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Decision Kit
Decision Kit

GitLab vs. GitHub for Continuous Delivery

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GitLab vs. GitHub Solutions to Common Technical Decision Maker (TDM) Problems

💚Complete Support 💛Partial Support 💔No Support

TDM Problem The DevOps Solution GitLab GitHub
Simplify cloud native workflow integration Kubernetes Monitoring & Management 💚
Build in integration for Kubernetes Monitoring and Management.
⚠ No Build in integration for Kubernetes Monitoring and Management increasing developer view/touch points.
Lower release risk Dynamic App Preview 💚
Review Apps provides an environment and preview of application before deployment.
⚠ No Dynamic Preview of Applications resulting in increased risk when releasing Apps.
Execute a controlled deployment strategy Progressive Delivery 💚
Customized testing with Feature Flags and advanced deployment techniques like Canary Deployments.
⚠ No native Progressive Delivery features. This requires integrating 3rd party plugins resulting in added cost and technical support gaps.

GitLab CD Capabilities Missing in GitHub

GitLab Capability Features  
Built-in CD No plug-ins or third party components.  
Simplify DevOps process for new team members AutoDevOps recognizes the code and automatically sets up the end to end devops template  
Model and manage large, complex projects and teams Subgroups within Groups to manage large projects, Group File Templates (templates at the group level to drive standardization), Group drop-down in navigation to easily find groups,  
Preview App before Merge to reduce defects, shorten development time Preview changes with review apps. Environments Autostop for review apps  
Cloud Native development K8s Cluster Monitoring, Interactive Web Terminals (connect to K8s, Docker containers and run commands), View K8s pod logs, Deploy boards for environments running on K8s, Container debugging with integrated web terminal  

GitHub CD Limitations

Continuous Delivery
Increase cost due to reduced reusability and limitation
Cannot easily trigger different workflows for staging & prod environment
Lack of support for YAML anchors and aliases
Cannot trigger a new workflow from another workflow using the repository’s GITHUB_TOKEN
Cannot trigger actions via Pull Request Messages/Comment
Enterprise Readiness
Increased security risks, challenges in scalability/performance
Manage secrets at a Team and Organization Level
GitHub Actions requires credentials for accessing Docker Images from a public repository. Works manually through UI.
Making secrets available to builds of forks
GitHub Action support in GitHub Enterprise Server

GitLab Top CD Differentiators

GitLab Capability Features
GItLab CD does not require 3rd party Plugins/tools GitHub Actions requires integrating 3rd party plugins to
initiate the full CD process. These 3rd party plugins can be costly to maintain and support. The Plugin templates will also require a lot of time to understand and edit for proper integration. GitLab can support 3rd party plugins but they are not required.
GitLab has built in Kubernetes Deployment and Monitoring Having the ability to easily add and monitor Kubernetes clusters within the GitLab UI provides a single touch point for you to deploy your apps to the cloud. GitHub Actions Kubernetes integration varies with cluster type and may require configuration outside of the GitHub UI.
GitLab offers Auto CI/CD Pipeline Configuration With GitLab Auto DevOps, you don’t have to go through the steps of configuring your CI/CD pipeline, it will be automatically set up based off of a set of predefined configurations and can be further altered to meet your needs . GitHub Actions does not offer this, setting up your CI-CD pipeline will require you selecting Plugins. Setting up your Kubernetes clusters with Actions also requires extra configuration steps to ensure proper integration.
GitLab offers built in CI-CD Security Scanning which does not require 3rd party Plugins/tools GitHub can integrate Security scanning within the CI process but requires a third party tool ( GitLab offers more security scans throughout the CICD pipeline which are available by default. We can support 3rd party tools for security scanning but they are not necessary.
GitLab’s UI provides a Security Dashboard enabling Security Team collaboration GitLab’s built in Security Dashboard promotes and improves synergy and collaboration within the Security group by providing them with a central view of CI-CD Security issues and also allowing them to communicate with each other on those issue right within the GitLab UI. This CI-CD security team collaboration functions is not available with GitHub Actions.

GitLab vs GitHub CD Configuration Comparison

GitLab GitHub CI Config Chart

GitLab vs GitHub Kubernetes Configuration Comparison

GitLab GitHub CI Config Chart

GitLab vs GitHub CI/CD Security Comparison

GitLab GitHub CI Config Chart

GitLab vs GitHub CI/CD Summary Comparison

GitLab GitHub CI Config Chart