GitOps Automation Plugin for Backstage with Flux CD
Discover how the Flux CD Backstage Plugin seamlessly integrates with Backstage, providing comprehensive visibility into your GitOps workflows.
Introducing Weaveworks Flux CD plugin for Backstage: GitOps powers great DevEx
Beginner’s Guide to Platform Engineering: Simplifying Software Delivery
Whitepaper: GitOps Accelerates Self-service for Developers & Operators
Backstage, an open platform originally developed by Spotify and now a recognized CNCF project, is used to build developer portals. This widely adopted developer portal platform finds a home in numerous prominent organizations, including Netflix, Airbnb, and Walmart. It serves as a central hub for managing various aspects of software development, including microservices, documentation, infrastructure, and more.
A centralized software catalog powers Backstage, bringing together microservices and infrastructure to enable software teams to deliver code quickly. As an integrated solution, Backstage unifies all of the infrastructure tooling, services, and documentation to create a seamless development environment.
Out of the box, Backstage delivers essential components, including the Backstage Software Catalog, designed to efficiently manage all software assets, including microservices, libraries, data pipelines, websites, and ML models. It also features Backstage Software Templates for expediting project creation and enforcing your organization's best practices. Additionally, Backstage TechDocs simplifies technical documentation management, embracing a "docs like code" methodology. Furthermore, vast and growing open-source plugins extend Backstage's adaptability and functionality.
In light of our recent Flux CD Backstage plugin announcement, this blog will dive into the world of Backstage plugins, including more information about the Flux CD plug in.
Backstage Plugins: What are they, and how do they work?
Plugins in the Backstage ecosystem are designed to extend the platform's capabilities to cater to specific needs or integrate with other tools and services. These plugins can be developed and added to Backstage to provide features and functionalities that are not available out of the box. They contribute to the platform's customizability, allowing organizations to tailor their developer portals to their unique requirements.
Various types of plugins are currently available, such as integration, documentation, templates, customization plugins, and many others.
Plugins can be used to customize Backstage to meet your organization’s specific needs. For example, you can use plugins to integrate with your existing CI/CD pipeline, add support for new programming languages or frameworks, or create custom dashboards and reports.
A Beginner’s Guide to Platform Engineering
In this guide, we delve into the fundamentals of platform engineering: what it is, how it works, and the benefits of this new approach.Download now
Flux CD Plugin for Backstage
The Flux CD Backstage plugin empowers teams to manage GitOps workflows directly from Backstage. Flux CD is a GitOps continuous deployment tool that monitors all running applications and compares their current state to the desired state in the Git Repository. By integrating the Flux CD plugin into Backstage's developer portal, users gain comprehensive visibility into all Flux CD resources seamlessly managed across their Kubernetes clusters. This integration fosters a unified and efficient development experience.
List of Flux CD resources - Source
How does it work?
The backstage flux CD plugin functions by offering various Cards that assist in building your Portal. Each of these cards utilizes the common Kubernetes label from Backstage to identify Flux resources linked to the current entity.
The Cards listed below provide a consolidated overview of the accessible resources:
- EntityFluxDeploymentsCard: This card displays associated Kustomizations and HelmReleases.
- EntityFluxSourcesCard: Here, you can see associated GitRepositories, OCIRepositories, and HelmRepositories.
Additionally, you have the option to include cards for resources pertaining to specific components. Each of these cards provides details about resources associated with the Entity:
See in action how it all works in the below Flux CD Backstage demo.
How is this plugin useful?
With the Weaveworks' Flux CD plugin for Backstage, you gain a clear and comprehensive understanding of the state of your Flux resources within your Backstage entities. This visibility allows you to easily:
- Monitor the version of a component deployed to production, check its status, and review its most recent update timestamp.
- Keep track of the status of Kustomization and Helm resources.
- Ensure source reconciliation across Git, Helm, and OCI repositories.
By providing application teams with these insights and integrating seamlessly with Backstage and Flux CD, this plugin enhances the developer and platform team experience. It simplifies the process of creating, deploying, and managing GitOps-enabled applications and infrastructure, making it smooth and efficient.
How to Install the Flux CD Plugin
Before you can install the Flux CD plugin, you will need to have the following:
- Setup Backstage. You can do so by following the Getting Started guide.
- Install the Kubernetes Backstage plugin, including the frontend plugin and the backend plugin.
Install the plugin dependency in your Backstage app package:
# From your Backstage root directory
yarn add --cwd packages/app @weaveworksoss/backstage-plugin-flux
For a step by step installation and configuration instructions, visit our Docs.
GitOps Automation with Weave GitOps & Backstage
Weave GitOps is a state-of-the art GitOps solution powered by Flux CD and Flagger. Built by the creators of GitOps and Flux CD, Weave GitOps empowers application developers and platform operators to automate continuous application delivery and manage Kubernetes clusters at scale.
Backstage and Weave GitOps can now be used together. The latest plugin can be configured to link to the Weave GitOps UI to provide more information on the Flux CD resources. Contact us for a demo today to learn more.