Self-Hosted GitLab Server

When HSE started out, the cloud-hosted instance of GitLab served all of our needs perfectly. Today, we’ve outgrown that shared infrastructure and are moving to a self-managed GitLab installation hosted in a German data center. This ensures the highest standards of data privacy and security and gives us more flexibility for our future expansion.

HSE's GitLab Server hosted in Germany
HSE’s GitLab Server hosted in Germany

Privacy benefits

We wanted to move our customers’ data from the laissez-faire world of US privacy to the equivalent of a Swiss bank vault. If that bank vault were located in the EU.

All our customers’ data will now be safe and sound, stored on a server dedicated exclusively to ourselves, privately hosted in a high-end data center right here in Hanover, Germany, by a German hosting company. In addition to the strict EU-wide GDPR laws, the German Federal Data Protection Act further strengthens privacy.

Our customers’ intellectual property is safe with us.

What we have to do

  • We will export all our groups’ projects (i.e. repositories) from gitlab.com and import them back into our new server at code.hampel-soft.com. While some of this can be automated, we will have to set various details manually. Please be patient if we miss a thing here or there.
  • We’ll also have to update many of the settings that currently point to (or from) gitlab.com. That includes all our CI/CD settings (runners and variables), services like PlantUML, but also new features that we could not use before like Profiling and Metrics.
  • After successfully migrating the projects themselves, we have to update all our documentation. That includes our website, our dokuwiki and our open source landing page. Part of that can be again automated, but again we’ll have to make sure manually that we didn’t miss anything. Furthermore, we need to update all the readme’s and other documentation inside our repositories and also update and links contained in our VI packages’ description.
  • The last step will be to update all the repositories on our local machines (see below). We’re hoping that this won’t affect us too much, we can do that as we go in the coming days and weeks.

What you have to do

Not that much! Apart from peace of mind, you can expect the same level of quality and comfort. The main difference will be a new URL: Instead of gitlab.com/hampel-soft, we will be using the much simpler code.hampel-soft.com.

Recreate your user account

You will have to create a new login for our site. To keep things simple, feel free to use your old username and email.

HSE GitLab Registration
Registering at HSE’s GitLab Server

Don’t forget to upload your public SSH key, too:

HSE GitLab SSH Keys
Add you SSH keys via Preferences (top right corner) -> SSH Keys (left navigation)

Update your local configuration

Beware that you will have to update the origin URL of each repository on your local computer(s)!

Basically, it’s as simple as typing in the git-remote command (git remote set-url) into your terminal to update the origin of your repository.

For example, updating the URL to our hampelsoft-test repository would look like this:

$ git remote set-url origin git@code.hampel-soft.com:hse-labs/hampelsoft-test.git

If you’re using Git Fork (like us), then updating the origin would look something like this:

Update Git Remote How To
Updating your repo’s origin in Git Fork

Timeline

The migration took place over the weekend of 13/08-14/08. If you’re feeling curious, check out the new server at

code.hampel-soft.com

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