Since it was built in 2017, Gitops has been deployed across distributed containers, especially for organizations building microservices orchestrated by Kubernetes, such as devops, infrastructure as code, CI / CD principles, etc. It has emerged as a natural evolution of the latest software development practices. Recent fashion.
However, there are still some important cultural and technical hurdles that the industry must overcome to enable Gitops to achieve truly mainstream adoption of agile and DevOps practices on a historical scale.
What are Gitops?
Gitops extends devops primarily by treating the infrastructure as code. This allows you to treat both your application and its underlying infrastructure as code and store it in a version control system (probably Git) to provide both dev and ops with a single source of truth. This allows you to push all changes to declarative code and perform a series of automated steps to correct deviations from the desired state.
Everything sounds great in theory, but InfoWorld at this stage among companies known to be tampering with Gitops practices (Peloton, Volvo, Ticketmaster, Just Eat Takeaway.com, etc.) I didn’t feel like talking to him. Jim Mercer, Research Director of IDC’s DevOps Solution Practices, said:
“”[Gitops] After the acquisition of Argo CD creator Applatix in 2018, Mukulika Kapas, product management director of the internal developer platform of the fintech company Intuit, an early adopter of Gitops, said:
Instead, smaller cloud-native organizations are beginning to investigate the potential of Gitops to improve the software delivery process, while larger organizations are becoming more prevalent in cloud-native practices, such as greenfield digital initiatives and research. You may be considering Gitops in your pocket. Development center.
“Smart organizations are asking themselves how to prevent developers from SSHing into servers, instantiating, or making changes in uncontrolled ways. This is solved by Gitops. It’s a problem, “said James Governor, co-founder of RedMonk, a developer-centric analyst firm.
Still, despite that promise, Gitops remains around today. Here are four reasons why Gitops practices haven’t seen mainstream adoption yet, and some of the efforts being made to change it.
Gitops has no established pattern
The Gitops ecosystem remains small, but passionate. As a result, there are few resources for organizations that require established best practices, case studies, and patterns on which to make decisions.
“Gitops’ current biggest challenge is the lack of established patterns to guide choices,” wrote Container Solutions cloud-native consultant Ian Miell in a 2020 blog post on this topic. I will. “Until a genuine standard is established in this area, getting the Gitops architecture right is always an art, not a science.”
The Gitops Working Group was established in November 2020 as the CNCF Open Community Project and has begun to address some of these challenges, easing the recruitment curve for new entrants. Led by vendors Amazon, Codefresh, GitHub, and Weaveworks, the group was initially tasked with clearly defining the core principles of Gitops in a vendor-independent manner and expanding their adoption of their practices.
Dan Garfield, Chief Open Source Officer at Codefresh and co-founder of the Gitops Working Group, said: Interview with InfoWorld. “We’re more mature in the principles of Gitops, relying on practitioners to identify things we’ve never seen, scrape rough edges, collect community patterns, and implement them for people to see. Formalized to refer to. “
Garfield said he received “an overwhelming amount of community support” when the working group was established and representatives of 80 companies dialed the first phone call.
Gitops tools need to mature
In a typical Gitops deployment process, the developer creates a pull request for new features. The most common is Git (the origin of the name). It triggers the CI / CD pipeline once approved, tests the code and deploys it to the registry. The software agent (usually Argo or Flux) then automatically detects if the cluster state matches your Git configuration, pulls changes, and deploys new features.
“A few years ago, people built something very similar to a Git operator to get and sync infrastructure as code using versioned storage. The problem is that it meets the definition. Not that [of Gitops], [but that] It was dark art by a team using custom tools and it was difficult. Today, cloud-native tools such as Argo and Flux can greatly simplify the process, “Gurfield said.
While these tools have made great strides in recent years, there are still gaps that the community needs to fill to simplify recruitment. “While the Gitops methodology has some interesting features and selling points, the current Gitops tools focus only on the deployment part of the application, nothing else,” Codefresh said. Developer Kostis Kapelonis wrote in his 2020 blog post “The Pains of Gitops 1.0.”
He points out the ability to establish inter-environment promotions, secret handling, smoke testing, and auditing as what is currently lacking in the consumable Gitops tool stack. This means that the team now “needs to create their own best practices for all aspects of software delivery.”
For Forrester’s lead analyst, Christopher Condo, the next phase of the Gitops tool could be integrated into the cloud platform that developers are already working on. “It’s like GitHub Actions that integrates directly with Terraform, making it easier for developers to run the infrastructure as code, so they’re doing Gitops without realizing they’re doing it. It’s time to go mainstream, “he told InfoWorld.
Running Gitops on a large scale poses significant challenges
Gitops still has some well-defined limitations when running on a large scale, wrote Ádám Sándor, a cloud-native architect at the professional services company Container Solutions, in a 2020 blog post. These limitations, including auditing, remediation, and observability issues when running across multiple Git repositories.
“Gitops is the best possible way for a small team of 10 to 15 professionals,” said Humanitec, CEO of a startup that helps organizations build their own internal developer platforms. Kaspar von Grunberg said. “That’s great to some extent, but the problem I’ve started to see in large organizations is that the implementation of large Gitops is very frustrating.”
Take the process of driving change in different environments. “This is probably one of the most well-known issues in Gitops and one of the first topics discussed on how Gitops works in large organizations,” writes Kapelonis. ..
“Every time someone declares that adopting Gitops is an easy process, I always ask how promotions between different environments work, and I always get different answers,” he said. Wrote. “Even pages specifically created to address Gitops questions,” Gitops does not provide a solution for propagating changes from one stage to the next. Use only a single environment. It is advisable to avoid stage propagation altogether. “
Next is the observability issue that has plagued large-scale Gitops deployments. “Currently, the Gitops tool is great for monitoring the contents of a cluster at a technical level, but monitoring the business metrics for each deployment fails mercilessly,” Kapelonis wrote. “As Gitops is adopted by large companies with many environments and applications, the number of Git repositories grows exponentially, which makes it very difficult to track what is happening in each environment. It can quickly lead to duplicate configurations and commits to a particular environment. “
For example, if you have 20 Git repositories containing a Kubernetes manifest and you need to make central changes, you now have to manually make 20 Git commits or write homemade glue code to do that. ..
“We are building some cool tools to see all the deployments to overcome that observability challenge,” said Garfield of Codefresh. “It’s important to go to the scale side, as the mediator is suddenly running around. [don’t know] Which of the many changes today caused the regression, and you need a way to deal with the scale. … that’s the frontier right now, “he said.
It ’s difficult to get the approval of Gitops.
You just convinced your boss that devops is a way to provide more functionality to your users. And now you need to go back and persuade them to start over with Gitops. This is a daunting task for everyone and is another impediment to the mainstream adoption of Gitops.
“We spend time helping practitioners on the platform or developer support teams who are beginning to understand the benefits of Gitops to help decision makers understand the value of Gitops. We’re starting to look at the organizations we’re in, because the methods we explain are often overly simple or don’t address business value, “said Cornelia Davis, CTO of Weaveworks.
One mistake Davis often encounters is to consider Gitops as an alternative to DevOps practice. “It’s a revolution, not a switch,” she said. “We’re pretty mature with agile development and the tools that support it. There’s all sorts of optimizations going on. Gitops has done a lot on the development side, so more on the operational side. I’m saying I need to do that. “
“The problem is the sophistication of the technology, and not many people are familiar with it,” said Forrester’s condo. “Companies that don’t combine developer and cloud engineer skills are expected to become even more sophisticated in the coming years as they find better integration methods. [dev and ops].. If there’s a problem with Gitops, it’s jumping in with both feet and not coordinating everyone involved in the process. “
For the Governor of RedMonk, focusing on the control aspects that Gitops brings can be a compelling reason to make a shift. “The business case is based on concerns about developers making system changes that can cause problems. At this point, it’s the western pioneer era, and Gitops is about regaining some control,” he says. I did.
In order for practice to take hold in a meaningful way, it is essential to invest properly in people and give them time and space to understand what Gitops can bring. “Don’t just expect a new set of work practices to happen. Your entire organization won’t suddenly run Gitops, but if you’re planning a new project and considering a cloud-native infrastructure, your organization’s trust Try some Gitops practices there to build a, “says the governor.
All the signs indicate that the industry is still in the early stages of the Gitops adoption curve, but IDC’s Mercer probably thinks it will “settle faster.” [than devops], Because the cultural barriers have already been lifted a bit. If you’re doing continuous delivery with DevOps, you’re a minority, but it’s pretty wise to adopt Gitops. “
Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.
Why Gitops aren’t ready for mainstream (yet)
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