GitOps for On-Premise - What to Keep in Mind

August 02, 2022

As the infrastructure stack becomes complex with multiple cloud platforms and on-premise, it requires a robust management platform and method to make the most of each platform. Weave GitOps fills this gap by enabling patches, upgrades and SLAs so you can manage ​​​​Kubernetes clusters anywhere.

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GitOps is becoming an indispensable part of today’s workflows. CI/CD pipelines are incomplete without the proper GitOps implementation if you want your deliveries to be secure. Today, organizations are expected to deliver new releases and features quicker than ever. However, sometimes speed takes precedence over quality, and bad code can make its way to production, incurring high costs to the organization.

Why you Need GitOps?

The GitOps approach helps integrate policy as code to your existing workflows and helps automate security compliance and pre-flight checks. Traditionally, organizations would address misconfigurations and deployment issues while or after deploying code. Today, code is deployed so often that doing the verification after the fact is not possible. Security has to be involved at each step of delivery so that teams can take care of it along with build and deployment activities. Implementing policy as code is vital to relieve the stress DevOps teams face in the cloud-native age.

GitOps Policy as Code allows teams to set up specific policies and processes for checks and verifications of the code before a deployment. GitOps can help sync various Kubernetes clusters and help implement configurations across diverse environments, workloads, and geographies, so policies are maintained without manual intervention.

GitOps Shouldn’t be Limited to the Cloud

There are plenty of tutorials, demos, whitepapers, and blog posts available that help teams implement a GitOps strategy for the cloud. You can find plenty of support for GitOps implementation in cloud-native workloads. However, with rising interest in hybrid and on-prem Kubernetes infrastructure, organizations need tools that can help them leverage the advantages of GitOps in their on-prem or edge workloads too.

Several organizations still prefer on-prem infrastructure because of various security and privacy-related concerns. These organizations view modern tools as just not well-suited for their workloads, leading to poorly built and managed hybrid/multicloud workloads that make things even more complicated; Kubernetes management is a whole other challenge.

In a hybrid workload, certain services might be available in the cloud and others could be hosted on-premises. Managing all of them from the same management plane and applying policy as code across a diverse workload is crucial to a complete GitOps strategy.

Tools like Microsoft Azure Arc and Amazon EKSD (Elastic Kubernetes Service - Distro) are managed Kubernetes services that help bring Kubernetes functionality to on-prem workloads. These tools help abstract the connection between on-prem and cloud-native clusters and provide teams with a managed Kubernetes implementation that helps organizations leverage the benefits of Kubernetes irrespective of where they choose to host their services. Yet, at the operation level, GitOps is what really glues all these disparate pieces together.

Weave GitOps Makes ‘Kubernetes Anywhere’ Practical

Weave GitOps helps bring policy as code to your multicloud and hybrid workloads. This single GitOps management console can make your Kubernetes clusters in the cloud, on-prem, and at the edge adhere to a set desired state. The version control capabilities of Git are used as the source of truth, and any deviation in the actual state is reversed to keep the system functioning as it was defined.

Flux integrates with both Amazon EKS-D and Azure Arc. Both of these services from the top two cloud vendors bring Kubernetes to on-prem systems. To integrate GitOps with either of these services, IT personnel need a connected Kubernetes cluster and access to a Git repository; the Git repository can be public or private. With the URL and HTTPS or SSH keys, repositories can be linked to a connected Kubernetes cluster using the Flux CLI. Make sure to give the Flux operator admin access.

Weave GitOps includes Liquid Metal, a Cluster API provider for provisioning Kubernetes on bare metal. All that’s required is a single Flintlock agent on each host which uses Firecracker micro VMs to provide the Kubernetes cluster backplane and worker nodes. Cluster templates stored in Git can then be provisioned using Hybrid Cloud solutions and directly in your data centre or at the edge.

Weave GitOps, with the help of Flagger, can also help split traffic between newer and older versions to help make canary releases a breeze, even if these versions are hosted on entirely different infrastructures.

As the infrastructure stack becomes complex with multiple cloud platforms and on-premise, it requires a robust management platform like Weave GitOps to make the most of each platform. Weave GitOps fills this gap by enabling patches, upgrades, SLAs, and more so you can manage ​​​​Kubernetes clusters anywhere.

What Weave GitOps has to Offer?

Weave GitOps by Weaveworks is a state-of-the-art GitOps solution powered by Flux, Flagger and other leading open source GitOps tools available today. Flux was donated by Weaveworks is a CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) project currently at the incubation stage. Weave GitOps integrates security into existing workflows and reduces the strain on DevOps teams to perform manual checks for code quality. Instead, Weave GitOps can automate tests at each step of the software development lifecycle, including checks during commits, delivery, and runtime.

Weave GitOps comes with an incredible observability UI that displays the health of all workloads and clusters by perpetually comparing the actual state of the system with the desired state. Based on the KPIs received after said comparison, health management can be performed on the Kubernetes clusters and workload. Alerts can also be generated when manual intervention is required. Weave GitOps is an essential tool for any organization irrespective of the size because GitOps is vital.

Further, as automation spans multiple platforms it is essential for security to follow closely. With the growing importance of security, Weave GitOps leverages Trusted delivery as a way to build in security guardrails into every deployment. This is critical for organizations that are not yet fully comfortable with the cloud or are unable to go all-in on the cloud due to regulatory reasons. Leveraging policy-as-code is the only way to enforce security in the midst of growing complexity.

Having the right tools definitely helps implement policy as code effectively on-prem. However, the right approach and knowledge are essential for any team trying to weave GitOps into their CI/CD workflows. It takes a combination of know-how and cutting-edge tooling to win in today’s hybrid world of cloud and on-prem


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Whitepaper: Multi-Cloud Strategies with Kubernetes and GitOps

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