JetBrains Space on-premises released in beta, Kubernetes all-but required

JetBrains has released a beta version of Space on-premises.

Space is described as an “all in one solution for software teams” and is already available as a hosted solution. Features include Git-based repositories, code review, continuous delivery pipelines, package management. However, the most eye-catching feature of the hosted version, the ability to start up remote development environments and connect to them using a JetBrains IDE, is not yet available in the beta. “We’re planning to support them later with the public release,” the company told us.

JetBrains Space, now in beta for on-premises deployment

Space on-premises can be installed using Docker Compose or Kubernetes. The Docker Compose option was added since the earlier private preview, and is presented as “an easy way to define and run Space on-premises on a single Docker host,” JetBrains told us.

It is not intended for production use. The primary deployment option is a Kubernetes cluster, which can be local, or a hosted Kubernetes service such as Amazon (EKS), Google (GKE), or Azure (AKS). Persistent storage is required, using persistent volumes as well as an S3-compatible storage provider and a PostgreSQL database server. Space can either install these for you, or use existing instances. Space does not include a mail server so this is also required, presuming email support is needed.

Pricing for Space on-premises is not yet available, though the beta comes with a free license valid until Jan 31, 2023. Hosted Space is priced from free (with various limitations) to £16.00 per user per month, or £79.50 when bundled with access to all the JetBrains desktop development tools.

Overall Space looks like the JetBrains alternative to the likes of GitLab or GitHub for source code management and DevOps. GitHub has Enterprise Server for on-premises deployments, GitLab has a self-managed option, and now JetBrains has Space on-premises, though coming from behind versus these mature offerings. 

One distinctive aspect of Space is its Kubernetes support. GitHub Enterprise Server is designed to run on virtual machines. Self-managed GitLab is also primarily designed for virtual machines, though there is a Kubernetes option which GitLab says is “more expensive for smaller installations” as well as more complex to install.

Why use Space on-premises when the hosted option is available?  Valerie Andrianova, product marketing manager at JetBrains Space, said that customers “need it for multiple reasons ranging from their security policies, integration needs or even regulatory requirements.” The impact on cost is not yet known, but considering the extra maintenance burden it is unlikely to be a meaningful saving.