Why should I rent a gitlab runner?

How can I improve the performance of my gitlab runners?

Guénolé Delanoë
February 14, 2023

What is Gitlab?

Gitlab is a powerful, open-source software that can be used for managing projects and code. It was created by the company of the same name.

Gitlab is a software development platform that has a Git-based repository and provides CI/CD services. It was first created by Dmitriy Zaporozhets in 2011 and is an open-source Ruby on Rails application.

Many businesses, including IBM, Sony, NASA, Facebook, and SpaceX, use Gitlab.

What are Gitlab runners?

Gitlab runners are a tool that can be used for continuous integration and delivery. They are a component of the Gitlab CI/CD system, a collection of tools for streamlining the processes of software engineering and software development.

Gitlab runners can deploy applications to any environment, run tests, and carry out commands. They offer a lot more flexibility than their competitors because they can be used with any language or framework.

Gitlab runners are a very useful tool for developers who want to automate their process. Instead of investing time in time-consuming activities like testing and deployment, they enable developers to concentrate on creating new features.

What's up with my slow runners?

There are several reasons why runners can be slow. Lack of resources, such as CPU or memory, is one of the most obvious. If a runner is running on an underpowered machine, it will struggle to complete jobs quickly, especially if those jobs are CPU or memory intensive. Similar to this, downloading dependencies and artifacts will take longer if a runner is running on a machine with constrained network bandwidth, slowing down the pipeline.

Network pressure is another frequent factor in slow runners. The pipeline may become congested if multiple runners are vying for the same network resources, such as a shared file system or database. Additionally, if the runner is running in a cloud environment, network latency can also be an issue.

If you're struggling with slow GitLab runners, you're not alone. Many users face this issue due to various reasons, such as CPU limitations, low memory, or network pressure. To get a clearer understanding of why your runners might be slow, check out our article on the topic. We discuss typical causes and offer pointers for enhancing performance.

How can I make my gitlab jobs go faster?

You should use baremetal servers to run your gitlab runners and optimize your network in order to decrease the number of jobs generated by gitlab.

We know that one in every three minutes someone’s website breaks down and it takes 99% more to recover. You need something better because each sudden increase in latency or throughput affects a recovery process that is already only partially effective. You should always deploy your runners in data centers with 10 Gbps backbone for optimal performance to ensure your gitlab ci has enough resilience and stability margins to withstand failures brought on by scalability issues, unpredictable business traffic, connectivity cuts and other incidents.‍

Also, the use of a baremetal server could result in a substantial increase in processing power (Why should I run my gitlab runner on a physical server?).

Physical servers without virtualization are known as baremetal servers. They have the highest performance and the lowest overhead. The bare metal server has a lot of benefits such as faster IO, lower latency, better hardware utilization, and more control over the hardware resources.

A baremetal server is a physical server that does not run any hypervisor, so it can achieve higher performance than a virtual machine (VM) - up to 10%. It also has lower latency because there is no OS to boot up before running your runner.

In comparison to virtual machines, bare metal servers are also very performant. This is due to the fact that virtual machines share resources with other VMs on the same physical host, whereas baremetal servers allow you to use all of the server's resources. The operating system is installed on a physical machine rather than a virtual one, which is another benefit of baremetal servers. The benefit of this is that it can access all the hardware and has higher performance than virtual machines.‍

Check out our comprehensive tutorial on how to configure a GitLab runner if you're interested in setting up your own GitLab runner. It includes everything from installation to configuration and optimization for improved performance.‍

Check out our high performance gitlab runners offers if you prefer not to spend a lot of time setting up your own gitlab runner.‍