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What is GitOps?

GitOps is a modern software deployment strategy. The configuration that describes how your application is deployed to a cluster are stored in a Git repository. The configuration is continuously synchronized from the Git repository to the cluster, ensuring that the specified state of the cluster always matches what is defined in the “GitOps” Git repository.

The benefits of using a GitOps deployment strategy are:

  • Familiar, collaborative change and review process. Engineers are intimately familiar with Git-based workflows: branches, pull requests, code reviews, etc. GitOps leverages this experience to control the deployment of software and updates to catch issues early.

  • Clear change log and audit trail. The Git commit log serves as an audit trail to answer the question: “who changed what, and when?” Having such information available, you can contact the right people when fixing or prioritizing a production incident to determine the why and correctly resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Additionally, Kommander’s CD component (Flux CD) maintains a separate audit trail in the form of Kubernetes Events, as changes to a Git repository don’t include exactly when those changes were deployed.

  • Avoid configuration drift. The scope of manual changes made by operators expands over time. It soon becomes difficult to know which cluster configuration is critical and which is left over from temporary workarounds or live debugging. Over time, changing a project configuration or replicating a deployment to a new environment becomes a daunting task. GitOps supports simple, reproducible deployment to multiple different clusters by having a single source of truth for cluster and application configuration.

That said, there are some cases when live debugging is necessary in order to resolve an incident in the minimum amount of time. In such cases, pull-request-based workflow adds precious time to resolution for critical production outages. Kommander’s CD strategy supports this scenario by letting you disable the auto sync feature. After auto sync is disabled, Flux will stop synchronizing the cluster state from the GitOps git repository. This lets you use kubectl, helm, or whichever tool you need to resolve the issue.

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