Highlights from GitOpsCon 2021

By Weaveworks
November 10, 2021

GitOpsCon 2021 took place during Kubecon North America 2021. Here we cover some of the highlights of the day.

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On October 11 of this year, one of the most important weeks in the cloud native calendar got underway: KubeCon CloudNativeCon North America 2021. Among a series of co-located sub-events, GitOpsCon took place on day two, under the same roof. An intensive one-day event, it comprised a packed schedule of sessions covering a range of subjects from technical strategy to hands-on security. 

Like all events nowadays, there was the option to tune in remotely and take part in all the sessions – and even visit virtual booths from Weaveworks and other vendors. But what was most exciting for many people was the fact that the entire event – that’s KubeCon, GitOpsCon and all the other co-located events – was also back as a physical, in person conference. For those within driving or flying distance of LA, it was a great opportunity to get together with peers in the Kubernetes and GitOps communities. 

No time to waste

GitOpsCon itself crammed more than fifteen sessions into Tuesday, kicking off with a welcome keynote on the state of GitOps today, from Dan Garfield of Codefresh and Weaveworks’ own Scott Rigby. 

Perhaps the biggest moment from Weaveworks’ perspective came later in the morning, however, when Weaveworks founder and CEO Alexis Richardson gave his keynote, ‘Creating the Enterprise App Store’. In his presentation, Alexis argued that because enterprise organizations have been running their own infrastructure for decades, they have missed what he called an “app store moment”, which would have enabled a company to use the same core platform everywhere – “the same skillset, the same tools, the same way of thinking, but not the same data centers”. 

Alexis argued that containers brought us closer, by providing the next level of abstraction to encapsulate applications, yet it was the arrival of Kubernetes that brought the security and management necessary to turn enterprise software into an asset. He presented GitOps as the final stage in the transformation, delivering standardization for an organization’s core platform and allowing everyone to focus on the delivery of applications. 

Watch the keynote in full here.

New GitOps use cases

Lightning Talks included a presentation on combining GitOps with cellular architecture from Cisco’s Ayush Ghosh and Sergey Sergeev, in which they explained how they use Flux to build multi-cloud, multi-cluster declarative environments in minutes, offering their developers a self-service platform that has significantly improved their CI/CD metrics. Uma Mukkara of ChaosNative, meanwhile, introduced a fascinating new use case for GitOps – chaos testing large-scale deployments – in his account of a real life chaos engineering case study using LitmusChaos and FluxCD.   

GitOps success stories

A series of end user talks about GitOps implementations were scattered throughout the day, beginning with a talk from CERN’s Ricardo Rocha on using GitOps to manage multi-cluster, multi-cloud infrastructure at the world-famous particle physics lab. Intuit engineer Brett Weaver described how his company has used GitOps to provide greater security and automation for their cloud resources, while extending their use of Git to encompass the source of truth for all cloud resource configuration. Adrian Vacaru of Fidelity Investments outlined how they use Kubernetes and Flux to provide their teams with modular, reusable components across different Kubernetes clusters.

Another success story worth checking out is Dream 11, the world’s largest fantasy sports company, who achieved record growth with the help of GitOps on EKS.

The full schedule

The complete list of talks, in the order they took place, was as follows:

  1. Welcome & State of GitOps - Dan Garfield, Codefresh & Scott Rigby, Weaveworks
  2. Keynote: Pipeline as Code Empowering Cloud-Native CI/CD on Kubernetes Using Open Source Tools - Christian Hernandez, Red Hat
  3. A Multi-Cluster, Multi-Cloud Infrastructure with GitOps at CERN - Ricardo Rocha, CERN
  4. Gitopsify Cellular Architecture - Ayush Ghosh & Sergey Sergeev, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  5. Keynote: Creating the Enterprise App Store - Alexis Richardson, Weaveworks
  6. Keynote: Declaring Complexity - Emily Freeman, Amazon
  7. Are Your Declarative Configurations Human Friendly? Closer Look at Code Reviews with GitOps - Ryota Sawada, UPSIDER
  8. GitOps Cloud Resource Management - Brett Weaver, Intuit
  9. GitOps and the CD Pipeline - Friend or Foe? - Tracy Ragan, DeployHub Inc.
  10. Managing Apps Dependencies and Kubernetes Versions with Kraan and Flux - Adrian Vacaru, Fidelity Investments
  11. Using GitOps for Kubernetes Reliability at Scale - Uma Mukkara, ChaosNative
  12. Tales from the Branches: GitOps in the Real World 
  13. GitOps in the Real World: Opportunities for Developer Experience Improvement - Christopher Lane & Alex Crane, Chick-fil-A
  14. A Day in the Life of the GitOps Platform Team - Mae Large & Priyanka Ravi, State Farm
  15. Securing GitOps - Andrew Block & Shoubhik Bose, Red Hat
  16. Secure Your GitOps - How to Implement a Robust Security Strategy - Todd Ekenstam, Intuit
  17. Building Flux's Multi-Tenant API with K8s User Impersonation - Leigh Capili, VMware

You can watch recordings of all the sessions on the CNCF’s YouTube channel

If you want to get started with GitOps today, download and install Weave GitOps Core. With a two command install you have an opinionated version of Flux, a trusted CNCF open source project, that allows you to continuously deliver applications in any Kubernetes. 

Register for our upcoming November webinar and workshop series for a deeper dive into GitOps:

November 16 - join our live webinar as we walk through benefits GitOps provides, including a step-by-step guide on how to get started. 

November 18 - join us for a 90 minute hands on workshop covering an Intro to Kubernetes & GitOps.

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WEBINAR: Implementing a Robust Pipeline-as-Code Approach Using GitOps Best Practices (December 7, 10am GMT)