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GitOps vs. DevOps - why they are better together

GitOps vs. DevOps - why they are better together

Is GitOps replacing DevOps? Here’s what we know and how GitOps helps DevOps teams solve deployment challenges, with a stronger focus on code.

As many of us already know, DevOps was born in the hopes of combining two critical functions that had trouble working together: Developers and operations. The goal was to create one fluid, symbiotic unit that functioned perfectly, skyrocketing productivity for teams. Because when development and operations were siloed, everything was bottlenecked and nothing got done. 

So naturally, combining the functions should fix the problem - right? Not necessarily. Eventually, developers were asked to “do it all” - and be DevOps engineers, so their role actually included operations functions. Some developers can manage that and keep their sanity, but not everyone can do it - and they shouldn’t have to. A developer is a developer, and we shouldn’t ask them to be more, because we need developers. 

This is the problem with “modern DevOps.” It rests on the assumption that developers can and should “do” DevOps, when DevOps was meant to be a function of working, not a specific role. 

This is where GitOps comes in to help solve part of the problem we have: DevOps is a concept, a function, with multiple ways to implement - many of which tax developers. But GitOps provides more concrete steps about how to reap the benefits of a function like DevOps. 

In a nutshell, GitOps means storing everything in Git.

As you might have already guessed, the version control system Git is intimately involved with GitOps, as everything is stored in Git. With GitOps, developers are able to store code and infrastructure in a Git repository. And within it, everything becomes code. 

What does GitOps help developers do? 

So why should developers care about storing everything in Git? 

Because when everything is code, it makes it so much easier to work with. GitOps helps you maintain control, from beginning to end, with every aspect of development. From writing code to building, from testing to deployment, you’re in control from beginning to end. 

So does this mean that operations aren’t involved at all? 

Well, no. But it does mean that developers have a lot more control in the “DevOps” function, and many other tools can be used to build a GitOps framework, like Kubernetes, CI/CD, and other git repositories. 

GitOps embodies the spirit of DevOps in a way that’s much more developer-focused, with a strong emphasis on code (literally everything is code.) GitOps helps unify all DevOps elements around a single source of truth, or a single Git repository, for anyone involved in the process. 

GitOps also provides a way for developers to manage infrastructure as code that’s used to manage any cloud resources. 

By far, the most important benefit of GitOps is that it helps developers do everything at their own pace without being bottlenecked by other teams or operations. Making changes with Git means that developers can do what they’ve always desperately wanted to do: Code without waiting on resources to be assigned or approved by other teams. 

And for operations teams, full visibility means they can improve security because there’s a trackable record of everything that they can follow along with. Everything is reproducible in Git, so if a problem is solved once, it’s solved for good. 

Overall, the benefits for developers and operators help organizations move faster, make the right changes, and speed up timelines in an increasingly competitive business landscape. 

How is GitOps different from DevOps practices?

GitOps provides developers with a tangible framework to actually start putting their “DevOps” ideals into practice, so they can see real results. Since GitOps allows developers to use Git as a single source of truth for managing and deploying applications, the approach has several advantages over traditional DevOps practices: 

1. Streamlined development processes

Since Git is the central repository of truth, developers can easily work together on code, track changes, and manage versions. This means they won’t need multiple tools and processes to manage all the code. Thus, the development process is much quicker and more efficient.

2. Easy automation

With GitOps, developers can easily set up automated pipelines to deploy code changes to different environments. This will save them time and reduce the risk of human error.

3. Better CD and integration

Since GitOps makes it easy to deploy code changes, developers can make small, gradual changes instead of large, sporadic updates. This makes it easier to find and detect bugs.

4. Separation of development and operations

GitOops allows developers to focus on writing code and testing, while the operations team can focus on infrastructure management. This seems counterintuitive for “DevOps,” but truly, GitOps helps each function perform their tasks more easily and efficiently, which does support the DevOps mission, even if the functions are once again separated.

5. Better security

Again, since Git can be looked at as the single source of truth, all development activity can be easily tracked and audited. It’s easier to notice security issues and fix them, and deployments all come with a clear chain of custody. 

Traditional DevOps practices may typically come with manual processes and multiple tools required to manage and deploy code. Having it all in one place makes it so much easier for developers to manage, not to mention collaborate with other teams. 

Here are the main differences between GitOps and DevOps:

Feature DevOps GitOps
Concept A software development methodology that emphasizes collaboration and communication between development and operations teams. A more specific methodology that uses Git as the single source of truth for infrastructure and application deployment.
Workflow Involves more manual processes and tools for code integration, testing, and deployment. Automates the entire workflow from code to production using Git as the central hub for all changes.
Deployment Deployments are typically done manually or with limited automation. Deployments are fully automated, triggered by changes in the Git repository.
Rollback Rollbacks are typically done manually and may require additional testing - which takes time away from developers. Rollbacks are fully automated and can be easily done by reverting to a previous Git commit. Developers AND operators get more time back.
Auditing and Tracking Auditing and tracking of changes can be difficult and time-consuming. Git's built-in tracking and auditing capabilities make it easy to track and revert changes.
Collaboration Collaboration between development and operations teams can be challenging - at best. GitOps' use of Git as the single source of truth facilitates collaboration and communication. This makes life easier for developers and operators, since everything is happening faster.
Business Benefits Can lead to faster time-to-market but can lack consistency, reliability and scalability. Provides consistency, reliability, and scalability while enabling faster time-to-market and easier rollbacks.

While DevOps focuses on improving collaboration and communication between development and operations teams, GitOps takes it a step further by using Git as the central hub for all changes and automating the entire workflow from code to production. 

Lagoon makes the GitOps approach easy 

GitOps is a powerful way that developers can better manage software. With’s Lagoon, your developers will have easy and instant access to following a GitOps approach as they push code via Git into Lagoon. Lagoon supports developers developing and deploying through Git, which can help teams work easily and get more done.  

Interested in learning more about how GitOps can help developers get things done? Contact us today to learn how your team can benefit.