# Environments

# Overview

We offer different environments ranging from fully managed turn key environments to self-managed compute or containers. We recommended our shared demo cloud for most users unless you have use cases that require root access or specific architectural deployments.

Our goal is to make infrastructure provisioning and support easy and allow you to get started quickly and provide you as much admin rights as you need, while centrally managing our cloud provider usage and costs across the team.

# Comparison of Environment Types
Type of Environment Difficulty to Use Support Provided Access Provided
Shared ("Demo Cloud") Easy to Moderate Dedicated Staff GitLab instance user and group
Container Sandbox Moderate to Hard Slack Community Cluster with kubectl rights
Compute Sandbox Moderate to Hard Slack Community AWS/GCP IAM user with dedicated VPC

# Access Request

You do not need to create an access request issue to access the demo systems. We have automated the provisioning of our systems with self-service registration on our demo portal.

To access the demo systems, you can self-register at https://gitlabdemo.com.

# Who Can Access the Demo Environment?

We currently allow registration for all GitLab team members with a @gitlab.com email address. This environment is designed for Customer Success team members, however all GitLab organization team members are welcome to use our environment.

We offer restricted access to specific demo environments using an invitation code redemption system that is used by customers and partners that are enrolled in some of our training classes or workshops.

# Shared Environment ("Demo Cloud")

Replacement for i2p

This environment provides a direct replacement for our legacy i2p (idea-to-production) demo systems that were deprecated in March 2020.

The demo systems that we call the GitLab Demo Cloud provides a perpetual shared GitLab instance that is used for demos and collaborating with other team members with example projects that showcase the features and solutions that GitLab offers. The GitLab Demo Cloud is comparable to our hosted gitlab.com SaaS service, however it allows greater flexibility for demonstration and sandbox purposes without affecting our production environment.

The GitLab Demo Cloud provides you access to Ultimate license features with your own user account and an organizational group that you can use for creating projects and child groups. We also support integrations with Kubernetes, Jenkins, JIRA and other 3rd party integrations.

Learn more about the Shared Environment ("Demo Cloud")

# Container Sandbox Environments

When you're experimenting with containers, it can be daunting and expensive to manage your own Kubernetes clusters.

We offer easy provisioning of ephemeral clusters and containers for sandbox purposes that provide root-level access to GitLab instances and related resources that don't need a full environment deployed in our compute sandbox, AWS, or GCP.

Learn more about the Container Sandbox

# Compute Sandbox Environments

When you need many cloud provider services to accomplish your goals, our compute sandbox provides you with access to a GCP and/or AWS account to deploy the compute resources, serverless or other managed services that you need.

You are responsible for all resources that you create and the demo systems team offers minimal to no support for the compute environments aside from access control and cost controls.

As a rule of thumb, this is a "do whatever you need to" environment, with a few "rules of the road" for cost management and security controls.

Learn more about the Compute Sandbox

# Frequently Asked Questions

# Can I use my own cloud provider account and expense it?

The rule of thumb is that you should use our managed environment if it serves your needs, and use your own environment for any gaps or use cases that we cannot support. We try to serve 80% of the needs of the team, and encourage you to make a judgement call for the 20% of other use cases.

If there is something that you cannot do with our managed environments, it is best practice to discuss your needs with the @demo-systems-admins in #demo-systems on Slack or by creating an issue so that we can document and understand your use case to help improve our offerings. We may have a workaround or recommended alternative solution or infrastructure script that is easier than creating something from scratch.

We don't want to get in the way of you being able to do your job, so if we aren't able to reasonably support you, you can "do your own thing" without needing approval from @demo-systems-admins.

To help our accounting team and avoid expense reports on your end, we encourage you to use our compute sandbox environments when possible for centralized billing and expense reasons. If there are restrictions on our compute sandbox environments that you cannot work around, you can use your own cloud provider account and add your (reasonable) monthly bill to an expense report.

If you're not sure, simply ask @demo-systems-admins in #demo-systems and we'll be happy to help.

# Can I buy a home server and expense it for demo purposes?

No, unless you have approval from your manager, an exception granted by @demo-systems-admins, approval from Security Ops, approval from finance, approval from your reporting VP for a capital expenditure, and enduring scrutiny for not adhering to our efficiency values.

If you buy a home server using your own money, that's your business, however you cannot store any RED or YELLOW data on the server per GitLab's data security policies.

In short, this is a headache that's not worth it for work purposes, however it's perfectly fine for open source and home projects.

Please reach out to @demo-systems-admins for advice on how to accomplish what you're trying to do. We're happy to point you in the right direction to stick with the company values of efficiency and helping maintain a strong security posture, even if it's not using our managed environments.

# Can I use my own home server?

Yes, however your mileage may vary and you should know what you're doing. Naturally we are not able to offer any support for what you do with your own environment.

Remember that you cannot store any RED or YELLOW data on your home server or non-GitLab hardware assets per GitLab's data security policies.

# Can I use a VM or container on my laptop?

Yes, however your mileage may vary and you should know what you're doing. Naturally we are not able to offer any support for what you do with your own environment.