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What is GitOps

Written by

Technical Head

Amina Reshma

May 11, 2023 . 4 min read

What is GitOps? Understanding the Basics and Benefits!

GitOps is an approach to managing infrastructure and applications that has become increasingly popular in the Kubernetes community.

Welcome to the definitive resource for understanding GitOps, the cutting-edge software development method that has swept the tech industry off its feet. Due to its capacity to improve deployment efficiency and streamline development workflows, GitOps is growing in popularity in today’s fast-paced software development environment. 

But what exactly is GitOps, and why is it so crucial? In this article, we’ll examine the foundations of GitOps, including what it means in the context of Kubernetes, how it works, and which use cases are most suitable for it. You’ll have a firm grasp of GitOps and its importance in contemporary software development, and also know what’s next after GitOps by the time this article is finished.

What does GitOps mean in the context of Kubernetes?

GitOps is a methodology that uses Git as the single source of truth for infrastructure and application deployments. 

With GitOps, all modifications to the infrastructure and applications are made through Git commits and pull requests, and the continuous delivery pipeline automatically applies the changes to the cluster. This strategy ensures that the entire infrastructure is versioned, auditable, and reproducible.

How GitOps works and How is it used in Kubernetes?

GitOps is a modern approach to manage infrastructure and applications using Git repositories as the single source of truth. It functions by continuously synchronizing your actual infrastructure with the desired state specified in Git and maintaining a declarative state of your infrastructure in Git. This makes it possible to create a transparent audit trail and guarantees that changes to your infrastructure are uniform, repeatable, and auditable.

In Kubernetes, GitOps is typically implemented using tools like Flux and Argo CD.  

Flux and Argo CD are two of the most popular GitOps tools used in Kubernetes. Flux is a Kubernetes operator that continuously deploys applications based on Git repository updates. By keeping track of changes made to the Git repository and synchronizing those changes with the Kubernetes cluster, it offers an automated deployment process. Flux can also integrate with other tools like Helm and Kustomize.

Another well-known GitOps tool that offers continuous delivery for Kubernetes is Argo CD. By using Git as the single source of truth, it permits automated application deployment and rollbacks. To make sure that the desired state of the application is maintained, Argo CD continuously monitors the Git repository and synchronizes changes with the Kubernetes cluster.

Developers can deploy and manage applications on Kubernetes more easily by using both Flux and Argo CD, which both support a fully automated and continuous deployment process. By upholding the principle of least privilege and regulating access to the Git repository, they additionally offer improved security. Additionally, they offer thorough audit logs, which facilitate troubleshooting and help locate any issues’ underlying causes.

Through constant Git repository change monitoring and application of those changes, these tools automate the configuration of infrastructure and deployment of applications. This ensures that the cluster’s current state always corresponds to the ideal state specified in Git, making it simple to undo changes.

Simply put, GitOps is a powerful approach to managing infrastructure and applications in Kubernetes. You can use it to automate deployments, reduce mistakes, and ensure your infrastructure is always in the desired state. Git can version, audit, and reproduce your entire infrastructure, making developing and deploying applications at scale simpler. Git is the only source of truth.

To help you understand how GitOps, ArgoCD, and Flux interact, here is a diagram:

GitOps Diagram

Why GitOps?

GitOps is an effective tool that will be very helpful to your software development process. By leveraging the power of Git, you can streamline your development process, increase automation, and improve the repeatability and scalability of your software.

  • The increased automation that GitOps offers is one of its main advantages. Many tedious and time-consuming software development tasks, such as writing and testing code, deploying applications, and managing infrastructure, can be automated with GitOps. This helps reduce errors and raise the general caliber of your software while saving you time and effort.
  • The ability to guarantee repeatability in your development process is another benefit of using GitOps. You can define your infrastructure and application configurations as code with GitOps, and just like source code, this code can be version-controlled and audited. This implies that you can easily undo changes or return to earlier versions of your code, guaranteeing that your software is consistently reliable and consistent.
  • In addition, GitOps can help your software development process become more scalable. You can increase your development efforts without hiring more people or allocating more resources by automating many software development tasks. As a result, there will be less chance of mistakes or delays, and you will be able to deliver software more quickly.

What scenarios are best for GitOps?

If you’re looking for a reliable and efficient way to manage your projects and environments, GitOps might be just what you need.  

But how can you tell if GitOps is the best option for your company? 

Here are a few situations where GitOps is especially suitable.

  1. Complex Projects: GitOps can assist you in managing a complex project with many dependencies and moving parts more efficiently. You can ensure that all your changes are tracked and audited in one place by using Git as your infrastructure’s single source of truth.
  1. Large Teams: If a large team is working on your project, GitOps can help you keep everyone informed. Because all changes in GitOps are made through pull requests, everyone can see what is changing and why. Conflicts can be less likely to arise, and everyone will work towards the same objectives.
  1. Multi-Cloud Environments: If you’re managing your project across several different cloud environments, GitOps can assist you in doing so. You can make sure that your changes are applied consistently across all of your environments by using Git as the central repository for your infrastructure.

So, What are some of the key benefits of Gitops?

  1. Faster Deployment: GitOps uses pull requests for all changes, which can hasten the deployment process. You can ensure that your changes are implemented quickly and consistently by automating the deployment process.
  1. Improved Visibility: Git can be used as your infrastructure’s central repository, giving everyone access to information about what’s being changed and why. Conflicts can be avoided, and everyone will be aiming for the same objectives, thanks to this.
  1. Better Collaboration: With GitOps, all changes are made via pull requests, which can enhance team collaboration. Pull requests allow everyone to see what is changing and why, lowering the possibility of conflicts and improving communication.

Trade-Offs with GitOps

While there are many benefits to GitOps, it’s essential to be aware of any potential trade-offs if you’re thinking about implementing this model for your infrastructure. 

Here are some of the drawbacks you should be mindful of:

  1. Learning curve: Teams unfamiliar with Kubernetes and Git may find it challenging to perform GitOps tasks because these two technologies are necessary. Because of the potential for a steeper learning curve, additional training and support might be required.
  1. Security Vulnerabilities: By making Git the central repository for your infrastructure, you may expose your infrastructure to security flaws. Your infrastructure as a whole may be in danger if your Git repository is compromised.
  1. Complexity: GitOps can simplify the management of your infrastructure, but it can also add more complexity. If you are careless, this complexity may result in blunders and mistakes, which may affect the stability and dependability of your infrastructure.

How, then, can these trade-offs be minimized while still ensuring a successful GitOps implementation? 

Here are some tips:

  • Training and Support: It’s crucial to give your team the training and assistance they require to master Git and Kubernetes to ensure a successful GitOps implementation. This might entail supplying extra training materials or enlisting the aid of outside experts.
  • Security Best Practices: It’s critical to adhere to best practices for protecting your Git repository to reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities. This might entail using multiple forms of authentication, controlling who has access to the repository, and keeping an eye out for unusual activity.
  • Simplify Where Possible: GitOps can add new layers of complexity, so it’s crucial to keep things as straightforward as possible. This could entail utilizing frameworks and tools that simplify managing your infrastructure or concentrating on the fewest GitOps practices necessary for your requirements.

Therefore, even though using a GitOps model has trade-offs, you can guarantee a successful implementation with the appropriate strategy and assistance. You can streamline your infrastructure management and enhance the dependability and stability of your infrastructure by giving your team the training and support they require, adhering to security best practices, and keeping things as simple as possible.

Automating with Tekton triggers on Ozone

The principle of GitOps is to automate deployments by listening to code changes and maintaining the desired state on the infrastructure. While the terminology might differ, it is essentially the same that can be expected out of Tekton triggers: You create a trigger by defining a webhook with details like the changes needed to be made and on which repo branch in order for a pipeline to be triggered. 

The main advantage of this approach is that, in GitOps, the initial pipeline has to be coded whereas there are pipeline templates supplied with Ozone, which eliminates the need to code an entire pipeline. 

Webhook creation

Other than webhooks, schedules are another way to automate pipeline runs by defining the time and frequency to run a pipeline. 

Create a schedule

There is a whole lot of cool stuff that can be done on Ozone with the low-code UI and extended Tekton capabilities. Take Ozone for a test drive by booking a demo now!

Ozone is focused on eliminating every complexity of a DevOps team. It simplifies and automates containerized and decentralised application deployments across hybrid cloud and diverse blockchain networks. Ozone integrates seamlessly with major tools across CI, CD, analytics and automation to support your software delivery end to end for even the most complex scenarios.

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