When applying for IT or technical jobs, DevOps and GitOps are the new buzzwords frequently preferred by recruiters. For all those wondering what exactly these terms stand for and how they relate to each other, you’re on the right page. In this blog below, we will help you with complete clarity in the terms - GitOps and DevOps while explaining their benefits and real-world use. Stay connected till the end to explore!
Both DevOps and GitOps approaches are used to streamline the software development and deployment process. DevOps focuses more on automation and collaboration throughout the software cycle and has been used for a while now. GitOps is a relatively newer approach which extracts the benefits of Git as a central hub for all application and infrastructure changes.
Let’s get into the clarified details of both GitOps and DevOps in the headings below to know more!
What is DevOps?
DevOps stands for development (Dev) and operations (Ops), combining the tasks of both these teams to automate and streamline the entire software development cycle, from development to deployment of operations. More than just a methodology, it is a cultural shift for the companies which emphasises better collaboration between IT and software development teams.
Earlier, developers had been manually writing all the codes for applications and managing the operations for infrastructure and development. However, with the increasing demand for better software releases, industries need to opt for a cohesive approach to stand in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, and that’s where DevOps was launched as a rescue!
In the DevOps model, the boundaries between development and operations teams are removed, as both work together while focussing on the entire software lifecycle, from design to development, production support, and feedback. The only intention behind blurring the boundary lines between both teams was to reduce the handoffs and manual tasks, which can further lead to slow releases and errors.
Benefits of Using DevOps
- DevOps focuses on automation. By automating the manual tasks, development and software teams can release new features and fixes more rapidly and with fewer chances of errors. Tools like Docker, Jenkins, Kubernetes and others play an important role in automation.
- DevOps also integrates software code changes frequently and delivers them for production seamlessly, ensuring the software is always in the deployable state.
- Infrastructure setup and configuration are treated as a code (IaC) in DevOps, which states that infrastructure can be recreated and versioned frequently, which helps with scaling and deployment.
- DevOps also promotes open communication, feedback loops, and collaborative problem-solving approaches in teams.
- Using DevOps tools, the software is under a continuous monitoring stage, which provides easier and updated insights into the applications, facilitating quicker rectifications and immediate feedback for optimal user experience.
DevOps use in Real-Life
In various scenarios, the DevOps approach can streamline and automate the website, mobile application and game development process, allowing developers to deliver more reliably and quickly.
- DevOps is used in conjunction with cloud computing, which provides a more efficient way to develop and deploy applications.
- It is also often used to implement Ci/CD pipelines, which automate the software's testing, building and deployment process.
- Companies also use it to implement IaC, which allows teams to define and manage their infrastructure using code.
What is GitOps?
With the details of DevOps, it is quite clear that most of the processes in the software development cycles have been automated, and only infrastructure has been left out as a manual process which requires an expert specialised team. With the elevating demands on today’s modern infrastructure, infrastructure automation is also crucial, as it must be elastic to manage the cloud resources required for continuous deployment effectively.
GitOps, therefore, is used to automate the infrastructure process, especially the modern cloud infrastructure. It is best described as an operations framework that uses DevOps best practices for the development process, like collaboration, version control, compliance and Ci/CD. It applies all of them to the infrastructure automation process.
Just like teams using application source code, operations teams using GitOps opt for configuration files stored as a code (IaC). GitOps configuration files, therefore, generate the same infrastructure environment each time it is deployed, just like an application code generating application binaries each time it is built.
Benefits of Using GitOps
There are multiple benefits of incorporating GitOps, which include improved security and efficiency, reduced costs, a better developer experience and faster deployments.
- With the incorporation of GitOps, organisations can manage their entire application and infrastructure development cycle with a single tool. This further promotes team collaboration and coordination, resulting in fewer errors and faster problem solutions.
- It also helps organisations take advantage of microservices and containers, maintaining consistency in all their infrastructure, from Docker images to cloud instances, Kubernetes clusters and anything on-prem.
GitOps use in Real-Life
- GitHub with GitOps manages applications and infrastructure and uses various GitOps tools, including Flux and ArgoCD.
- Microsoft Azure also offers Gitops services through Azure GitOps, which helps teams to deploy and manage applications and infrastructure on Azure using Git.
- Weaveworks also incorporated GitOps for infrastructure and applications management.
DevOps vs. GitOps: A Comparison
The DevOps approach focuses on collaborations between operations and developers, bringing these two teams together to work more efficiently. It helps shorten the feedback loop, speed up development and reduce errors. Whereas GitOps focuses on using Git repositories as the source of truth for application and infrastructure code. With this, the team traces all the changes in a single place, making it easy to roll back when required.
Main Tool -
The use of primary tools is also one of the main differences between the two. DevOps uses Jenkins for CI and CD, whereas GitOps uses Git, a popular version control system. Jenkins was created for automating development and software tasks, whereas Git was designed for version control.
DevOps mainly focuses on automating the software development process from start to finish. In contrast, GitOps focuses more on treating infrastructure as code, allowing more speed and flexibility when making infrastructure changes.
In DevOps, the operations team is responsible for managing infrastructure and deploying code, and the development team ensure the deployments are correct. On the other hand, in GitOps, all the deployments are in declarative configuration files stored in Git repositories, which allows automated verification before final deployment. This reduces the risk of errors and makes it easier to roll back to the original versions.
GitOps is a brand of DevOps where application and infrastructure code are managed using version control tools like Git. It, therefore, ensures more accuracy as all the changes are recorded and tracked, making it easier to find the older versions.
GitOps primarily relies on version control systems like Git, which allow change tracking and rollbacks. In contrast, DevOps offers more flexibility regarding processes and tools, not limited to a single system.
Similarities in DevOps and GitOps
- DevOps and GitOps both aim to improve the software development cycle efficiency by shortening the development cycle, improving communication between teams, and using Git (as a single source of truth) for managing deployments.
- Both these approaches aim to prioritise task automation to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of manual errors.
- Apart from just reducing errors, DevOps and GitOps also aim to provide transparency in the process to avoid any unpleasant surprises and issues.
GitOps or DevOps - Which is the Best?
There is a never-ending debate about which GitOps or DevOps is the best. If you’re also looking for the answers to the same, the section below will help you!
DevOps is all about automation and integration between teams, and GitOps focuses on the version control of the development process. Therefore, the selection between the two entirely depends on the specific goals and needs of the organisation.
DevOps could have been a better approach for companies that opt for a large code base and have multiple teams, as it promotes easier coordination and communication between teams. But, if the organisation's core is experimenting with merging branches, GitOps is a better option for managing the merging process. Also, companies which prioritise security also can opt for GitOps as all the changes can easily be tracked and traced.
However, no one-size-fits-all solution depends on the company’s core needs.
DevOps and GitOps are essential concepts when discussing software development and deployment processes. But both have different approaches and methodologies, as outlined in the above sections.
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