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Atlassian Bamboo

Decision Kit

Decision Kit

Atlassian Bamboo Summary

What is Atlassian Bamboo used for? Bamboo Server is a CI/CD solution which is part of the Atlassian suite of developer tools. It is available only in a self-managed configuration and is a closed source solution. Bamboo offers build, test, and deployment automation, and has tight integrations to Atlassian Bitbucket (for SCM) and Fisheye (for understanding how source code has changed), as well as integrations to over 150 other tools. In contrast, GitLab offers a git-based SCM, SCM integrations, and code change traceability out of the box in a single application.

Bamboo offers a GUI for defining build plans, and offers pipeline as code through Java and Yaml. Bamboo also offers deployment plans (which include the notion of environments and releases), pre-deployment visibility, and per-environment deployment permissions. GitLab also offers release tracking across environments and deep visibility into the changes in a deployment, but sets deployment permissions based on branch permissions.

Bamboo does not offer monitoring. GitLab includes monitoring as part of its single application.

Bamboo steps can be run in parallel across agents, and those agents can be auto-scaled based on need if Bamboo is configured for a feature called Elastic Bamboo. Elastic Bamboo requires the use of “remote agents”, which you pay extra for (see pricing). Organizations who want auto-scaling are also locked in to using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and paying Amazon separately for their usage. In contrast, GitLab does not charge per remote agent (runner) and scales with a variety of cloud and container solutions.


  • Extending the native functionality of Bamboo is done through plugins. Plugins are expensive to maintain, secure, and upgrade. In contrast, GitLab is open core and anyone can contribute changes directly to the codebase, which once merged would be automatically tested and maintained with every change.


  • Discussion from HackerNews article about Atlassian not allowing benchmarking > Atlassian has always forbidden to talk about the performance of their products in their ToS and in their previous EULA. We all know why, but we don’t talk about it.

  • From Twitter:

  • From Bamboo open Issues

    • Issue: If I want to use git submodules then I shouldn’t have to upload and configure SSH keys on each Bamboo Agent.
      • Key text: “Bamboo requires separate Git authentication for submodules. This involves either using HTTPS for submodules and providing the credentials through the job’s environment variables, or configuring separate SSH keys on each build agent. Using HTTPS would render local builds unusable, requiring credentials every time. Adding SSH keys to every Bamboo agent is unmaintainable. . . . This reason, among others is a large part of why we have migrated away from Bamboo. We now use Gitlab and Gitlab CI for much better Docker and git support.”
      • Link: Bamboo Issue in Jira



  • Price page
  • Bamboo Pricing Guide (includes price additions for remote agents, and academic pricing)
  • Small Teams - $10/month - only 10 jobs and no remote agents
  • Growing Teams - $880/month - unlimited jobs, 1 remote agent
  • pricing increase in tiers by # remote agents (1, 5, 10, 25, 100, 250, 500, 1000) (see Bamboo Pricing Guide for prices)
  • First purchase includes perpetual software and 1 yr maintenance. Yearly cost for maintenance is approximately 50% of initial remote agent tier cost. (e.g. 1st year @25 remote agents = $8,800, second year maintenance = $4,400)
Feature Comparison

Built-in CI/CD

GitLab has built-in Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery, for free, no need to install it separately. Use it to build, test, and deploy your website (GitLab Pages) or webapp. The job results are displayed on merge requests for easy access.

Learn more about CI/CD

Runs with less memory and consumes less CPU power

Uses little memory, it runs fine with 512MB. Uses little CPU power since Go is a compiled language

Application performance monitoring

GitLab collects and displays performance metrics for deployed apps, leveraging Prometheus. Developers can determine the impact of a merge and keep an eye on their production systems, without leaving GitLab.

Learn more about monitoring deployed apps

GitLab Self-monitoring

GitLab comes out of the box enabled for Prometheus monitoring with extensive instrumentation, making it easy to ensure your GitLab deployment is responsive and healthy.

Learn more about GitLab self-monitoring

Project Level Value Stream Analytics

GitLab provides a dashboard that lets teams measure the time it takes to go from planning to monitoring. GitLab can provide this data because it has all the tools built-in: from the idea, to the CI, to code review, to deploy to production.

Learn more about Value Stream Analytics

Group Level Value Stream Analytics

GitLab provides a group dashboard that lets teams measure the time it takes to go from planning to monitoring. GitLab can provide this data because it has all the tools built-in: from the idea, to the CI, to code review, to deploy to production.

Learn more about Value Stream Analytics

Preview your changes with Review Apps

With GitLab CI/CD you can create a new environment for each one of your branches, speeding up your development process. Spin up dynamic environments for your merge requests with the ability to preview your branch in a live environment. Review Apps support both static and dynamic URLs.

Learn more about Review Apps

CI/CD Horizontal Autoscaling

GitLab CI/CD cloud native architecture can easily scale horizontally by adding new nodes if the workload increases. GitLab Runners can automatically spin up and down new containers to ensure pipelines are processed immediately and minimize costs.

Learn more about GitLab CI/CD Horizontal Autoscaling

CI/CD Pipelines Dashboard

Visualize the history and current status of pipelines across projects and groups all in a single dashboard that can be customized for each user.

Learn more about Cross-Project Pipelines in the Operations Dashboard

Cloud Native

GitLab and its CI/CD is Cloud Native, purpose built for the cloud model. GitLab can be easily deployed on Kubernetes and used to deploy your application to Kubernetes with support out of the box.

Kubernetes integration

Container debugging with an integrated web terminal

Easily debug your containers in any of your environments using the built-in GitLab Web Terminal. GitLab can open a terminal session directly from your environment if your application is deployed on Kubernetes. This is a very powerful feature where you can quickly debug issues without leaving the comfort of your web browser.

Learn more about the web terminal

Comprehensive pipeline graphs

Pipelines can be complex structures with many sequential and parallel jobs. To make it a little easier to see what is going on, you can view a graph of a single pipeline and its status.

Learn more about pipeline graphs

Online visualization of HTML artifacts

Access your test reports, code quality and coverage information directly from your browser, with no need to download them locally.

Learn more about using job artifacts in your project

Browsable artifacts

With GitLab CI you can upload your job artifacts in GitLab itself without the need of an external service. Because of this, artifacts are also browsable through GitLab’s web interface.

Learn more about using job artifacts in your project

Latest artifacts locked to prevent deletion

The latest artifact of a successful job and pipeline on any active branch, MR, or tag is automatically locked to prevent being deleted. This makes it possible to set an aggressive expiration policy to clean up older artifacts, reduce disk space consumption, and ensure the latest artifact is always available. This default behavior is configurable at the project level and can be disabled in project settings.

Learn more about job artifacts expiration

Scheduled triggering of pipelines

You can make your pipelines run on a schedule in a cron-like environment.

Learn how to trigger pipelines on a schedule in GitLab

Code Quality MR Widget

Code Quality reports are available in the merge request widget area, giving you early insights into how the change will affect the health of your code before deciding if you want to accept it.

Learn more about Code Quality

Code Quality Reports

Full Code Quality reports are available on the pipeline page, showing areas of the codebase that do not meet the organization’s preferred style or standards.

Learn more about Code Quality reports

Code Quality violation notices in MR diffs

Code Quality violations introduced in a merge request are annotated in the merge request diff view to detail how the code quality could decrease if merged.

Learn more about Code Quality in MR diffs

Multi-project pipeline graphs

With multi-project pipeline graphs you can see how upstream and downstream pipelines are linked together for projects that are linked to others via triggers as part of a more complex design, as it is for micro-services architecture.

Learn more about multi-project pipeline graphs

Protected variables

You can mark a variable as “protected” to make it available only to jobs running on protected branches, therefore only authorized users can get access to it.

Learn how to use protected variables

Environments and deployments

GitLab CI is capable of not only testing or building your projects, but also deploying them in your infrastructure, with the added benefit of giving you a way to track your deployments. Environments are like tags for your CI jobs, describing where code gets deployed.

Learn more about environments

Per-environment permissions

Developers and QA can deploy to their own environments on demand while production stays locked down. Build engineers and ops teams spend less time servicing deploy requests, and can gate what goes into production.

Learn about protected branches in GitLab

Environments history

Environments history allows you to see what is currently being deployed on your servers, and to access a detailed view for all the past deployments. From this list you can also re-deploy the current version, or even rollback an old stable one in case something went wrong.

Learn more about history of an environment

Environment-specific variables

Limit the environment scope of a variable by defining which environments it can be available for.

Learn how to configure environment-specific variables

Group-level variables

Define variables at the group level and use them in any project in the group.

Learn how to configure variables

Show code coverage rate for your pipelines

GitLab is able to parse job output logs and search, via a customizable regex, any information created by tools like SimpleCov to get code coverage. Data is automatically available in the UI and also as a badge you can embed in any HTML page or publish using GitLab Pages.

Learn how to generate and show code coverage information in GitLab

Support for multiple Kubernetes clusters

Easily deploy different environments, like Staging and Production, to different Kubernetes clusters. This allows to enforce strict data separation.

Read more in the docs

Bad test quarantine

Don’t let red builds become the norm. Across all tests, keep flaky or broken tests out of sight (but not out of mind), and keep the build green with one-click quarantine of tests.

Read more on the issue