What is GitOps?

GitOps is an operational framework that takes DevOps best practices used for application development such as version control, collaboration, compliance, and CI/CD, and applies them to infrastructure automation.
While the software development lifecycle has been automated, infrastructure has remained a largely manual process that requires specialized teams. With the demands made on today’s infrastructure, it has become increasingly crucial to implement infrastructure automation. Modern infrastructure needs to be elastic so that it can effectively manage cloud resources that are needed for continuous deployments.
Modern applications are developed with speed and scale in mind. Organizations with a mature DevOps culture can deploy code to production hundreds of times per day. DevOps teams can accomplish this through development best practices such as version control, code review, and CI/CD pipelines that automate testing and deployments.
GitOps is used to automate the process of provisioning infrastructure. Similar to how teams use application source code, operations teams that adopt GitOps use configuration files stored as code (infrastructure as code). GitOps configuration files generate the same infrastructure environment every time it’s deployed, just as application source code generates the same application binaries every time it’s built.
How do teams put GitOps into practice?
GitOps is not a single product, plugin, or platform. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way for teams to put GitOps into practice will vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the team. However, some tips on how to get started with GitOps include using a dedicated GitOps repository for all team members to share configurations and code, automating the deployment of code changes, and setting up alerts to notify the team when changes occur.
GitOps requires three core components:
DevOps **GitOps** = IaC + MRs + CI/CD
GitOps uses a as the single source of truth for infrastructure definitions. Git is an open source version control system that tracks code management changes, and a Git repository is a .git folder in a project that tracks all changes made to files in a project over time. is the practice of keeping all infrastructure configuration stored as code. The actual desired state may or may not be not stored as code (e.g., number of replicas or pods).
GitOps uses merge requests (MRs) as the for all infrastructure updates. The MR is where teams can collaborate via reviews and comments and where formal approvals take place. A merge commits to your main (or trunk) branch and serves as an audit log.
GitOps automates infrastructure updates using a Git workflow with and continuous delivery (CI/CD). When new code is merged, the CI/CD pipeline enacts the change in the environment. Any configuration drift, such as manual changes or errors, is overwritten by GitOps automation so the environment converges on the desired state defined in Git. GitLab uses CI/CD to manage and implement GitOps automation, but other forms of automation, such as definitions operators, can be used as well.
GitOps benefits
There are many benefits of GitOps, including improved efficiency and security, reduced costs, and faster deployments.
With GitOps, organizations can manage their entire infrastructure and application development lifecycle using a single, unified tool. This allows for greater collaboration and coordination between teams and results in fewer errors and faster problem resolution. In addition, GitOps enables organizations to take advantage of the latest DevOps practices and tools, such as containerization and microservices.
The main benefits of this approach are:
Versioned Deployments & Change history: All your cluster state is inside a git repository, and only by committing the users are able to update deployments. Also, every change can be monitored through the git commit history.
Rollbacks by using git primitives: A simple git reset can revert changes of deployments and the old state is always available.
Out of the box access control: A git system is often a place containing a lot of sensitive data, so it is in most firms properly secured. The same grade of security affects now also deployment operations.
Policies for deployment: Out of the box, most git systems support policies on branches, for example, that only Pull Requests can update the master branch and another member of the team has to review and accept the deployment. As with access control, the same policies apply to your deployment updates.
What is the difference between GitOps and DevOps?
There are a few key differences between GitOps and DevOps. For one, GitOps relies heavily on automation and tooling to manage and deploy code changes, while DevOps focuses more on communication and collaboration between teams. Additionally, GitOps is typically used in conjunction with containerization technologies like Kubernetes, while DevOps can be used with any type of application.
GitOps is a branch of DevOps that focuses on using git repositories to manage infrastructure and application code deployments. The main difference between the two is that in GitOps, the git repository is the source of truth for the deployment state, while in DevOps, it is the application or server configuration files.
What makes GitOps work?
As with any emerging technology term, GitOps isn’t strictly defined the same way by everyone across the industry. GitOps principles can be applied to all types of infrastructure automation including VMs and containers, and can be very effective for teams looking to manage Kubernetes-based infrastructure. While many tools and methodologies promise faster deployment and seamless management between code and infrastructure, GitOps differs by focusing on a developer-centric experience. Infrastructure management through GitOps happens in the same version control system as the application development, enabling teams to collaborate more in a central location while benefiting from Git’s built-in features.
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