Exploring GitOps and its Benefits

GitOps has existed for some time, but the challenge of consistently deploying and managing container runtime environments has led to its recent popularity.


By automating software operations, GitOps helps enterprises to enhance their software engineering practices. It helps application teams deploy their software more frequently and run cloud-native apps smoothly.


In this post, we'll investigate the viability of using GitOps in edge topologies, specifically regarding developing CI/CD pipelines for deploying apps at the network's edge.


GitOps Definition


GitOps is a DevOps practice that stores the desired configuration state in a single place in Git. Automating business processes is a top priority, and Git repositories are the engine that drives this. Git's interfaces make it possible to automate processes. When a change in the code base occurs, GitOps will use metadata from the build to decide which packages to build.


The controller pattern is fundamental to the GitOps framework. The operator pattern is really helpful here, where the software extensions manage apps and their components using specialized resources.


Argo CD, a GitOps product that facilitates GitOps processes, deserves special note. It is an open-source declarative tool for app CI/CD. Argo CD is a Kubernetes controller that compares the live state on the cluster to the desired state provided in a Git repository to ensure that applications are executing as expected.


It's important to note that GitOps is not limited to a particular tool or software suite. With the support of GitOps workflows, teams can manage their IT infrastructure by using the same procedures they use for application development. There are three essential parts to any GitOps system:



● Infrastructure as Code(IaC): It refers to managing infrastructure configurations using code. GitOps relies on a central Git repository as the authoritative description of all infrastructure components. Changes in code management are cataloged via Git.
● Pull requests (PRs) and merge requests (MRs): In GitOps, these two forms of code review are used to implement infrastructure changes. Team members can post their comments and reviews here, and authoritative stamps of approval can be granted at this stage of the process.
● Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD): GitOps automates infrastructure changes through the use of a Git workflow. The CI/CD pipeline implements the change in the environment when a new code is merged. GitOps automation overwrites any configuration drift caused by manual changes or errors, bringing the environment closer to the ideal state specified in Git and enabling continuous operations (CO).

Edge computing and GitOps


Cloud


IT teams at large companies need to coordinate the operation of several container runtime software clusters in public clouds or on-premises.


GitOps in edge computing is useful since it allows edge- and IoT-based firms to roll out changes and revert those changes across various clouds, ensuring that all clusters are in the same desired condition.


Enterprise Edge


GitOps facilitates simultaneous deployment to many destinations. As a result, incremental deployments may be rolled out. This would be especially helpful when deploying apps to many small edge clusters that integrate Intel NUC or NVIDIA Jetson since the edge nodes themselves might be very heterogeneous in terms of their shape, form factors, and the communication protocols they support.


The GitOps framework can help deploy applications and use the Git repository as the single source of truth.


Network Edge


One of the biggest obstacles Communication Service Providers (CSPs) have is trying to find orchestration, automation, and management of their networks, all of which are relevant to the GitOps paradigm at the network edge. Although 5G will benefit customers, telecommunications companies are struggling to keep up with the demands of software-defined networks (SDNs), network slicing at varying bandwidths, and rapid rollout.


CSPs may speed up the delivery of services to clients by utilizing an automated deployment pipeline. Time to market for new features and change requests is decreased with a centralized repository and a declarative approach to provisioning container infrastructure. This new paradigm will facilitate cloud-native network functions (CNFs) and virtual network functions (VNFs) provisioning at the network edge. By placing network components in containers, administrative tasks become simple. Finally, the ability to trace changes is crucial for compliance and audit purposes since all configuration action is documented and kept in Git.


Far Edge


GitOps' value is most evident in the network edge and enterprise edge, where its effects are most direct. Some devices at the far edge lack the resources to host GitOps services and operate apps.


Lightweight Kubernetes distributions, such as K3s and K0s, have been released for IoT and edge use cases. GitOps instruments like Argo CD can be deployed and operate on edge devices because of the availability of these lightweight Kubernetes distributions. The device (or devices) can then use to the pull method, where they pull a Git repository to retrieve the required state and update themselves to match the current state of the cluster.


Conclusion


Issues with infrastructure and application configuration drift are easy to fix with GitOps. 

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