ClickHouse Working Group

Learn more about the ClickHouse Datastore Working Group attributes, goals, roles and responsibilities.


Property Value
Date Created 2022-12-01
Target End Date 2023-12-31
Slack #f_clickhouse (only accessible from within the company)
Google Doc Agenda (only accessible from within the company)
Epic Link
Overview & Status See Exit Criteria Progress


ClickHouse is an open-source column-oriented database management system. It can efficiently filter, aggregate, and sum across large numbers of rows.

In FY23 ClickHouse was selected as GitLab’s standard datastore for features with big data and insert-heavy requirements (e.g. Observability, Analytics, etc.) ClickHouse is not intended to replace Postgres or Redis in GitLab’s stack.

In FY23-Q2 the Monitor:Observability team developed and shipped a ClickHouse data platform to store and query data for Error Tracking and other observability features. Other teams have also begun to incorporate ClickHouse into their current or planned architectures.

We want ensure teams can efficiently leverage the ClickHouse data platform when developing new features and that we can maintain and support this functionality effectively for SaaS and self-managed customers.

Exit Criteria

This Working Group has the following goals:

  1. Document and review the current uses/capabilities and future use cases.
  2. Develop & Socialize Architecture Strategy for ClickHouse usage.
    1. Architecture Blueprint for ClickHouse usage within GitLab.
    2. Architecture Blueprint for scalable data ingestion pipeline for ClickHouse within GitLab.
    3. Provides guidance which sets expectations on scaling and query design/debugging/guardrails/etc.
    4. Define sane and secure defaults. Provide security recommendations and guardrails.
  3. Develop a Rollout Strategy and Plan (e.g. feature flags, would customers ever want to disable/remove it, etc.).
    1. SaaS rollout strategy for identified use cases.
    2. Lay the groundwork to add ClickHouse to our reference architectures through self-managed support.
      • Packaging ClickHouse for our self-managed installations.
      • Research and understand the component costs and maintenance requirements of running a ClickHouse instance.
      • Determine the scale and deployment targets where adding ClickHouse makes sense.
      • Consider an abstraction layer to interacting with ClickHouse or alternatives.
  4. Develop and implement a communication plan for the outcomes of the working group.

Exit Criteria Progress

Criteria Start Date Completed Date Progress DRI
Document and review current ClickHouse uses/capabilities and future use cases 2022-12-08 2023-02-01 100% Marshall Cottrell
Develop and socialize architecture strategy for ClickHouse usage 2023-01-05 2023-05-25 100% Nick Nguyen
Develop a ClickHouse rollout strategy and plan 2023-01-05 60% Sam Goldstein
Develop Recommendation for ClickHouse Ownership Model 0%
Develop and implement a communication plan for the working group 2023-01-18 0% Nicole Williams

Current and Planned Use Cases

Roles and Responsibilities

Working Group Role Person Title
Executive Sponsor Christopher Lefelhocz VP of Development
Facilitator DRI Sam Goldstein Director of Engineering, Ops
Co-Facilitator Nick Nguyen Senior Engineering Manager, Data Stores
Co-Facilitator Nicole Williams Senior Engineering Manager, Monitor & Runner
Functional Lead - Analytics Mikołaj Wawrzyniak Staff Backend Engineer, Analytics:Analytics Instrumentation
Functional Lead - Optimize Adam Hegyi Staff Backend Engineer, Plan:Optimize
Functional Lead - ModelOps Mon Ray Engineering Manager, ModelOps
Functional Lead - Monitor Mat Appelman Principal Engineer, Monitor
Functional Lead - Distribution Dmytro Makovey Senior Backend Engineer, Distribution:Build
Functional Lead - Quality Kassandra Svoboda Quality Engineering Manager, Enablement & SaaS Platforms
Functional Lead - Infrastructure Reuben Pereira Senior Backend Engineer, Delivery:System
Functional Lead - Product Dilan Orrino Senior Product Manager, Enablement:Distribution
Member Pavel Shutsin Senior Backend Engineer, Plan:Optimize
Member Dennis Tang Engineering Manager, Analyze:Product Analytics
Member Max Woolf Senior Backend Engineer, Analyze:Product Analytics
Member Sebastian Rehm Engineering Manager, Analytics:Analytics Instrumentation
Member Piotr Skorupa Backend Engineer, Analytics:Analytics Instrumentation
Member Alex Ives Engineering Manager, Database (PostgreSQL)
Member Brandon Labuschagne Engineering Manager, Plam:Optimize
Member Dylan Griffith Principal Engineer, Data Stores
Member Nathan Rosandich Engineering Manager, Govern:Compliance
Member João Pereira Staff Backend Engineer, Package:Container Registry
Member Haim Snir Senior Product Manager, Plan:Optimize
Member Lucas Charles Staff Backend Engineer, Secure::Static Analysis
Member Kamil Niechajewicz Engineering Manger, Growth:Acquisition
Member Doug Stull Staff FullStack Engineer, Growth:Acquisition
Member Nicholas Klick Engineering Manager, Observability
Member Arun Sori Senior Backend Engineer, Monitor:Observability
Member Nailia Ishakkova Senior Software Engineer in Test, Enablement: Distribution
Last modified September 1, 2023: Mark all active working groups (e749da39)