Flux CD: The Go-To GitOps Tool for Enterprises - Here's Why

By Twain Taylor
August 06, 2023

Discover why Flux CD has become the preferred GitOps tool for enterprises. Explore its standout features, seamless integrations, and real-life implementations in this comprehensive blog post.

Further reading

Weave GitOps Assured

What is Flux CD?

Capabilities, Confidence and Community – What Flux GA Means for You

Related posts

Streamline Kubernetes Workflows with Weave GitOps Assured

Flamingo: Expand Argo CD with Flux

How Weave GitOps Builds on Flux to bring GitOps to the Enterprise

DevOps automation has been a topic of discussion for over a decade now. However, the practice of automation has constantly evolved over the years as the technology stack has changed. From VMs to containers to Kubernetes, automation has looked different at every stage of cloud evolution. The most recent iteration in this journey is that of GitOps and Flux CD and its approach to deployment automation. Continuous integration is a challenge that’s been solved a long time ago, but deployments are still predominantly manual. GitOps, and particularly, Flux CD’s approach to GitOps, finally delivers a comprehensive solution to automating deployments down to the very last mile.

This blog post will discuss why enterprises choose Flux CD for continuous delivery within the GitOps ecosystem. It will also show you how you can get enterprise OSS support for Flux CD with Weave GitOps Assured.

What is Flux CD?

Flux CD is an open-source tool that ensures that Kubernetes clusters replicate the configuration state as stored in Git automatically. It enables the GitOps approach for apps and infrastructure and allows you to manage Kubernetes resources, and workload dependencies.

Initially developed by Weaveworks, Flux CD was handed over to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2019, and is now a graduated project, which means it is production-ready and widely adopted by organizations globally. Further, in 2023, Flux CD v2’s GA (General Availability) was announced. All these developments are a testament to Flux CD’s stability and reliability and affirm that it is more than ready to be used in production environments. As such, Flux CD is finding takers in some big names in the industry, including GitLab, Orange, and MediaMarktSaturn - as we’ll discuss later in this article.

Flux CD is easy to integrate with other tools like Kustomize, Helm, OPA, and RBAC, having been built as a default Kubernetes solution. Its open architecture allows for you to bring your own CI solution and integrate it with Flux CD for a complete CI/CD pipeline.

Next, let’s look at some of the standout features that make Flux CD unique in the world of deployment automation.

Features of Flux CD

Here are some of Flux CD’s top features and capabilities:

Progressive delivery

Flux CD enables you to implement progressive delivery techniques like feature flags, canary releases, blue/green releases, and A/B testing through Flagger's controller. It allows you to secure your deployments through controlled feature rollout. As an extension to this, Flux CD also supports automated rollbacks, so if there are any problems with a deployment, you can revert your changes in Git, and Flux CD will automatically undo the deployment for you.

Terraform Controller

Many organizations use Terraform to optimize and streamline their cloud infrastructure provisioning. However, Terraform can become cumbersome at scale and could do with some automation and simplifying the GitOps way. That’s where Flux CD comes in. You can extend GitOps principles to your Terraform resources by integrating the Terraform Controller with Flux CD. While Flux CD works within the Kubernetes ecosystem, you can use it to approve Terraform plans and monitor Terraform drift detection, among other things. As a powerful tool, numerous organizations benefitted from this integration between Flux CD and Terraform.

Weave Policy Engine

Policies are essential to define and govern configuration at scale. Flux CD excels in this regard. Flux CD ensures you define security guardrails, compliance policies and automate remediation across your Kubernetes deployments through seamless integration with Weave Policy Engine, a powerful policy-as-code engine.

Security-First by Design

Flux CD is built to ensure the absolute security of its components. It is easy to integrate with several tools to practice pull vs. push, the principle of least privilege, and Kubernetes security policies. With native integration with Hashicorp Vault, you can rest assured that your secrets are secure.

Assured Accelerator Program

Create safe, cost-effective, and reliable Kubernetes infrastructures in 4 weeks with the Weaveworks Accelerator program. The accelerator includes an assigned onboarding team and Assured Support for our OSS tool set (e.g Flux CD Controllers, GUI, Terraform Controller, Weave Policy Agent).

Learn More

Flux CD Integrations: End-to-End DevOps Automation

Flux CD is Kubernetes-native, and is designed to integrate with any cloud-native tool in the CNCF ecosystem and beyond. Flux CD is an extensive ecosystem for developers to focus on building their applications without roadblocks. Let’s look at some tools you can leverage for a robust GitOps system that’s built around Flux CD.

Flux CD + Flagger

Flagger is a progressive delivery tool that allows you to release your features in deployment strategies like canary releases and A/B testing. In essence, it automates feature releases in a phased manner. Flux CD and Flagger are built as part of the GitOps toolkit, enabling tight integration.

Working together, they allow you to:

  • Automate the release process for your Kubernetes applications
  • Eliminate the risk of introducing new features through controlled releases
  • Monitor deployments through metrics and conformance tests
  • Rollback from a failed deployment to a previous stable version

Flux CD + AWS

AWS, the largest cloud vendor, included Flux CD as its preferred EKS GitOps add-on. The organization had claimed that Flux CD fits their ‘ethos of segregation of duties and smallest blast radius.’

With Flux CD and AWS together, you can,

  • Manage multiple clusters under the same Flux CD controller
  • Commit cluster configuration to Git repositories
  • Keep the actual cluster state in sync with the desired state

Flux CD + Terraform

Terraform is a popular Infrastructure-as-Code tool that allows you to manage your infrastructure efficiently. As it operates outside the Kubernetes ecosystem, you can use Flux CD to implement GitOps principles of a single source of truth and version control to manage Terraform resources. You can extend its access and streamline the end-to-end process through a Terraform controller.

Through Terraform controller, you can use Flux CD to

  • Implement GitOps principles across Terraform resources
  • Integrate your Terraform resources with Kubernetes workload
  • Monitor the resources to detect if they’re drifting
  • Automate approval of Terraform plans or do it manually

Flux CD in real-life GitOps implementations

Below, we showcase a list of top technology firms from around the world that rely significantly on Flux CD for seamless deployments.

US Department of Defense and Platform One

When the US DoD built a DevSecOps solution called Platform One, it sought declarative repeatability, automation, and Kubernetes cluster management. Flux CD fits perfectly as the DoD used Flux CD and Platform One to design streamlined developer workflows and deploy applications on Air Force U-2 jets and Navy boats.

“With Flux CD, we can make upgrades seamless and regular. We can roll out weekly updates to Party Bus (the SaaS version of Platform One),” DoD contractor Tom Runyon said.

Orange uses Flux CD to Deploy 5G

Telecom operator Orange wanted to launch its 5G to all its customers. Before the launch, the operator wanted to evaluate the automated deployment of a 5G Stand Alone. Initially, it experimented with bare metal servers, and when it was time to adopt Kubernetes cloud-native infrastructure, the team quickly chose Flux CD to adopt GitOps.

“Flux CD is simple, efficient, and evolutionary to manage Kubernetes resources,” said Orange Cloud expert David Blaisonneau.

GitLab Implements GitOps with Flux CD

GitLab announced that it is integrating with Flux CD to ‘do GitOps with GitLab,’ effectively replacing agents for Kubernetes. The deprecation of Kubernetes agents is not expected before 2024 after gaining confidence in Flux CD. The decision to pick Flux CD as the recommended tool involved a thorough evaluation of multiple open-source options, including Argo CD. However, Flux CD ended up as their preferred choice because it relies solely on the Kubernetes API.

GitLab has been building its own UI integrations with the clusters, and Flux CD suits its plan well. This cluster UI integration will empower its users with real-time visibility of their GitOps deployments using Flux CD.

Since its inception, Flux CD has been adopted by many companies as their GitOps tool of choice. Check out the list of adopters here.

Weave GitOps Assured: Open Source GitOps with Enterprise Support

Weave GitOps is a simple and powerful open-source GitOps solution designed to empower developers to build and deploy cloud-native applications. Powered by Flux CD and Flagger, it allows you to automate continuous application delivery easily and securely.

Weave GitOps Assured a software entitlement and support solution that facilitates rapid deployment by combining Flux CD, Flagger, and Terraform Controller. It simplifies and improves collaboration across infrastructure, operations, and development. Weave GitOps Assured also provides security support through Assured-level support, updates, and CVE patches. If you’re interested in using Flux CD, or already a Flux CD user, and would like to be supported by a team actively involved in Flux CD development, Weave GitOps Assured is for you.

Contact us today for a free consultation and demo.

Further reading

Weave GitOps Assured

What is Flux CD?

Capabilities, Confidence and Community – What Flux GA Means for You

Related posts

Streamline Kubernetes Workflows with Weave GitOps Assured

Flamingo: Expand Argo CD with Flux

How Weave GitOps Builds on Flux to bring GitOps to the Enterprise

Why Self-Service is Key to Developer Productivity

Download this whitepaper to learn how GitOps can be used to build internal platforms at scale and enable operators and developers to release software continuously and reliably.