DevOps vs GitOps: 4 Benefits you must know to Master the Methodologies
Today's rapid pace of software development requires businesses to turn to new approaches to streamline their application development and delivery. With the growing complexity of technology, enterprises are also under pressure to implement effective processes to manage large-scale software projects. These are the primary reasons for the tremendous increase in DevOps adoption over the years.
DevOps is a critical aspect impacting the digital transformation strategy for global organizations. However, building digital experiences can be highly challenging without a proper organization-wide approach.
Over the years, many variations of DevOps have emerged, and GitOps is one that we see as having a future. Along with the variations, we have also seen debates on DevOps Vs. GitOps, and which one is better!
Note: We aren't recommending DevOps over GitOps or vice-versa.
Before we dive in, let us give you some perspective. There was significant isolation between the development and operations teams back in the time. As a result of this, there was a lot of Chaos, including a communication gap and inefficiency in productivity. DevOps was introduced to address this problem. The introduction of this methodology paved the path for collaboration and transparency between Dev and Ops teams.
What Is DevOps?
DevOps is more about culture. It is the practice where operations and development engineers work on the entire service lifecycle, from design to development to production support. While doing so, DevOps helps bring continuous integration and continuous deployment making rapid delivery possible. When implementing DevOps, the key is to focus on the cultural change within the organization wherein a collaborative workspace is created.
Benefits of DevOps
Increased Productivity, Faster Delivery
DevOps involves continuous integration, development, and deployment. This facilitates increased productivity and rapid development. At the same time, DevOps accelerates the efficiency of testing environments, and testing of the product becomes faster. The code undergoes continuous integration and is merged with the testing environment, so everything from development to production becomes continuous.
Renews focus on customers
One primary reason for DevOps adoption is to shift the focus back to the customer. When developing software, slipping off the track and focusing more on the development than the customers is quite common. However, the main reason for developing the software is to serve the customers better. DevOps helps the development teams to focus more on addressing the customer's needs by being very specific about the requirement.
Supports end-to-end responsibility
DevOps typically involves development and operations and thus impacts all other aspects of the business. With different resources being engaged in product development and delivery, there is more significant support and collaboration. There is end-to-end responsibility-sharing from specification gathering, development, testing deployment, validation, customer education, and feedback.
Stable Operating Environments
As DevOps brings the entire team together and fosters a collaborative environment, the whole team becomes responsible for delivering and handling stability and new features. As DevOps involves a shared codebase, continuous integration and testing, and automated deploys, the problems — in infrastructure, application code, or configuration — are exposed much earlier in the process. As the issues are detected at early stages, handling them becomes easier. This leads the way for stable, productive operating environments.
With a solid DevOps strategy, businesses can benefit from cost savings. There are several ways in which DevOps leads to cost savings –
- 1. Software Release Costs
The software release cycles can be automated with DevOps. Automating the pipeline means faster releases and reduced iterations. It also cuts the workforce required. To sum this up, DevOps slashes software release costs!
2. Network Downtime Costs
Network downtime = Chaos! Network downtime can result in a loss in terms of money and customers. With the continuous testing, CI, and CD practices of DevOps, the code becomes more efficient, and the bugs (if any) are fixed in real-time. Additionally, the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools provide consistent performance monitoring. Together, DevOps practices help enterprise organizations cut network downtime costs.
Workflow of DevOps
GitOps is an approach used to manage the infrastructure code and deployments of Kubernetes clusters. GitOps allows us to separate the application source's continuous integration and deployment process. This is done through the use of "git pull request" methods. Changes whenever the changes in git appear, the cluster is also updated immediately.
The important fact here is that GitOps is not limited to Kubernetes. In principle, you can use any infrastructure that can be observed and described declaratively. However, currently, most operators for pull-based GitOps are implemented with Kubernetes.
There are two ways to implement the deployment strategy for GitOps.
Pull-based Vs. Push-based Deployments
The pull-based and push-based deployments use the same concept, but minor changes in the actions trigger the deployment. If given a choice, it is advised to opt for the Pull-based approach as it is considered to be more secure.
In the pull-based deployment, an operator takes over the deployment pipeline. The operator monitors the changes, and different versions are compared to see if the changes are updated or not. In the case of a difference between the versions, the operator updates the infrastructure to match the environment repository. The changes are reverted if they aren't described in the environment repository. This ensures that all changes are made traceable in the Git log, making direct modifications to the cluster impossible.
The Push-based deployment strategy is implemented by popular CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, AWS code build & CircleCI. The application's source code lives inside the application repository along with the Kubernetes YAML needed to deploy the app. The build pipeline is triggered whenever the application code is updated, which builds the container images, and finally, the environment configuration repository is updated with new deployment descriptors.
In some use cases, a Push-based deployment is inevitable when running automated provisioning of cloud infrastructure. In such cases, it is strongly recommended to utilize the fine-granular configurable authorization system of the cloud provider for more restrictive deployment permissions.
Benefits of GitOps
Increased Productivity With Continuous Deployment Automation
GitOps practices help in faster development and deployment using a familiar git tool pull requests. They also help push the new features so businesses can enjoy a faster time to market.
Easy And Fast Error Recovery
Is your production environment down? Don't you worry! With GitOps, you have a complete history of how your environment changed over time. This makes error recovery as easy as issuing a git revert, and you can see your environment being restored in a few milliseconds.
The Git record is not just an audit log but also a transaction log. You can roll back & forth to any snapshot.
Easier Credential Management
GitOps allows you to manage deployments completely from inside your environment. For this, your environment only needs access to your repository and image registry, and that's it! You don't have to give your developers direct access to the environment. You could limit access and only use it for deployments when better tooling is unavailable.
Strong Security Guarantees
GitOps provides strong authentication and security guarantees. With cryptography being used to manage and track changes, you can create an independent system and reduce downtime.
Despite some overlap, DevOps and GitOps differ in several important ways. Each of them has its own particular benefits. While DevOps is more of a methodology, GitOps is essentially a paradigm. At the same time, there is no compulsion for organizations to choose GitOps over DevOps. It depends solely on the application and infrastructure framework.