Last Updated on March 8, 2024

DevOps is one of the most popular and powerful concepts for software development departments’ collaboration strategies. In today’s reality dominated by Git – the world’s most popular version control system, GitOps is a natural next step combining DevOps methodology with tools created for Git users. If your company uses such solutions, you can benefit from tips to streamline the process for a more efficient and profit-generating setup. 

Read the following article to learn what GitOps is and how to improve your software production process. We’ll introduce you to various GitOps tools to automate and improve your software development process. 

One of the key elements of GitOps workflow is taking care of source code security. Check out to automate security and back up your valuable source code.

What is GitOps?

GitOps is used for the automation of the process of provisioning infrastructure, particularly modern cloud infrastructure. Like DevOps, it is a method of software development during which cooperation between development and operations teams with different specialties is required. It is built on the concepts of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), seeking to automate the processes related to developing, testing, deploying, and delivering software. It aims to create a process that facilitates collaboration between depots, thereby speeding up the creation of the finished product. The main difference is that GitOps has a more declarative approach, and treats infrastructure as code.

The GitOps approach ensures consistent environments, improves the transparency of distributed changes, and lowers the risk of end-product errors. It promotes the automation and reliability of the production and release processes. To facilitate change management, all modifications to code or settings are documented and saved in a Git repository. As a result, the delay between designing improvements to the software and providing them to customers is reduced.

GitOps enables the instant restoration of the entire system’s cloud infrastructure based on the status of a Git file. This is critical from the standpoint of source code security. Pull requests have an impact on the status of the Git repository. Once accepted and merged, pull requests instantly update and align the production system with the status of the repository. This simplifies the process for DEV and QA teams.

Principles of GitOps

GitOps has a set of core principles that will make understanding how the methodology works easier. They define how you should deploy applications and manage infrastructure configuration to create software. By following them, you will simplify the process, while ensuring its security and efficiency. 

GitOps workflow is a way of managing applications and infrastructure that is based on four basic principles:

  1. Declarativeness: the application and infrastructure configuration is stored in configuration files descriptively, allowing it to be easily tracked, as well as to make quick changes and restore the previous version if necessary.
  2. Versioning and immutability: configuration files are stored in a version control system (Git) to ensure versioning, as well as to allow easy comparison of versions and to find changes quickly.
  3. Pull automation: applications and infrastructure are updated automatically based on changes stored in the repository.
  4. Continuous matching: agent software notifies you of deviations between the actual and expected states, allowing for quick response and self-repair in case of failure.

With these GitOps principles, it’s easy to track changes, perform rollbacks, fix failures, and maintain the desired state of your infrastructure and applications clearly and consistently.

Top benefits of GitOps

GitOps is an infrastructure management strategy that compares your program’s current state to what is documented in Git version control. This makes it obvious when the program on the server differs from what is in the source code. GitOps employs DevOps best practices such as version control, teamwork, and continuous release to assist developers and DevOps teams in delivering applications faster. This technique has several benefits, including improved efficiency, simpler developer work, and higher application dependability.

The main advantages of GitOps workflow are mentioned below.

  • GitOps enables infrastructure versioning and allows for faster application deployments,
  • through continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), the automated feedback loop reduces the time to deliver changes by up to 2-3 times,
  • developers can work faster thanks to familiarity with tools such as Git, and new team members can join and work within days instead of months,
  • with the fully defined infrastructure in Git, failures can be easily reversed or restored,
  • GitOps ensures consistency of processes across the organization, simplifies audits, and ensures security through the use of Git repository access control.

GitOps vs. DevOps – differences

DevOps is a well-known model for delivering cloud-native applications. In this approach, changes to the infrastructure are communicated in a “push” fashion, meaning someone makes changes directly to the runtime environment. When we adopt GitOps, we use a pull approach, where a GitOps operator pulls changes from the Git repository and makes changes to the runtime production environment based on that.

In the DevOps model, the pipeline for applications and the pipeline for deployment are disconnected and independent of each other. The pipeline for creating the runtime environment typically consists of IaC (Infrastructure as Code) scripts that are run once to statically build the environment. The pipeline for applications, on the other hand, is run multiple times to build and deploy applications in this static runtime environment.

In GitOps, the runtime environment description is stored in a Git repository, and teams make changes to the environment description by adding and updating commits in Git. Changes to the environment description are automatically made to the runtime environment by agents that pull those changes and automatically deploy them.

In DevOps, we use tools such as Terraform, Ansible, Helm, Kubectl, and others to save the production environment configuration. If we adopt GitOps, we use an autonomous agent, Operator, which performs tasks such as creating, deleting, or updating an environment based on a declarative manifest in Git. The Operator is responsible for matching the environment definition in Git with the current state of the environment. In GitOps, we do not use commands like “Kubectl apply” or “Terraform apply” directly on the runtime environment.

Top tools to build DIY GitOps pipeline

Do you dream of automating processes in your company, but don’t want to use off-the-shelf solutions? Nothing lost! Build your own DIY GitOps Pipeline! What will you need to create such a system? Here are the necessary configuration management tools:

  • Git service hosting: GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket – choose one of these services that best suits your needs. It will allow you to store code and version control it.
  • Build Server: Jenkins – this is a popular CI/CD process automation tool that will allow you to build, test and deploy applications.
  • GitOps agents: Weave GitOps, Flux – these tools allow you to continuously update your infrastructure and applications based on changes in the Git repository.
  • Kubernetes configuration automation: Helm, Kustomize – with these tools, you will be able to automate the process of configuring your Kubernetes cluster.
  • Policy as code: Weave GitOps – using policy as code allows you to automate security and risk management processes.
  • Web services: Linkerd – web services are essential tools that allow you to control traffic in your Kubernetes cluster and ensure security and reliability.
  • Progressive delivery: Flagger – is a tool that allows you to deploy applications progressively, according to the chosen policy.
  • Security: – it is a tool used to protect source code stored in a Git repository from accidental or unauthorized access. It allows you to securely store source code in a Git repository by using advanced safety features. This tool is particularly useful for companies and organizations that store sensitive information and want to protect their Git repositories from unwanted events.

Building your own DIY GitOps Pipeline can be demanding, but it will give you full control over the deployment process, manage infrastructure, and automate many activities.

Are you switching to a DevSecOps operation model? Remember to secure your code with the first professional GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, and Jira backup.

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