GitLab introduces user limits for Free users on SaaS

Maybe you could offer a $40/user/year tier and give only everything in the FREE tier minus the 5 user per namespace limitation? $228/user/year is pretty rough jump

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Hey there, I am not intimately familiar with your use case but if your projects are within the same group then you would only need to submit 1 application which would be renewed annually as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the program.

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Hi @tboby,

We appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective.

Regarding your question about our plans to notify impacted users: In addition to today’s blogpost, all impacted namespaces will be notified in-app of the coming changes to user limits for the free SaaS offering in the coming weeks. Those who still have yet to respond to the in-app notification will also receive an email notification. We have an MR created to add this clarification to the FAQ as well.

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This is way too expensive, you’ll need to bring back the $5 starter plan. GitHub and Atlassian offerings are much cheaper now.
It’s too easy for a small business to go over 5 users when you include testers and part time/casual workers. Sounds like if people are wanting to keep using Gitlab in this category, self hosted CE is the way to go.

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Hi @philpem,

We appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective.

We understand the desire for an email to inform you of the coming changes to user limits. In addition to today’s blog post announcement, namespaces impacted by this change will receive an in-product notification in the coming weeks. Those who do not engage with the in-app notification will also receive an email notification approximately 4 weeks prior to the effective date.

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Hi @balonik,

Thanks for the feedback. We thought long and hard about this and as costs to maintain the free product continue to grow we did our best to find a balance of continuing to offer our free SaaS offering while still working to improve the economics of our business.

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Hi @awulf
Thank you for sharing your feedback. We understand this is a concern for you.

Be assured it was not an easy decision. We thought long and hard about this and as costs to maintain the free product continue to grow we did our best to find a balance of continuing to offer our free SaaS offering while still working to improve the economics of our business.

May we recommend you to contact our team so they can guide you on your options?

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Hi @chrisgo - Thanks for your input. We will share this feedback with our pricing team.

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Thanks for the fast response!

My use case are game jams but I think it similarly applies to hackathons or student projects. Multiple times a year, the team changes (though it may have some overlap).

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can you make the cost analysis public that lead to this decision? I cannot see it mentioned in the blog post.

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Hi @winniehell we appreciate your interest to work with us on this.

While we try to make many things public because transparency is one of our values, some things, including financial information like this, can’t be made public because we are a public company. Here are a list of things we consider internal, some of which is limited access internally too.

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Hi @winniehell - if all these projects are within the same group and all the projects are public open source, you only need one application which will be renewed annually - as long as you meet the requirements. We are in process of automating the onboarding process for the Open Source program to support users.

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Hello,
We are a small startup started in may 2020, with limited fundings and honestly, I don’t see any other choices then moving out to gitlab.
With 8 devs, we are barely above the limit.
Also, we are not eligible to the startup program since we raised more than 3m$ in seed, however, we are an hardware and infrastructure business, and most of this money goes to raw materials (which has already drastically increased), chips, shipping, and field operations. I understand that for a SaaS business, 3m is a lot, for effectively building physical stuff, it’s another story. We do everything in house, with devs which are not only devs, but also goes on the street to fix our stuff, du customer support, etc. We are far from making money (totaled billed is around 3keur now)
It’s a shame, since we committed a lot of time having stuff running on gitlab on our own runners. We don’t need anything from the premium tier, but I see no other option. And quite frankly, if we do the move, we will never come back.

Regards

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I work for a team of five people that does contract software development, and we’re using GitLab to store all of our source code. Under the new plan, you’d think we could keep using it for free… but we also use GitLab to distribute source code to our clients by inviting them to the specific projects or sub-groups that belong to them, and the result is that we actually have over 20 “users” in our namespace.

If I’m understanding this correctly, that means we’ll end up paying over $5,000/year for the same level of functionality, which is ridiculous when we could do the same thing with GitHub for free and we don’t need any of the Premium-tier features. We would even be fine with paying for licenses for just our five developers, but being expected to buy a license for every user for every client we interact with, all of whom only need read-only access to clone the repository or access build artifacts, just isn’t feasible.

Is there any alternative here, or are we just going to have to move off of GitLab?

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Just another small note on potentially confusing messaging around this change:

  1. GitLab Pricing implies that the 5 user limit will be applied to self-hosted “Free” tier. It says “5 users per namespace” under the button that leads to the install page for GitLab self-hosted free.

  2. As absurd as this seems now that I’ve gone back and re-read the announcement and FAQ: It was genuinely not clear to me that self-hosted was exempt from the limit.
    2.1. https://about.gitlab.com/blog/2022/03/24/efficient-free-tier/: “Free and paid self-managed subscriptions” → Self-hosting GitLab is not a subscription. It’s hosting a piece of open source software. No contract is required is it?
    2.2 “Organizations impacted by this change should consider” vs “Free tier users using GitLab […] should”: I’m a free tier user impacted by this, but I’m not an organisation, so it wasn’t clear that paragraph was applicable to me as a non-corporate entity.
    2.3 " the free tier of the self-managed offering and community programs - including GitLab for Open Source, Education and Startups users" The missing oxford comma actually confused me…

Would it be silly to ask for a migration table/flowchart? Because of the confusing terms “self-managed subscription” or “self-managed offering” it’s very hard to parse.

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Hi @littleski I understand this must be difficult for you. Thanks for raising your concern here.

May we recommend you to contact our team so they can guide you on options?

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Hi @tboby thanks for sharing.

  1. Are you referring to the Get Started button on the pricing page? The 5 users per namespace has a link that takes you to the FAQ which says “User limits for the free tier of GitLab SaaS”.

2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 are updated as per this MR

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Hmm, this is possibly a more general problem with the “Pricing” page being the summary for both SaaS and self-managed but not making it clear which aren’t relevant to each line of products.

Presumably Premium Self-Managed doesn’t come with 10,000 CI/CD minutes? You could argue that summary box (with no footnote mark for that item) implies it does, and I can’t think of a good non-technical reason you couldn’t make the global shared runners available to self-hosted. (I know in practice the way runners are registered makes it impossible right?).

The FAQ text for user limits explains when the limits will apply from; it doesn’t explicitly say the limit doesn’t apply at all to self-managed.

Awesome, thanks for reacting so rapidly!

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Tried that. They did not really provide any option. It’s either we pay, or we go on premise. Seems like there is no really good choice but to move to github.

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Our research group publishes all repos as public eventually, but we sometimes need to keep them private until they are published in scientific journals. That puts us out of the program and forces us to look for an alternative.

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