GitOps Principles and Workflows Required for Successful Collaboration

Kubernetes clusters contain many moving pieces, so do the applications that operate on them. The status of each cluster might vary quickly due to regular app and environment modifications. When working at scale—with dozens of clusters and hundreds of application instances—it can be nearly difficult to avoid configuration discrepancies between clusters and configuration errors that result in lengthy debugging, outage, or worse.

These are the kinds of difficulties that have prompted so many businesses to embrace GitOps, which extends the traditional features of Git techniques to continuous delivery (CD) and infrastructure management. According to the previous year's Container Security Survey, 64.5 percent of respondents said they were previously utilizing GitOps. When this year's study is out, that number will surely rise.

This blog examines the GitOps ideas and routines that make the method so effective. Although GitOps principles may be used to various infrastructure approaches, the major focus is on Kubernetes.

GitOps Definition

A Git repository maintains all the information for designing, building, and updating apps and infrastructure in GitOps. DevOps teams may more efficiently manage resources by adopting software development lifecycle concepts such as version control, collaboration, and compliance and applying them to the infrastructure. When a Git repository is updated, code is pushed to (or rolled back from) the production infrastructure, enabling fast and reliable automation of deployments.

GitOps is essentially an extension of the notion of infrastructure-as-code (IaC). Using the same method to manage infrastructure configuration files as you do for software development allows your team to work more efficiently on infrastructure changes and vet configuration files using the same thoroughness as you do code.

Why Use GitOps?

GitOps makes use of Git as a single point of contact for both infrastructure and apps. Because GitOps is declarative, it allows for greater standards, security, and productivity. The GitOps operating paradigm provides several benefits to teams:

Familiarity: Workload deployment to Kubernetes clusters are driven by the same mechanism that is used to integrate code using pull or merge requests.
Deployments are carried out in near real time: The time it takes to deploy to a cluster starts when the artifact repository is upgraded.
Agility: By reducing the expense and operational load of a distribution, application teams can concentrate on moving as quickly as possible with as many releases as needed to serve the business.
Consistency: Aligns programmers and operations teams by controlling Kubernetes operational procedures with a consistent system of version control for apps and infrastructure
Security: By eliminating manual operations, there is less chance of unintended manual mistakes. GitOps ensures that version control's "desired state" is applied on Kubernetes clusters. A shift from the target state (whether accidental or intentional) is quickly recognized and, in certain implementations, optionally stopped.
Compliance: The compliance burden is reduced by consolidating Git as the source of fact for artifact versions, modifications, and audits.
Cost savings: By eliminating redundant manual procedures, application teams become more productive and efficient.

Principles of GitOps 

GitOps is founded on a set of straightforward basic ideas. These ideas are consistent with the basic design concepts of Kubernetes, which is why GitOps and Kubernetes complement each other so well:

Declarative: GitOps, like Kubernetes, is declarative. Git is used to "declare" the desired state of your application, cluster, or other system, and GitOps works in the background to accomplish and maintain that state.
Versioned: Everything (app code, cluster configuration, app configuration, etc.) is versioned and managed in Git (or another version control system), resulting in a single canonical state of truth—all saved in a single location.
Automatic: Once you've updated and accepted the desired state in Git, it may be applied automatically with no manual intervention.
Self-healing: Software agents run in the background to guarantee that the target condition is maintained and to inform you if anything veers off course.

GitOps Workflows 

So, now that you know what GitOps is and the ideas that underpin it, how do people utilize it? One of GitOps' features is that it automates infrastructure while application code creates app binaries, promoting greater cooperation.

GitOps, for example, is commonly used by teams to automate the heavy lifting necessary when releasing a new software feature. You edit and check in the application manifest besides writing and checking in the code for the feature.

When these check-ins are completed, the revised code and configuration files are deployed to the designated cluster(s), or you may manually activate the deployment. If something goes wrong during the deployment, you may quickly roll back to a prior state.

Tools for GitOps

While normal Git tools may be used to apply the GitOps approach and processes, you'll need some additional tooling to reap the full advantages, particularly the ability to guarantee that the intended state is preserved. Flux and ArgoCD are two popular open-source GitOps technologies that interact with Kubernetes.

It's important to note that a GitOps pipeline can be either pull- or push-based. In a pull-centered pipeline, a GitOps Kubernetes agent on the cluster observes the Git archive for changes and pulls them in the cluster as they occur. The repository updates initiate the build and deploy process, which pushes updates to each target cluster in the push-based strategy.

Pull-based GitOps pipelines provide several advantages over push-based pipelines:

●Use read-only (RO) credentials rather than complete credentials.
●Inbound connection to each cluster is not required.
●Active detection and blocking/remediation of configuration drift is provided.
●Pull-based GitOps is generally more secure, and active detection and remediation may be quite valuable.

What to Look at when Considering a GitOps Service Provider

A reliable vendor provides continuous delivery by automating the deployment, monitoring, and administration of continuous deployment pipelines as a Service or through the use of your preferred tool, such as Flux or ArgoCD. The platform should function with any Kubernetes distribution, in public clouds and at remote/edge locations.

A GitOps service should allow you to:

●Build multi-stage GitOps pipelines for apps and clusters programmatically.
●Completely automate deployments and eliminate error-prone manual stages.
●Ensure that the intended condition defined in your Git repositories is immediately enforced on Kubernetes clusters.
●Implement simple controls that allow developers and operational teams to interact.

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