French telecom FullSave uses GitLab to reduce DevOps toolchain and dramatically multiply deployments
FullSave, a telecommunications infrastructure operator based in France, is able to release software faster and more efficiently with GitLab's DevSecOps Platform.
A change in the licensing model of the company's previous issue tracking and project management tool, plus a desire to consolidate their toolchain, pushed FullSave to switch to GitLab.
FullSave is a telecommunications infrastructure operator based in Labège, France. Founded in 2004, the private company has about 100 employees and provides connectivity services, cloud infrastructure, and shared hosting in its data centers. It also deploys and operates its own fiber network and offers adapted internet access services.
FullSave has a history with GitLab. While the company has used several other DevOps tools for more than five years, it has also been using different versions of GitLab’s platform, such as the free version and the Enterprise edition. For instance, seven developers used the free version to deploy 302 projects, along with managing about 100 issues and 50 merge requests per month. Other teams used GitLab to exchange source code and configuration files with customers, to build and launch network and data center tools, and to automate project deployments and Docker builds.
FullSave faced several challenges that were causing development and deployment slowdowns.
The company’s policy is to host its own tools but its previous tool’s new licensing model did not allow for self-hosting. As FullSave was met with this licensing issue, the company’s IT managers also recognized that they needed to replace their DevOps toolchain with a single, end-to-end DevOps platform for better CI/CD integration, to reduce complexity and boost productivity. They also knew that a single application would give them the issue and commit traceability they needed to obtain an ISO27001 certification, an internationally recognised standard that deals with the overall management of information security.
Going all in with GitLab’s platform was an easy decision for FullSave.
“We’ve been using GitLab for several years as it had all the features we needed,” says Laurent Lavallade, chief technology officer at FullSave. “This helped us consolidate from the use of several tools to a single platform that had all the features integrated within it. Switching to GitLab’s Enterprise edition was the natural next step.”
GitLab checked all of their boxes. And FullSave’s IT professionals were familiar with everything the platform brings to the table – increased collaboration, efficiency, security, and automation.
In their last environment, integration between FullSave’s previous tool and GitLab did work but it did not work as well, or as efficiently, as simply using GitLab’s single, end-to-end platform alone.
By replacing FullSave’s old issue tracking and project management tool and upgrading to GitLab Ultimate SaaS, FullSave has been able to take on its biggest DevOps challenges.
For instance, developers previously were merging issues directly into the development branch. But thanks to GitLab's merge request workflow, FullSave has been able to solve challenges around the validation of code changes and increase efficiency.
Collaboration across teams also has improved with GitLab. Issue dependencies, for example, help front-end and back-end teams see where a project stands, know when they need one another, and communicate more readily and easily. That kind of collaboration helps team members share responsibilities and reduces individual efforts. It also increases everyone’s overview of a project and the progress it’s making along its lifecycle.
By more fully adopting GitLab’s single platform, FullSave has been able to improve communication, collaboration, and efficiencies in both development and deployment. All of this eased their entire software development lifecycle.
One of the biggest improvements FullSave’s team has seen is in the speed of development and deployment. Before expanding their use of GitLab, they generally saw deployments only two or three times a month. Now, they are deploying software many times a day, and those deployments are a lot cleaner. Previously, many deployments were done manually, but now with GitLab’s deployment automation, there has been a noticeable reduction in errors and deployment time has been slashed from two to three hours to a few minutes.
Increased use of GitLab is:
- Decreasing integration issues and errors
- Improving software quality
- Increasing code output
- Simplifying software development processes and workflow
- Enabling FullSave to obtain their ISO27001 certification, which some of its customers require them to have
- Facilitating collaboration
- Helping staff plan and build roadmaps and custom boards
The company has experienced a lot of benefits to handling so many parts of the software lifecycle within a single platform, instead of relying on a complex toolchain. GitLab’s all-in-one solution empowers FullSave’s developers and gives them clarity over projects and how they are progressing, so team members can see where they stand and how they can contribute.
And by enabling collaboration and making developers’ work more efficient, team members now have additional time to create more, and better software products with increased security. For a small team like the one at FullSave, that means they are able to maintain more projects because they use GitLab.
All information and persons involved in case study are accurate at the time of publication.