Why should I rent a gitlab runner?

Why You Should Run Your GitLab Runner on a Physical Server

Guénolé Delanoë
August 19, 2023

A well-liked DevOps tool, GitLab, facilitates team collaboration and automates software development procedures. The GitLab Runner, which executes jobs and returns the findings to GitLab, is one of the essential parts of GitLab. The choice of how to run GitLab Runners can significantly affect the performance and stability of your pipelines.‍

It may be alluring to hire a virtual machine and set up your GitLab runner there when thinking about running it. However, you should proceed with care because using virtual machines as your GitLab runner host has a number of drawbacks. Here are a few of the main restrictions:

  • The need to set up and maintain a supervision and alerting stack, which adds to the operational overhead.
  • Performance degradation due to the overhead of virtualization, which can slow down the runner and affect your pipeline's speed.
  • Increased network and storage setting complexity, which can make scaling and optimizing your runner setup more difficult.‍

Even though virtualization technologies have gained popularity lately, operating GitLab Runners on physical servers has a number of benefits.

  1. Performance: Physical servers are capable of providing better performance compared to virtualized environments. Performance is hampered by virtualization because it adds a layer between the hardware and the operating system.
  2. Consistency: Physical servers give a more stable and predictable performance compared to virtualized settings, which can be affected by other virtual machines on the same host.
  3. Physical servers give you direct access to the underlying hardware, allowing you to use all of the resources at your disposal.
  4. Scalability: Virtualized environments may be constrained by the resources on the host, whereas physical servers can be scaled simply by adding new hardware resources.
  5. Security: Physical servers can offer better security compared to virtualized environments as there is no additional layer of virtualization to exploit.
  6. Cost-effectiveness: Physical servers can provide better value for money in terms of performance and scalability, even though virtualized environments may be more cost-effective in terms of utilizing hardware.‍

While the benefits of running GitLab Runners on physical servers are obvious, there are also some challenges involved with maintaining a physical server infrastructure. For example:

  • Maintenance: Physical servers require regular maintenance to guarantee their ongoing performance and stability.
  • Hardware component upgrades on physical servers can be a laborious and disruptive process.
  • Power and cooling: Compared to virtualized environments, physical servers use more power and produce more heat, necessitating specialized power and cooling equipment.
  • Physical server room requirements are greater than those of virtualized environments, which can be problematic in data centers with constrained floor space.‍

Fortunately, Cloud-Runner takes care of all the hassles associated with running a physical server infrastructure. Our managed GitLab Runner service uses network and hardware optimization to provide super-fast pathways. To free you up to concentrate on providing value to your customers, we take care of all the upkeep and upgrades. With a free trial, try our service today and discover the difference for yourself!‍

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