6 Key Ideas Shaping GitOps Today
With the core idea of declaring everything in Git, GitOps continues to evolve. This article covers 6 critical trends shaping GitOps today.
GitOps has already established itself as the most promising standard for Continuous Delivery. It assumes Git as a single source of truth and enables developers to define applications and infrastructures declaratively, automating most workflows. Being a fairly new and nascent idea in the world of software delivery, GitOps is constantly evolving. Here are some of the main ideas that are shaping GitOps today.
In this article, we outline the 6 key ideas shaping GitOps. These ideas serve as ways that organizations can use and benefit from the foundational basis of GitOps. And we ask you, our valuable readers and loyal customers, to tell us which one of those use cases is your BIGGEST challenge.
1. Continuous Deployment Automation
Over the past decade, CI/CD has grown to become an integral component of the modern agile development paradigm. While Continuous Integration (CI) ‘integrates’ multiple code submissions from various development teams, Continuous Delivery (CD) deploys these code changes into production environments. Continuous deployment automation goes a step further and automatically moves every verified change to the operational environment. The key word here is ‘automatically,’ as continuous deployment automation is about deploying without manual human intervention for every release. It offers the highest degree of automation, the only hurdle being test failures.
Continuous deployment automation offers tremendous productivity benefits for modern software delivery teams. To make it operational, you need an approach like GitOps which can apply policies and checks to every line of code, and every bit of configuration that passes through the pipeline. As organizations look to adopt continuous deployment automation, they would turn to GitOps as a workable way of automating these deployments.
2. GitOps to Manage Hybrid Cloud Architecture
Organizations are making use of hybrid or multicloud architectures as it helps them save costs, easily scale development, improve agility, and better utilize applications and tools from a variety of vendors. One of the easiest ways to run a multicloud environment is to use Kubernetes, as it provides an abstraction layer across all cloud vendors.
Yet, hybrid and multi-cloud architectures are more difficult to set up and manage than the single cloud setup. For businesses to realize the benefits of these new approaches, they need an operational model to centralize and automate much of the underlying configuration and management. GitOps is an effective solution to manage Kubernetes hybrid and multi-cloud architecture. Git repositories are the beating heart of cloud-native systems. Using Git and GitOps best practices to manage software delivery, organizations can seamlessly manage their multicloud systems.
3. Progressive Delivery
Enabling the ability to deploy new software in a controlled manner, progressive delivery is all about the art of moving fast with control. It builds upon the core tenets of CI/CD to provide safeguards and control levers that help mitigate the risks of continually pushing new code to production. It was first introduced by James Governor of Redmonk and has a huge role to play in shaping the future of GitOps.
Even with its many benefits, progressive delivery has certain pitfalls with regard to implementing, managing, and monitoring phased releases. For instance, if the application is facing low traffic, it can take a long time to form a statistically relevant dataset. Plus, the process of shifting traffic and enabling/disabling new features is largely manual. Weave GitOps addresses these pitfalls by automating many of the manual steps in canary deployments.
4. Trusted Application Delivery Using Policy-as-Code
Establishing product security and ensuring its compliance has always been a manual process. Trusted application delivery is all about incorporating policy as code into CI/CD pipelines, to automate defining and managing rules and conditions that help protect the cloud infrastructure by automating pipeline operations. Various tools enforce the policy-as-code approach and commonly use languages like Rego, Python, and YAML, given the purpose.
GitOps takes policy-as-code to the next level by using it to automate security. Various CIS benchmarks for Kubernetes like control plane components, configurations, Kubernetes policies for RBAC, and service accounts can all be automated using the policy-as-code approach. It even allows organizations to manage Kubernetes cluster resources and limits misconfiguration on network policies by automating the whole workflow.
We get trusted application delivery when policy-as-code is integrated into the GitOps pipeline. Developers can make changes to the existing code if they need to make updates and share it with other stakeholders to give them visibility into their policies. Solutions like Weave GitOps allow teams to define security policies using code.
5. Self-Service Developer Platforms
The State of DevOps report highlights the critical issue of introducing self-service workflows for application and platform teams. These platforms are low-cost and easy-to-deploy solutions that allow organizations to deliver end-to-end digital services.
While the ticket-based ops model is indispensable in large organizations, a self-service platform allows software teams to create the environments and resources they need, thus reducing the friction in the development process. For an organization at an early stage of its cloud-native journey, adopting a self-service platform can prove to be one of the most effective decisions as it helps them bring new features quickly to the market especially when innovation is vital.
GitOps brings together Kubernetes and Git to unify and automate the heavy lifting involved in cloud-native software. With declarative infrastructure, it lends developers the much-needed autonomy to build what they want along with drift detection that serves as guardrails to prevent any serious damage. A GitOps-based self-service platform not only reduces operational overhead but also improves security and developer experience.
6. DevOps Automation
DevOps automation is an evolving practice of automating various repetitive and originally manual DevOps tasks. It covers various tasks throughout the DevOps lifecycle including design and development, software deployment and release, and monitoring — all without any human intervention. One example of DevOps automation is the automatic scanning of container images that are downloaded from registries. Previously, this would be done manually for every project or every release. Now, with GitOps, it can be defined as a step in the pipeline, complete with policies on what to do when a container image doesn’t pass the test.
DevOps automation streamlines the DevOps lifecycle by eliminating redundant manual workload, thus reducing human errors, and the need for large teams, increasing productivity and creating a fast-moving DevOps lifecycle.
The GitOps model can’t be singularly defined across the industry especially as it continues to evolve on all fronts. Trends like policy-as-code, progressive delivery, self-service developer platforms, and on-premise GitOps are set to bring revolutionary developments in the deployment and management of applications and infrastructure.
Weave GitOps is a comprehensive continuous delivery solution for organizations that need to deploy software more frequently. Built on core GitOps principles, Weave GitOps is powered by Flux and Flagger, open source tools and CNCF projects.