What is GitOps
Containers come with a level of never-seen-before agility experienced in this technological era. With containers, administrators can carry out deployments of tons of applications and services in a flash. For better scalability options of containers and applications, efficient tools like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes are available.
However, there are times when even the standard container workflow fails to keep up with the ever-growing requirements. If not using orchestration platforms like Kubernetes, you’ll end up failing in the smooth deployment and scaling of container clusters.
Being in the related environment, you must have come across the word “GitOps”. But do you know what exactly it is and how much potential it holds for a growing business?
If not then don’t worry, we’ve got everything GitOps covered in this blog. Along with detailed information about its advantages and patterns of workflows, the blog will detail information regarding their implementation to run Kubernetes and scale containers efficiently.
What is GitOps?
First launched in 2017, GitOps is a process and a set of practices for managing Kubernetes and application delivery systems. It utilizes Git as the only source for declarative infrastructure and applications. For inputs, they keenly keep track of the systems with declarative specifications that help in creating the basis of continuous everything.
GitOps makes the use of software agents to check the difference between Git and the application running in the cluster. In the case of divergence, they update or remove that specific cluster as per the scenario automatically.
Having Git at the center for content delivery, users take the help of several tools for pulling the requests that enhance the deployment and operation tasks of Kubernetes. Therefore, you can understand GitOps as a way for achieving continuous deployment for cloud-native applications.
Moreover, it connects with Kubernetes’ convergence properties and offers a smooth and robust model for the development of Kubernetes-based infrastructure and applications.
- Simplifies the experience of developers by pushing only the code instead of the entire container.
- Boosts productivity rate along with regular automatic deployment.
- Makes the use of automated audit logs for better stability.
- Offers consistent and standard end-to-end workflows.
- Provides better security because of Git’s strong cryptography that efficiently tracks and manages all the changes.
- Offers pocket-friendly workflows and improved productivity.
- Saves developers from maintaining scripts and allowing them to focus on improving features and advancements.
- Offers an unbreakable deployment process and helps businesses have greater confidence.
- Allows individuals to recover from partial failures without manual efforts.
- Reduces the time of deployment by pulling the requests within hours.
The main motive for utilizing GitOps is getting access to a Git repository that is composed of all the declarative descriptions regarding the infrastructure that are required in the production environment. Moreover, deployment of new applications and updating the existing ones only require the repository to be updated and all of the other things will be handled automatically.
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes or “K8s” is a container orchestration platform through which many of the manual processes such as deployment, management, and distribution of containerized applications can be done automatically.
An individual can use them on-premise, public/private, and even hybrid clouds that make them a go-to option for hosting applications that need quick scaling and frequent update releases.
Kubernetes simplifies the process of deploying and operating applications by using microservice architecture. By creating an abstraction layer above the group hosts, it allows businesses to release applications and auto-manage the rest of the processes. Kubernetes does the following:
- Orchestrate containers among various hosts.
- Utilizes all the hardware to make the most out of all the resources required for the functioning of the apps.
- Rolls out the application deployments automatically.
- Efficiently scales the containerized applications even if they’re running.
- Manage resources to ensure that applications are simultaneously running in the way you want without any glitch.
- Runs regular health check-ups and auto-healing with the help of auto-placement, auto-restart, auto-replication, and auto-scaling.
Reasons to Choose GitOps
1. High Productivity
The simultaneous deployment process along with an integrated feedback control loop accelerates productivity a lot. Having the GitOps infrastructure applied in the system will enhance the team to ship 30-100 times more changes per day that shifts the overall development output by 2x times.
2. Improved Developer Experience
Developers just have to push codes or files instead of pushing the whole container. They can also utilize tools such as Git for the management of updates and features of Kubernetes without much deeper knowledge. Moreover, new developers can also get started with quick set-up for improving speed and start working within days instead of months.
3. Improved Stability
Using Git for the management of clusters automatically brings out a convenient audit log of all cluster modifications outside of Kubernetes. Containing all the information regarding the manipulations, you can accordingly shape your cluster to meet SOC 2 compliance and ensure stability.
4. Higher Reliability
Achieving stable rollbacks gets easy with the help of Git as it can revert/roll back and fork. And since the entire GitOps is based on Git, developers will be liberated with a source through which they can recover even after the meltdown of clusters that reduces the meantime to recovery from hours to minutes.
5. Consistency and Standardization
Offering a single model for building infrastructures and applications, developers will be able to have consistent end-to-end workflows all the time. Along with simultaneous integration and regular deployment, all the operations tasks are also fully reproducible through Git.
6. Stronger Security
Security lies at the core of GitOps because it is backed by the strong cryptography utilized for tracking and managing changes. Also, users will have the ability to manipulate significant changes so that they can achieve the desired state of the cluster.
How GitOps Work?
1. Pulling requests
GitOps makes the process of manipulation or modification faster because issues are resolved by pulling requests instead of directly fixing the whole system. You may require to make changes in the following situations:
- Updates in container images.
- Updates in the desired state.
- In case of a container malfunctioning.
2. Making clusters consistent
Executing the configuration updates manually has more chances of making the observed state and desired state with a slight difference that will result in causing divergence. However, if using the GitOps infrastructure, their convergence mechanism fixes the issue by managing the observed state as the desired state defined in the version control.
Kubernetes will automatically implement the changes on the cluster to make the declared configuration. However, if the state still has divergence, an alert will be made in regular intervals in kubediff. The convergence mechanism will automatically reach a point at zero alerts.
Also, the convergence will remain idempotent because many applications should have similar outcomes. In simple words, convergence is a settlement loop that brings clusters into the desired state.
3. Continuous everything with Jenkins X
First of all, let’s learn what’s “continuous everything”.
Continuous everything is an adaptation that leads to continuous delivery, continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous deployment, etc. of the containerized applications. Jenkins X is one of the most popular open-source projects that adds ‘continuous everything’ to cloud-native applications. Its command-line tool, namely jx helps businesses in:
- Fast creation of Kubernetes clusters on all the popular service providers.
- Importation of existing applications to save investments from getting wasted.
- Automatic set up of applications for delivery.
- Allowing developers to experiment with new ideas.
- Quick and smooth rollbacks in case of failure.
Principles of GitOps
1. The whole Kubernetes system is declarative
Kubernetes being “Declarative” simply means that the configuration is done on the basis of facts rather than on the basis of instructions. Kubernetes can be treated as code and the application’s declaration defined in Git will work as an only reliable source.
Moreover, you easily release and roll back your applications from Kubernetes, and every time when a big issue arises, the infrastructure of your cluster can be reproduced quickly.
2. Approving automatically applied changes
Right after putting the declared state in Git, you’ll have to allow the changes to automatically get applied to your system. For this on your system, you don’t need any cluster credentials. GitOps also offers you a segregated environment through which you can separately run what you’re doing and how you’re planning to execute it.
3. Real-time alerts on divergence
After you declare the desired state in version control, you’ll be informed every time the current state mismatch with what’s your expectations. Moreover, the system also ensures to have a regular check-up and make self-healing (including the human errors) every time damage occurs.
In the ever-evolving environment of Kubernetes and containers, keeping up with all the operations and modifications gets daunting at times. Therefore, GitOps helps developers to cope up with all the challenges by adopting advanced technologies and tools, allowing centralized management, and real-time auditing.
GitOps manages Kubernetes by using Git as the only source of truth for the complete system. Along with managing the integration of tools, it also focuses on performing the implementation of various strategies and deployment.