How to Perform Customer Emergencies Duties

Describes the role and responsibilities for Customer Emergencies rotation in Support Engineering


Support Engineers in the Customer Emergencies rotation coordinate operational emergencies from GitLab customers.

The Customer Emergencies rotation is one of the rotations that make up GitLab Support On-call.

Expectations for Support Engineers in the Customer Emergencies Rotation

When on-call, please ensure to:

  1. Be available as soon as your shift starts.
  2. Organize your physical surroundings to allow for customer calls at any time during your shift.
  3. Plan for an additional 15-30 minutes after your shift ends to allow for cross-region handovers
  4. Start your day by checking for emergencies currently in progress from the previous shift. You will be expected to be the DRI for any emergency tickets (or find a replacement DRI) which have not yet been de-escalated/resolved. This ensures that all team members can leave as soon as possible after their shift ends.

How to be added to the Customer Emergencies PagerDuty rotation

To be added to the Customer Emergency On Call Rotation, you should have first completed the Customer Emergency On-Call training module and then after agreement with your manager, you should raise a new Pager Duty Issue with the Support-Ops team requesting that you are added to the appropriate Pager Duty rotation.

Considerations in AMER

Customer Emergency shifts are 6-hour long overlapping shifts.

Due to an increase in concurrent emergencies, we have split the AMER shift into 3 overlapping schedules that are 6-hours in length to cover the 8 hour AMER on-call window. The schedules have been split to allow engineers to cover hours that align closest with their working hours.

  • AMER 1 hours: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT (16:00 to 22:00 UTC)
  • AMER 2 hours: 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT (17:00 to 23:00 UTC)
  • AMER 3 hours: 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT (18:00 to 24:00 UTC)

This leaves the first and last hours of the AMER on-call window with a single engineer on-call. If multiple emergencies come in during these times, follow the Handling multiple simultaneous emergencies workflow.

Each group is encouraged to coordinate a DRI role for the shift. The DRI will be responsible for taking assignment of the first emergency. The non-DRIs will take concurrent emergencies as they come in.

An example DRI schedule is below. Note that AMER 2 is DRI for 30 minutes longer since they will overlap with AMER 1 or AMER 3 across all of their shift hours.

  • AMER 1 DRI: 12:00pm - 14:30pm EDT
  • AMER 2 DRI: 14:30pm - 17:30pm EDT
  • AMER 3 DRI: 17:30pm - 20:00 EDT


When you get an alert, you should immediately use the PagerDuty message in Slack to start a thread and take notes therein. Tag the Customer Success Manager (CSM) - “cc @user” is good enough - if the customer has one (steps here for how to identify CSMs). This creates visibility around the situation and opens the door to let the team join in.

Good notes in Slack help others follow along, and help you with your follow-ups after the call.

Try to communicate complete ideas rather than snippets of thought. Something like “that’s not good” as a response to something happening within the call isn’t as helpful as “gitaly timings are really high”.

Take and share screenshots of useful info the customer is showing you. Make sure you’re not sharing anything sensitive. Let the customer know you’re taking screenshots: “Could you pause there? I want to screenshot this part to share with my team”.

Note: You may sometimes be required to contact GitLab users on behalf of another GitLab team (such as the SIRT team). Please follow the Sending Notices workflow to action these requests.

Determine if the situation qualifies as an emergency

According to our definition of Severity 1 an emergency exists when a “GitLab server or cluster in production is not available, or otherwise unusable”. In the event that the situation does not clearly qualify under the strict definition of emergency, an exception may be granted.

We assume positive intent and use our criteria for exceptions in the Emergency Exception Workflow as a framework for understanding the business impact of situations customers raise. During any crisis, the customer may be stressed and have immense pressure on them. Later, after the crisis, if we’ve determined that the ticket didn’t strictly qualify as an emergency, the CSM for the customer or a Support Manager can discuss that with the customer.

When you decide the request… Then apply the Zendesk macro… and communicate to the customer…
…meets the definition of Severity 1, General::Emergency::Strict Definition …your plan to work the emergency.
…qualifies under one of our exception criteria, General::Emergency::Exception …that the situation is being treated as an emergency as a courtesy.
…needs more information to allow us to determine whether it qualifies as an emergency, General::Emergency::Needs more info …that you will proceed asynchronously until that determination can be made.
…does not meet the criteria for an emergency or an exception, General::Emergency::Not an Emergency …that their situation does not qualify for emergency service.

Communicating that you need more info

When an emergency request ticket does not contain information sufficient to allow you to determine whether the situation qualifies as an emergency or for an exception, send the customer a message through the ticket:

  1. explaining that in order to correctly categorise the situation, you would like to understand more about the effect it is having on their ability to work or to meet their business objectives (i.e. business impact)
  2. asking for the specific additional context that you require in order to understand what problem they are facing and what help they need

Once you have enough information to make a determination, use one of the other macros to tag the ticket with the final qualification determination. Note that the Needs more info tag will intentionally remain attached.

Handling an emergency downgrade

Change the ticket priority

Using our Definitions of support impact, select the most appropriate actual priority for the ticket, and make the change to the ticket. If the customer submitted the emergency request related to an existing ticket, close the emergency ticket when you deliver the downgrade message, and be sure the existing ticket has the priority you selected.

Communicate the priority downgrade

It’s important that we deliver the downgrade message as carefully and thoughtfully as possible. Customers who submit an emergency request are often already in a static of panic, high stress, high pressure, or a combination of those. If you feel comfortable in delivering the message to the customer, you are encouraged to do so. If you prefer to have a manager’s assistance, please contact the on-call Support Manager.

The important details to include in the message are:

  1. How we define an emergency situation
  2. To what severity level we will be resetting their ticket, and why (see Definitions of support impact)
  3. If there is an existing ticket, indicate that you will close the emergency ticket and continue work in the existing one
  4. What kind of response they should then expect for starting work on the ticket
    • If the customer’s situation is not quite yet an emergency, but may quickly become one, indicate that a support engineer will begin working on the ticket immediately as a high priority
    • Otherwise, indicate that a support engineer will respond according to normal, non-emergency SLA
  5. In which ticket the non-emergency work will proceed

(Optional) Contact the on-call Support Manager

If at any point you would like advice or help finding additional support, contact the on-call Support Manager. The on-call manager is there to support you. They can locate additional Support Engineers if needed. This can make it easier to handle a complex emergency by having more than one person on the call, so you can share responsibilities (e.g., one person takes notes in Slack while the other communicates verbally on the call). Managers are on-call during weekends, so you can page for help at any time.

Respond to PagerDuty alerts

  1. When an emergency is triggered, you will receive an alert from PD. This could be a text, phone call, email, Slack message, or a combination of those (depending on your PagerDuty notification preferences).
  2. Acknowledge the alert in PagerDuty or Slack. This means that you received the emergency page, and are starting the response process.
  3. OPTIONAL: Create a new Issue using the Emergency Runbook Issue Template, to guide you through the emergency response process for Customer Emergency tickets.
  4. Open the Zendesk ticket.
    1. Most PagerDuty notification formats provide a direct link to the ticket.
    2. Alternatively, use Zendesk search with the term priority: urgent to find the ticket.
  5. Verify that the requester has an active subscription at Premium level or above, and is therefore entitled to emergency support. If they are not, lower the priority of the ticket and inform the customer kindly that their subscription does not include emergency support.
  6. Work with the on-call Support Manager to determine if the situation qualifies as an emergency
    1. Create a Public Comment in the ticket acknowledging receipt of the emergency request and communicating according to the qualification determination. Please note that the responding Support Engineer needs to add a Public Comment to ensure that the ticket SLA is “reset”.
    2. Offer a Zoom call to the customer if appropriate to the reported situation. A SaaS emergency related to a public incident published on the status page, for example, would not warrant a call.
  7. Only Resolve the PagerDuty alert after you have contacted the customer. This means that you are actively handling the emergency now and will see it through.
  8. Use the PagerDuty message in #support_self-managed or #support_gitlab-com to start a Slack thread. This ensures that everyone coming into the ensuing discussion can easily identify the corresponding emergency ticket.
  9. After 15 minutes, if the customer has not responded to our initial contact with them, send a follow up message covering the following points:
    • The bridge created to work on the emergency.
    • If the customer is not able to join immediately, we can make other arrangements.
    • After another 15 minutes without response the bridge will be closed and the ticket will be assigned a HIGH priority.
    • Feel free to open a new emergency request if the need arises.

NOTE: If you need to reach the current on-call engineer and they’re not accessible on Slack (e.g., it’s a weekend, or the end of a shift), you can manually trigger a PagerDuty incident to get their attention, selecting Customer Support as the Impacted Service and assigning it to the relevant Support Engineer.

PagerDuty Status

  • Triggered - “A customer has requested the attention of the on-call engineer”
  • Acknowledged - “I have seen the page and am reviewing the ticket”
  • Resolved - “I’ve engaged with the customer by sending a reply to the emergency ticket”

NB: “Resolved” in PagerDuty does not mean the underlying issue has been resolved.

Handling multiple simultaneous emergencies

In rare cases, the on-call engineer may experience concurrent emergencies triggered by separate customers. If this happens to you, please remember that you are not alone; you need only take the first step in the following process to ensure proper engagement and resolution of each emergency:

  1. You: Contact the on-call Support Manager to inform them of the new incoming emergency. The Support Manager is responsible for finding an engineer to own the new emergency page.
  2. Support Manager: In Slack, ping the regional support group (e.g. @support-team-americas) and request assistance from anyone who is available to assist with the new incoming emergency case.
  3. Second Support Engineer: Acknowledge and resolve the emergency page to indicate that you are assisting the customer with the case.

FY23Q4-FY24Q1 Trial - Backup engineers on weekends in APAC

(RFC) Dealing with concurrent emergencies over the weekend in APAC STM#4583 observed an increase of concurrent emergencies over the weekend period. In APAC, the team will trial a pool of Support Engineers volunteering as backup engineers. This pool is independent of the existing escalation policies in Pagerduty, as outlined:

Pool 1: On call engineer -> Support Manager on call -> Directors
Pool 2: Backup engineers

For further details, please refer to STM#4583.

Escalate to initiate page to backup engineers

During FY23Q4-FY24Q1 in APAC, in the event that a concurrent emergency comes through while you are still working on the current emergency:

  1. You: Escalate the page, instead of acknowledging/resolving it. The Support Manager is responsible for finding an engineer to own the new emergency page.
  2. Support Manager: Assess the situation. It’s possible to initiate a page of the backup pool to request assistance from backup engineers if the situation calls for it.
  3. Backup Support Engineer: Acknowledge and resolve the emergency page to indicate that you are assisting the customer with the case.

Situations that Might or Might not Be Emergencies

At times, an emergency page may come in for a situation that is not quite yet an emergency, but may quickly become one. In this situation, we want to assist the customer in preventing the situation from becoming an emergency.

If this situation arises during the week:

  • Contact the on-call Support Manager to request assistance. They will work to find another Support Engineer to handle the ticket as a high priority that requires an immediate response.

If this situation arises during the weekend:

  • Handle the page as a high priority ticket that requires an immediate response. Work with the customer to try to resolve or mitigate the issue before it becomes an emergency.
  • If you are actively engaged with another emergency, contact the on-call Support Manager to request assistance. They will assist the customer or work to find another Support Engineer to handle the ticket as a high priority that requires an immediate response.

See more examples of situations that might be emergencies and situations that are not emergencies.

Taking an emergency customer call

Taking an emergency call isn’t significantly different from a normal call outside of two unique points:

  • You (likely) won’t have much forewarning about the subject of the call
  • The desired end state is a functioning system

Try to find a colleague to join the call with you. A second person on the call can take notes, search for solutions, raise additional help in Slack, and take on the role of co-host in the event of system or network-related issues. They can also discuss and confirm ideas with you in Slack.

During the call, try to establish a rapport with the customer; empathize with their situation, and set a collaborative tone.

As early as possible, determine your options. In some cases, the best option may be rolling back a change or upgrade. The best option may also involve some loss of production data. If either of those is the case, it’s okay to ask the customer if they see any other options before executing that plan.


Before ending an emergency customer call, let the customer know what to do if there is any follow-up, and who will be available if any follow-up is required.

For example:

It seems like we’ve solved the root problem here, but if you need any help I’ll be on-call for the next two hours. Feel free to open a new emergency ticket and I’ll get back on a call with you right away. If it’s after two hours, my colleague Francesca will be responding. I’ll make sure that she has the background of the situation before I leave for the day.

When the call has ended:

  1. Write post-call notes (using macro Support::Customer Calls::Call Completed - Summary) relevant to the customer in a public reply on the ticket.
  2. Add all relevant internal-only information as an internal note on the ticket.
  3. Tag the next on-call engineer in the emergency’s Slack thread.
  4. Review the guidance in the general On-call - Ending your on-call shift section and follow the relevant steps.

When the customer incident is not resolved

Situations may arise where a customer incident has not been resolved, but they need to step away for an extended time period, such as overnight to get rest. Before ending the call in this situation, explain to the customer that they need to create a new emergency for follow-up. Creating a new emergency ensures that there is a DRI when the customer is available again.

For example:

We were not able to get to a resolution today and I understand you will be away until tomorrow morning. If you come back to this and need any help, I’ll be on-call for the next two hours. Feel free to open a new emergency ticket and I’ll get back on a call with you right away. If it’s after two hours, my colleague Francesca will be responding. I’ll make sure that she has the background of the situation before I leave for the day.

When the call has ended:

  1. Write post-call notes (using macro Support::Customer Calls::Call Completed - Summary) relevant to the customer in a public reply on the ticket.
  2. Add all relevant internal-only information as an internal note on the ticket.
  3. Tag the next on-call engineer in the emergency’s Slack thread.
  4. Merge into non-emergency ticket to consolidate and link everything.

When the customer incident is resolved

As soon as the customer incident is resolved, mark the emergency ticket as solved. Consider whether an emergency summary is necessary to add in an internal comment. Any follow up work should be in a separate ticket – do NOT continue work within the emergency ticket.

  • Option 1: A related ticket already exists:

    1. Add an internal comment linking to the (solved) emergency ticket.
    2. Add an internal comment in the emergency ticket, linking to this ticket as the follow-up ticket.
    3. Check that the priority of the follow-up ticket fits.
    4. Write post-call notes (using macro Support::Customer Calls::Call Completed - Summary) relevant to the customer in a public reply on the follow-up ticket.
    • Be sure to let the customer know that follow up work will continue in this ticket.
  • Option 2: There is no related ticket:

    1. Use a browser incognito window to create a new ticket via the support portal (not via Zendesk itself). Use the customer email address in the “Your email address” field. Review the new ticket to ensure it is properly associated to the correct customer Organization.
    2. Let customer know in the ticket description that follow-up work will continue in this ticket.
    3. Add an internal comment linking to the (closed) emergency ticket.
    4. Add an internal comment in the emergency ticket, linking to this ticket as the follow-up ticket.
    5. The new ticket will now be picked up by the round robin automation and assigned to an SGG, like any other ticket. Optionally, an engineer involved in the emergency can take ownership of the ticket instead.

Why do follow up work in another ticket?

  • We are at risk of missing customer responses that may come in to the ticket after the original assignee’s shift ends.
  • Emergency tickets have a shorter internal NRT SLO to encourage us to respond very quickly.
  • Emergency tickets count differently in our statistics.

Optional: create pairing issue

Another option to consider is creating a pairing issue with the label pairing-customer_emergency, including the support engineer(s) who provided assistance during the emergency. If your capacity is limited, you can request any engineer who was involved in the emergency to create the pairing issue on your behalf. This way, we can ensure that the necessary collaboration efforts get tracked.

What to do if you don’t know what to do

First, remember that your primary role is incident management. You are not expected to have all the answers personally and immediately.

Your primary job is to coordinate the emergency response. That could mean:

  • directing the customer to take specific actions
  • finding relevant documentation or doing other research into the problem
  • identifying a known bug or regression and providing a workaround
  • analyzing log data

It could equally mean:

  • identifying other experts on the Support team to help do the above
  • reaching out to development teams to find a subject matter expert (SME)
  • suggesting that the customer reach out to additional experts on their side (for example, if the problem is slow storage, you might suggest getting someone from their storage team)

Remember to say only things that help the customer and that maintain their confidence in you as the person in charge of getting their problem resolved. When you’re not sure what to do, you might also be unsure what to say. Here are some phrases that might help:

  • What have you done up until now to try to resolve this?
  • Please give me a few minutes to check the documentation on that.
  • I’m doing some research to find the answer to that; please give me a few minutes.
  • I’m working on finding someone who has specific expertise in this area.
  • I don’t know the answer just yet, but I’m here for you and I will use all the resources at my disposal to get this resolved.

If you encounter a SaaS emergency at the weekend that you are unable to progress, then consider checking if the CMOC engineer on call is available to offer any help or guidance.

If you are still stuck and are having difficulty finding help, contact the manager on-call.

Triggering a Developer Escalation

On rare occasions, you and the manager on-call may decide it’s necessary to initiate the developer escalation process to get the needed developer input. Keep in mind that the developer who takes the escalation might not be familiar with the aspect of GitLab that is the focus of the emergency, and it can take them time to get up to speed.

To trigger a developer escalation, see this process outline.

License Emergencies

During the week

For license emergencies during the week, reach out to #support_licensing-subscription and ask for an expert there to handle the case. Ping the current Support Manager On-call in your request so they can ensure it gets picked up. Once pinged, the Support Manager On-call is the DRI for ensuring the emergency gets handled.

On a weekend

Self-managed Subscription Emergencies

There may be times when a customer’s subscription expires over the weekend, leaving their instance unusable until a new subscription is generated.

For non-trial subscriptions, you can remind the customer that subscriptions have a 14-day grace period. If the grace period will still be active on the next business day, kindly let the user know that their request will be handled as a standard L&R case during normal business hours. You should close the emergency ticket and ask the customer to open a new L&R ticket in case one doesn’t exist yet.

Otherwise, use the Mechanizer app on the ticket to resolve the situation via the Emergency License Generation option.

SaaS Subscription Emergencies

A customer may be blocked because of a license expiring or neglecting to apply a renewal. If this happens over the weekend:

  1. Look up the namespace details using chatops or a Admin account via the namespaces API (
  2. Check the Trial ends on date.
    • If it has a date, you will not need to provide a Subscription Name in the next step. Proceed to step 3.
    • If it is empty or null and the namespace is on a Free plan, guide the customer to navigate to the Settings -> Billing page and click on Start a Free Ultimate trial.
  3. In the Mechanizer app on the ticket use the Manage GitLab Plan and Trials option to resolve the situation.
    • Enter the namespace path.
    • Select the Plan the customer had initially purchased, or use Ultimate if you do not have this information.
    • Set the end date to 10 days later.
    • Leave the Approving sales manager's GitLab username field empty.
    • Leave the Subscription name empty.
    • Click Submit request.
  4. Wait for the pipeline to complete and check the output of Mechanizer in the Internal Requests issue tracker where Mechanizer will have automatically assigned you to a new issue.
    • If it is successful, proceed to the next step.
    • If there are any failures, please see Problems extending trials for some troubleshooting steps.
  5. When the customer confirms, close the emergency ticket.
  6. Alert #support_licensing-subscription by linking to the ticket for follow-up.

SaaS Emergencies

The workflow for these calls is the same as with self-managed emergencies: success means that the customer is unblocked. In some cases, you may even be able to fully resolve a customer’s problem.

For any customer facing a SaaS Emergency you are empowered to perform any two-way door action required to unblock them without seeking approval first.

Some examples:

  • manually setting a subscription level
  • adding additional storage
  • adding extra compute minutes
  • toggling a feature flag

During a SaaS Emergency, you have additional visibility into problems that a customer may be facing.


  • Using Kibana - explore log files to find the errors customers are encountering.
  • Using Sentry - get access to the full stacktrace of errors a customer might encounter.

We’re expecting, broadly that emergencies will fall into one of five categories:

  • broken functionality due to a regression being pushed to

    • Success may mean: reproducing, identifying or creating a bug report and escalating to have a patch created and deployed.
  • broken functionality due to an inconsistency in data unique to the customer, for example: a group name used to be able to have special characters in it, and now something broke because our group name has a special character in it.

    • Success may mean reproducing the error, identifying it Sentry/Kibana, escalating to have the specific data corrected (and creating a bug report so our code is better)
  • access or “performance” degradation to the level of unusability, for example: no access in a geographical area, CI jobs aren’t being dispatched. This is the hardest class, but will generally be operational emergencies.

    • Success here means making sure it’s not actually one of the top two before declaring an incident and letting the SRE team diagnose and correct the root cause.
  • License / Consumption issues are preventing access to the product

    • Success here means getting the customer into a state where they’re unblocked and making sure the license team is equipped to take the handover.
  • a widespread incident causes multiple, successive PagerDuty alerts

    • Success here means tagging and bulk responding to the issues pointing to the Status Page and production issue.

Broken Functionality

If a customer is reporting that behaviour has recently changed, first check Status and #incident-management for any on-going incidents. If there’s no known incident:

  1. Initiate a call with the customer. You’re specifically looking to:
    • observe broken behavior.
    • determine if there’s a known issue, bug report, or other customers reporting similar behavior.
    • ascertain whether or not a feature flag that may have been recently turned on (see: Enabling Feature Flags on
    • find/build reproduction steps devoid of customer data to build a bug report if none exists.

Broken functionality due to a regression or feature flag

  1. Create a ~"type::bug" issue and have the customer review it.
  2. Escalate the ~"type::bug" issue
  3. If this is affecting multiple customers, declare an incident to engage the incident response team who will update the status page.
  4. Once the original functionality is restored, update the customer.

Broken functionality due to something specific to the customer

  1. Page the Support Manager on-call to review the best way to unblock the customer. It may be that you will need someone with .com console access to fully investigate / resolve.

Broken functionality due to an incident

If there is a known incident, it’s acceptable to link to the public status page and related incident issue. Consider using Support::SaaS::Incident First Response.

Example tickets

Consumption Issues

Quota of compute minutes is blocking a production deployment

A customer may be blocked because they have run out of compute minutes.

  1. Advise them to purchase additional compute minutes or set up individual runners.
  2. At your discretion, as a courtesy, set an additional 1000 compute minutes on their namespace through ChatOps

Customer has exceeded their storage quota

A customer may be blocked because they’ve exceeded their storage quota.

  1. Advise them to purchase additional storage
  2. In cases where a customer is unable to complete a purchase because of a defect or outage, as a courtesy, someone with admin can override the storage limit on a group.

A widespread incident causes multiple, successive PagerDuty alerts

If an incident occurs on and hasn’t been posted on the status page, SaaS customers may raise emergencies in bulk. Success in such a situation is two-fold:

  1. Route customers reporting the incident to our status page, @gitlabstatus on Twitter and the production incident issue.
  2. Sort through the alerts to ensure that there are no emergencies raised that are unrelated to the on-going incident.

If this occurs:

  1. Don’t panic! Slack and PD alerts may come quickly and frequently. Consider silencing both temporarily and focus on ZD.
  2. Verify that an incident has been declared and that the incident is actively being worked.
  3. If there is no update on the status page yet, advocate for urgency with the CMOC so that you can point to it in responses.
  4. Choose a unique tag that will help you identify tickets, using the incident number would be typical. For example: incident-12345
  5. Create a bulk response that points to the incident on the status page, @gitlabstatus on Twitter and the production issue. If any of these aren’t available yet, you can send a response without to keep customers informed. You can include them in a future update.
    • Share the response that you draft or otherwise coordinate with #support_gitlab-com and others fielding first responses. There are likely non-emergency tickets being raised about the incident. Using the same response increases the efficiency with which we can all respond to customer inquiries about the problem.
  6. Create the tag by typing it into the tag field of at least one ticket and submitting it - if you don’t, it won’t show as available in the bulk edit view of Zendesk.
  7. Use Zendesk search to identify customer-raised emergencies:
  8. Use Zendesk Bulk Update to respond to all open tickets.

At any point, you may ack/resolve PD alerts. It may be faster to do so through the PagerDuty web interface.

During an incident:

  • If there is no production issue to link to yet: let customers know we are actively working to address the problem and that we will follow-up with a link to a tracking issue as soon as one is created. Set the ticket to Open. Once the issue is available, send a follow-up note letting the customer know that they should follow along with the issue and that we are marking the ticket as Solved. Include a note that they should reply if they still have trouble once the production issue has been closed / the incident has been declared resolved.
  • If there is a production issue to link to: let customers know we are actively working to address the problem, that they should follow along at the issue, that we are marking the ticket as Solved and they should reply if they still have trouble once the production issue has been closed / the incident has been declared resolved.

Using Zendesk Bulk Update

Zendesk Bulk Update is a way to mass edit and respond to tickets. During an incident, you can use it to:

  • automatically tag tickets
  • send a bulk response
  • set status en masse

You can bulk edit tickets by:

  1. From a Zendesk search click one or more checkboxes
  2. Click “Edit n tickets” in the upper right-hand corner
  3. Edit the properties of the ticket you’d like to update. During an incident that will probably be:
  • A public reply
  • A ticket tag
  1. Click Submit with the appropriate status change

ZD Bulk Update View{: .shadow}

US Federal Emergencies

US Federal on-call support is provided 7 days a week between the hours of 0500 and 1700 Pacific Time.

The current on-call schedule can be viewed in PagerDuty(Internal Link), or in the Support Team on-call page(GitLab Employees only). The schedule is currently split into two, 6 hour shifts, an AM and a PM shift. The AM shift starts at 0500 Pacific Time and runs until 1100 Pacific Time. The PM shift starts at 1100 Pacific Time and runs until 1700 Pacific Time.

Customers are permitted to submit emergencies via email or via the emergency form in the US Federal support portal.

Emergencies outside on-call hours

If a customer submits an emergency case outside the working hours of Federal Support the following will occur:

  • A slack notification will trigger in the #spt_us-federal channel alerting the team to an off hours emergency and indicating follow-up is needed at the start of business hours
  • The Off hours emergency request trigger will inform the ticket submitter that it is after hours and give them the option to either create an emergency case in Global support or wait for US Federal support to follow-up at the next start of business hours.

GitLab Dedicated Emergencies

Emergencies from GitLab Dedicated come through the Customer Emergency On Call rotation. The GitLab Dedicated Handbook has information about working with logs and a section on escalating emergency issues.

Special handling notes

There are a few cases that require special handling. If an emergency page falls in one of these categories please follow these special handling instructions. If you think an emergency is special and not called out below, connect with the Support Manager On-call for help as how best to approach it.

Compromised instances

In the event that an emergency is raised about a compromised instance a call can quickly move well beyond the scope of support.

Use the Zendesk macro Incident::Compromised Instance which expands on the approach below.

The customer should:

  1. Shut the instance down immediately.
  2. Create a new instance at the exact same version and restore their most recent backup into it.
    • Avoid exposing the new instance to the Internet
    • If they do not have a copy of their gitlab-secrets.json, or if the only backups available are stored in /var/opt/gitlab/backups, mount the volume of the compromised instance to retrieve it.
  3. Rotate secrets on the new instance:
    • All secrets contained within the gitlab.rb (such as LDAP/email passwords)
    • All secrets in CI jobs such as API keys or remote server credentials
    • GitLab Runner registration tokens and Runner environment variables
  4. If the exploit used to compromise this instance is known, then upgrade the new instance to a version that contains a fix for it or apply any known patches/workarounds.
    • In the case that public access is required by the organization, remove network access restrictions once the new instance is appropriately secured.
  5. Retain the compromised instance for forensics and additional data recovery.

Do not offer or join a call without engaging the Support Manager on-call to align and set expectations with the customer through the ticket.

Single user, same day purchases

There have been a few documented cases of folks purchasing a single user GitLab license specifically to raise an emergency. If you encounter such a case, engage the Support manager on-call before offering a call.

Customer Emergency On-Call Training Resources

Customer Emergency Shadow PagerDuty Schedule

The Customer Emergency Shadow Schedule can be used by anyone who wishes to shadow customer emergencies to learn before being Customer Emergency On-Call. To add yourself to the shadow rotation create an issue using the “Add User to a Rotation” template. To modify your rotation schedule use the edit user rotation template. To shadow for a short span of days, you can click Schedule an Override, then click Custom duration and then select the time zone and the start and end dates and times before clicking the Create Override button to save the changes. To remove overrides, click the x on the override to be removed in the list of Upcoming Overrides on the right side of the screen.

Last modified September 2, 2023: Update (437f87ff)