What is a GitLab license manager?

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GitLab is one of America’s fastest-growing private software firms. The firm offers a central server that handles Git repositories and is used to streamline administrative work for numerous organizations across the world. GitLab is used by well-known firms such as IBM, Goldman Sachs, NASA, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, NVIDIA, and many others.  

About GitLab

GitLab Inc. was founded in 2014 to continue the development of Dmytro Zaporozhets’ open-source code-sharing platform, which he debuted in 2011. Sytse Sijbrandij, the company’s other co-founder, first contributed to the initiative before deciding to form a business around it in 2012.

From freemium to paid licenses

In the beginning, GitLab was available as a free and open-source product under the MIT License. In mid-2013, the software was separated into two versions: Community Edition and Enterprise Edition. The GitLab EE licensing model was updated, although the source code remained publicly accessible, whereas the GitLab CE licensing model remained untouched. GitLab stated in 2017 that their code would be entirely open-source under an MIT License.

Screenshot of GitLab’s pricing

GitLab promises to deliver a DevSecOps platform that allows developers to improve team efficiency and reduce coding time. The enterprise edition comes with a free tier that provides access to essential features for individual users, but purchasing a paid license enables access to a wider toolset for better planning and faster app deployment. The Premium plan costs $29 per user per month, while the Ultimate plan is $99 per user per month.

OpenLM supports GitLab

OpenLM supports more than 70 license managers, including GitLab. This allows IT managers to monitor the organization’s GitLab license portfolio alongside other applications and obtain usage data in the signature single-common report format we provide. With OpenLM’s SLM solution, professionals will have up-to-date information about the number of licenses, their usage, and license denials, and will also be informed about subscription expiration dates.

OpenLM supports GitLab license monitoring

Why monitor GitLab licenses? 

Managing the number of users in relation to the number of subscription seats may be difficult. GitLab bills its customers based on the user count included in the number of subscription seats. Every user is considered a billable user, with a few exceptions, such as deactivated or blocked users, those pending approval, and the like. Since an active subscription allows admins to add and remove users at any time, things can get out of control. If you add more users to your GitLab instance than you are entitled to as per the agreement, you will pay the overage at the time of renewal.

See the license usage

Each organization has its own specific team dynamics, which also affects license usage. For example, if there is a big project, and the number of users included in the subscription is insufficient, you need to add more. While you can add users to your subscription at any time as long as your subscription is valid, professionals like you need to know whether or not those licenses are being used by the developers. 

GitLab gives you two options to pay the bill: annually or quarterly. The annual review of license usage is known as the “annual true-up process.” For users added at any point during the year, you must pay the entire yearly subscription charge. The quarterly review (or reconciliation, as they call it) gives the option to save some money on software costs. With this method, you pay only for the remainder of your membership term.

Pick the right invoicing

It makes sense to monitor GitLab licenses and pick the right invoicing term based on the data you have about license usage. Here is an example: Assume you acquired a yearly license for 100 users in January. This graph depicts your consumption throughout the course of the year. The number of users fluctuated up to a maximum of 120. If you have selected yearly billing, you have to pay the yearly license for the extra 20 users. If we say a license costs $100 per user, that’s $2,000.

User fluctuation example. Image source: GitLab

With quarterly billing, things get a bit more complicated, but there is an option to save on software costs. However, the main idea is not to exceed the number of billable users included in the account. 

Prepare for renewal 

OpenLM helps you prepare for renewal by reviewing your GitLab account information. You can query the data using the same easy-to-understand user interface you use to monitor and manage other software licenses, and when the renewal data arrives you will always know how many licenses you need. 

By proving you with license utilization data, OpenLM helps you identify stale GitLab accounts, which brings two substantial benefits: (1) stale accounts are still billable accounts, so by eliminating them, you avoid paying the renewal for too many users; and (2) eliminate security risks, as unused accounts are the easiest way hackers can access your network under the radar. 

Are you ready to monitor GitLab licenses? Sign up for OpenLM SLM today!

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