What is GitOps?5 February 2023 · Filed in Platform Development
GitOps focuses on using Git as a source of truth for changes to your system.
DevOps encourages the collaboration between Ops and Dev teams. In practice, it has a focus on self-service and automation.
Given that source code and Infrastructure as code often live in Git repositories, GitOps proposes that it is what is in the repository as the source of truth. For this to be true though, we must action any changes to the code as soon a practical.
Getting the Desired State to the Actual state is automatically processed through Automation.
Any Infrastructure as code or configuration files held in a Git Repo, must therefore be the truth, or at least treated
as the desired state of things. To do this, GitOps usually employs automation and pipelines to act on the configuration
as soon as the code is committed to the default or
We employ several pipelines to act upon configuration.
i) Machine Images: As soon code hits a branch in a PR, an image is built and tested. Tools for this include packer, puppet or ansible, and test kitchen. Odd to bring a chef tool into the mix, but there you are.
Our pipeline builds the base image using packer, running ansible for the role configuration management, and runs tests
against the image with test kitchen. If the commit is on the
main branch, then the resultant image is tagged and
shared across accounts, to become the new default for that role.
ii) Infrastructure: The code review process include a series of tests to check for static errors and code planning.
Our IaC is mostly written in Terraform with a bit of terratest. This GitOps driven pipeline
terraform apply the code when running from
main to ensure the Git source of truth is indeed what the
infrastructure looks like.
iii) Microservices: Likewise the pattern continues into the Developer domain, with their submitted and peer reviewed
source code getting brought into a build, test and deploy pipeline. The code being deployed is tagged to a version
in the repository, so
main isn’t necessarily what is deployed to live. The pipeline often deploys to pre production
environments, awaiting the human process of change control before hitting Production. In a smaller or startup setup,
you may have the CI/CD Pipeline compile, test and deploy to all environments, with the caveat that the preproduction
deployments should successfully deploy first.
The golden thread through all of these examples, is the automation of deployment. The code is committed to a Git repository, which is read and checked before deploying to production, in an automatic pipeline, triggered by the commit.
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