GitOps is a methodology for deploying and managing applications and infrastructure using Git as the sole source of truth. It involves using Git to store and release the desired state of the application or infrastructure and using automation tools to ensure that the actual state matches the desired state. This allows for easy collaboration, undo, and auditing, as well as the ability to use standard Git workflows to manage changes.
GitOps and DevOps are related yet distinct concepts
GitOps and DevOps are related yet distinct concepts. DevOps is a culture, practice, and set of tools for creating and delivering software quickly and reliably. It emphasizes collaboration between development and operations teams to automate software creation, testing, and deployment.
GitOps is a specific approach to implementing DevOps that uses Git as the single source of truth for both application code and infrastructure. Relies on Git-based startup and automation tools to ensure that the desired state of infrastructure and applications matches the actual state.
The specific goal of GitOPs and DevOps is speed – and to deliver reliability.
GitOps and DevOps both aim to increase the speed and reliability of software delivery. However, GitOps emphasizes using Git as a central point of collaboration and control, while DevOps places more emphasis on the overall culture and practices of the organization.
How are teams putting GitOps into practice?
Teams can put GitOps into action by following these general steps:
- Store all application code and infrastructure in a Git repository: This includes configuration files, scripts, and other files needed to deploy and manage the application and its dependencies.
- Use automation tools for application deployment and management: These tools can be used to ensure that the actual state of the application and infrastructure matches the desired state stored in Git. Examples include Kubernetes, Ansible, and Terraform.
- Use Git-based workflows to manage changes: This includes using branches, pull requests, and other Git-based tools to collaborate on changes and ensure that only approved changes are published.
- Monitor and alert application and infrastructure status: Use monitoring and alerting tools to ensure that your application and infrastructure are performing as expected and to quickly detect and respond to any issues.
- Continuous merging and deployment: Continuously merging changes from the Git repository and deploying them to the production environment. This allows teams to quickly and easily roll back to the previous version if needed.
- Continuously test and validate changes: Automated testing and validation should be done at every step of the pipeline to ensure integrity and quality of code and to detect problems early.
It is important to note that GitOps is not a one-size-fits-all solution that can be adapted to various specific needs and challenges, but the above steps provide a good starting point for teams to implement GitOps in their organization.
3 ways GitOps will change software development
1. Switch to stability
Once a file or commit is added to the Git repository, it cannot be modified. This stability provides a number of benefits, including:
- Hearability: Git immutability makes it easy to track changes and understand who made them, when they were made, and why. This allows teams to easily audit their codebase, making it easier to identify and fix problems.
- Traceability: With Git, it’s easy to see the complete history of a file or repository. This makes it easy to understand how a particular file or application has evolved over time, which can be useful when debugging or determining the cause of a problem.
- Reproducibility: Because commits in Git are immutable, developers can easily revert to an earlier version of the codebase without fear of data loss or application breakage. This allows teams to quickly recover from issues and ensures that the application is always in a known working state.
- Collaboration: Git’s immutability makes it easy for multiple developers to work on the same database without fear of conflict or data loss. With branches, pull requests, and other Git-based tools, teams can collaborate on changes and ensure that only approved changes are deployed in production.
2. All environmental changes are subject to code review
When using GitOps, developers can propose changes to the application or infrastructure in the following ways:
- Create a feature branch: Developers can create a new branch in a Git repository, make their changes, and then submit a pull request to review and merge their changes. This allows teams to collaborate on changes and ensure that only approved changes are deployed in production.
- Using pull requests: Developers can submit their changes in the form of a pull request, which can be reviewed and approved by other team members before being merged into the master branch. This allows teams to review changes and discuss potential issues before they are deployed to production.
- Use issue tracking: Developers can open an issue in a Git repository to suggest changes or report a bug. This allows teams to track and discuss changes in a central location and makes it easier to see the status of a specific issue or pull request.
- Use code review tools: Developers can use code review tools to automatically check for bugs and vulnerabilities in code. This helps ensure that only high-quality code is merged into the master branch.
- Monitoring and Alert: Developers can monitor the status of the application and infrastructure and be alerted of any problems; This helps ensure that the application and infrastructure run as expected and that any issues are detected and responded to quickly.
Using these methods, developers can propose changes and report problems in a robust and efficient manner, helping to ensure that changes are deployed quickly and safely.
It is important to note that the specific process for proposing changes may vary depending on your organization’s practices and the tools you use. But the above methods give a general idea of how to propose changes when using GitOps.
3. All environmental information captured in Git
GitOps uses Git as the sole source of truth for both application code and infrastructure. Because all changes are tracked in Git, teams can easily view the full history of the codebase and understand how it has evolved over time. This provides an audit trail that can be used to:
- Improve traceability: With Git, teams can see the full history of a file or repository, making it easier to understand how a particular file or application has evolved over time. This can be useful when debugging or determining the cause of a problem.
- Ensure compliance: Git immutability ensures that all changes are tracked and logged, which can be useful for compliance purposes. Auditors can use the Git log to see exactly what changes were made and when – which can be used to prove compliance with industry regulations.
In conclusion, GitOps is a methodology that uses Git as the sole source of truth for both application code and infrastructure. Uses Git-based workflows, automation and monitoring tools to ensure that the desired state of infrastructure and applications matches the actual state. By relying on Git immutability, teams can take advantage of its benefits, such as hearability, traceability, repeatability, and collaboration.
GitOps is more than just a deployment model, it’s a way of thinking about how software is developed. It emphasizes collaboration, automation, and transparency, which can help teams work more efficiently and effectively. It’s a way to bring the benefits of Git, such as version control and collaboration, to the process side in software development.
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