert to any commit;
  • Labels are now shown in the milestone view;
  • SVGs can be rendered in diffs;
  • GitLab API now provides two new endpoints: runners and build artifacts.

For a list of all recent changes in GitLab, check version 8.5 and 8.5.1 changelog.

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