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GitHub Launches Enterprise Edition into the Cloud

This week GitHub announced the release of GitHub Enterprise 2.0, an update of the enterprise edition of its namesake code-hosting platform.

This release comes with some notable upgrades and the usual bug fixes, but the biggest change is its support for deployment on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company is calling its move to the cloud "a major milestone in our mission to change the way the world builds software together."

When GitHub unveiled its enterprise product in 2011, "enterprise" meant on-premises, and the company created a VM-based version of GitHub.com that users could run on their own hardware in their own data centers. But times have changed, GitHub's Vice President of Strategy Brian Doll told ADTmag, and so has the definition of "enterprise."

"Over the past year or so our biggest customers have been talking seriously about cloud adoption," Doll said. "So we started to think more deeply about what it means to have an enterprise offering. I think what we mean when we talk about enterprise software today is data isolation and internal authentication. Those are the two real tenets of what it means to deliver enterprise software today."

GitHub has rewritten the infrastructure undergirding its Enterprise offering to improve stability and redundancy regardless of how it's deployed, Doll explained. This infrastructure upgrade allowed for improved support for high availability and disaster recovery. This release also includes a set of online utilities for backing up and restoring data, which eliminate the need to put an appliance in maintenance mode during these procedures.

There's also a new security dashboard and organization audit log that allows admins to see a running list of events as they're generated across each organization.

"For the folks that need to understand the activities of the GitHub community within their company -- adding user accounts, creating new teams and groups, adding or deleting repositories, etc. -- we have a great way to explore that activity in one place, visually," Doll explained. "It's a map of, not only what is happening, but where in the world it's happening."

This release addresses enterprise security with new authentication support for the SAML single sign-on Web ID standard (specifically OneLogin, PingIdentity, Okta, and Shibboleth), and the LADP authentication protocol (specifically Active Directory, FreeIPA, Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition, OpenLDAP, Open Directory, and 389-ds).

Why did GitHub choose Amazon Web Services for its first foray into the cloud?

"AWS has been popular for a while in the startup and SMB space," Doll said. "But we're now hearing from Fortune 500 CIOs who are prouder of shutting down data centers than they are of opening them, of being able to pivot to that rental market, looking at infrastructure as an elastic resource. They're asking about Amazon."

An on-premise version of GitHub Enterprise 2.0 is also available, Doll said.

Since it was launched in 2008, GitHub, which is based on the Git distributed version-control system developed by Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds, has become one of the world's most popular social coding sites. The service has enjoyed recent endorsements from the likes of the Eclipse Foundation, which has begun to allow the hosting of its projects on GitHub to attract new and maturing projects.

GitHub.com currently hosts 17 million projects, Doll said, up from 10 million in January of this year.

About the Author

John has been covering the high-tech beat from Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly two decades. He serves as Editor-at-Large for Application Development Trends (www.ADTMag.com) and contributes regularly to Redmond Magazine, The Technology Horizons in Education Journal, and Campus Technology. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Everything Guide to Social Media; The Everything Computer Book; Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design; John Chambers and the Cisco Way; and Diablo: The Official Strategy Guide.

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