If you're wondering what GitOps is, you have come to the right place! Check out our GitOps with CNDI video, if that's how you prefer to learn!
Like many terms, it’s hard to find an agreed upon definition out there, so let's start by going over Polyseam’s GitOps definition:
GitOps takes the DevOps process and applies it to managing your infrastructure as code, your Kubernetes cluster and the applications that run on top of it.
That definition had a bunch of software engineering terms, so let’s break it down, starting with DevOps.
DevOps is a continuous process with the goal of efficiently iterating on a software project to make it better. Most organizations who use the DevOps approach are likely using git, whether they are self-hosting it or on a cloud platform like GitHub or GitLab.
By using git your team can effectively collaborate on work, review each other’s code, run tests to ensure the code is working properly, and then ultimately have that code automatically deployed. Developers being able to own this entire lifecycle of software development is the core of DevOps.
The next term in our GitOps definition that you might not know, is “Infrastructure as Code”.
Infrastructure as code or “IaC” refers to managing the state of your hardware infrastructure from code instead of manual processes. It’s important to keep in mind that Infrastructure as Code is just managing your hardware - software is still not involved yet.
Some benefits of managing your infrastructure this way include easy infrastructure scaling (up or down), it’s much easier to redeploy infrastructure for common jobs, and it lowers the amount of errors caused by manual configuration. There are many other benefits to IaC but those are some of the most common.
Kubernetes is by far the most commonly used platform to deploy distributed applications to the cloud because of it’s ability to manage a cluster of servers working together to run software. It’s also open-source and available in every cloud.
Kubernetes is managed with configuration files, and traditionally these files need to be manually applied within the cluster, this means there is no trace of how the cluster has been configured over time, and this process is very error prone.
Just like we saw with IaC the best way to manage changes is to keep those files in git. By using a tool like ArgoCD we’re able to automatically sync this configuration into our cluster from our git repo. This approach of having the cluster synchronize itself is the software component of GitOps, and coupled with the hardware infrastructure as code, our entire system is defined as source code in git. Because the configuration files (Kubernetes Manifests) are all in git, we can use a modern DevOps approach to manage the files - and by extension the cluster - efficiently.
We know this is a complex topic, so let’s recap our definition
GitOps takes the DevOps process and applies it to managing your infrastructure as code, your Kubernetes cluster, and the applications that run on top of it.
Essentially what we're doing is using the DevOps process to manage our hardware and software that run our compute workloads. Now if you're wondering what tool you can use to really enable the GitOps workflow in your organization, this is where CNDI comes in, built by Polyseam, fully open-source, and totally free for everyone to use forever.
CNDI essentially lets you leverage the power of GitOps from one configuration file, in the same workflow you already use for your software projects.
From this file you can specify the hardware and software aspects of your infrastructure. This file can be generated from answering some interactive prompts in the command line. You can even write templates with your own prompts to accelerate your own teams through Platform Engineering. Stay tuned for a blog post about that!
If you're interested, you can check out the project here!
Last thing I want to mention is since CNDI is an open-source project, we’re excited to onboard every interested contributor. So if you want to be involved in building this new Cloud-Native tool, we would love to hear your ideas and build together.
Please reach out if you want to learn more about GitOps or CNDI, our team is here to help!