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Awesome 8 GitOps Tools To Use In 2024

GitOps Tools

GitOps is becoming increasingly popular for managing cloud-native applications, particularly those deployed on Kubernetes. Well, here in this collection we are going to discuss the best GitOps Tools that’ll boost your workflow with ease. But let’s understand what exactly is GitOp and how it can be beneficial for developers.

What Exactly Is GitOps?

GitOps is a modern approach to continuous delivery that leverages Git repositories as the single source of truth for infrastructure as code and application deployments. With GitOps, the entire system configuration is stored in a Git repository, and changes to the system are made through pull requests and version-controlled updates.

This method ensures transparency, traceability, and collaboration among development and operations teams. By using Git as the central control plane, GitOps enables automated deployment, monitoring, and management of applications and infrastructure, promoting a declarative and auditable workflow.

While it originated in the Kubernetes world, the principles of GitOps can be applied to other infrastructure and application management scenarios.

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Imagine your infrastructure as a Lego castle. Traditionally, you might build the castle by manually following instructions or diagrams. With GitOps, the instructions (configurations) are stored in a book (Git repository). When you want to make changes, you update the book and a helper (CI/CD pipeline) automatically rebuilds the castle according to the new instructions.

Now, let’s know what are the key aspects of GitOps.

Key Aspects of GitOps

Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects of GitOps:

  • Git as the single source of truth: 
    • All infrastructure and application configurations are stored in a Git repository, making it the central hub for managing your entire system. 
    • Provides benefits like version control, auditability, and easy rollbacks.
  • Declarative configuration:
    • No need to manually configure infrastructure as you can define the desired state of your system in Git using declarative languages like YAML or Helm charts. 
    • This allows GitOps tools to automatically reconcile the actual state with the desired state, ensuring consistency and stability.
  • CI/CD pipeline: 
    • Changes to the Git repository trigger a CI/CD pipeline that builds, tests, and deploys the infrastructure and applications. 
    • This automation ensures consistency and reduces manual error.
  • Pull-based deployments: 
    • Deployments are triggered by changes pulled into the Git repository, rather than pushed to the target environment. 
    • This promotes a “read-only” approach to the production environment, improving security and stability.

Benefits of GitOps:

GitOps proves beneficial in overseeing deployments across diverse infrastructures. Its significance is particularly pronounced for software developers and platform engineers engaged with Kubernetes, aspiring to adopt continuous operating models. The ease with which GitOps facilitates continuous deployment becomes evident, especially in the context of cloud-native applications.

Besides, it offers the following benefits:

  • Increased agility and speed: Automated deployments and infrastructure management enable faster delivery cycles and time to market.
  • Improved reliability and stability: Declarative configuration and pull-based deployments ensure consistency and reduce errors.
  • Enhanced collaboration and visibility: Git provides a central platform for teams to collaborate on infrastructure and application changes.
  • Simplified rollbacks and disaster recovery: Version control in Git makes it easy to roll back to previous configurations or recover from failures.

While you may be confused between CI/CD Pipeline and GitOps workflow, it is important to clarify the difference: “Typically, external events such as code push to a repository trigger CI/CD pipelines. However, in a GitOps workflow, modifications are initiated through pull requests, leading to changes in the Git repository’s state.”

Now, let’s discuss the best tools for GitOps.

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The Best GitOps Tools

ArgoCD

First, on the list of GitOps Tools is the Argo CD. It is a powerful and versatile tool for implementing GitOps on your Kubernetes clusters. Besides, it also simplifies application deployments, improves reliability, and empowers teams to deliver software faster and more efficiently. It’s essentially a declarative, continuous delivery (CD) tool that helps you achieve the following:

  • Automated deployments:
    • You define your desired application state in Git manifests (like YAML files) stored in a Git repository.
    • Continuously monitors repository and automatically applies any changes to your Kubernetes cluster, keeping it synchronized with the desired state.
  • Pull-based deployments:
    • Argo CD pulls changes from Git, ensuring a more secure and predictable deployment process.
    • This minimizes the risk of accidental modifications to the production environment.
  • Declarative configuration:
    • You focus on what you want your applications to look like, not how to achieve it.
    • Argo CD handles the underlying operations to bring your desired state to life.
  • Single source of truth:
    • Git becomes the central hub for managing your Kubernetes applications.
    • All configurations and versions are stored and tracked in the repository, providing excellent auditability and rollback capabilities.
  • Integration with CI/CD pipelines:
    • Argo CD seamlessly integrates with your existing CI/CD pipeline, enabling smooth automation from code changes to deployments.
How Does It Work?

Argo CD follows the GitOps pattern of using Git repositories as the source of truth for defining the desired application state.

Here are the steps involved in how Argo CD works:

  • You define your application configuration in a Git repository. This includes things like your application manifests, Helm charts, and secrets.
  • You install Argo CD on your Kubernetes cluster & connect it to your Git repository.
  • Argo CD monitors the Git repository for changes. When it detects a change, it compares the new configuration to the current state of your application on the Kubernetes cluster.
  • If there are any differences, Argo CD automatically applies the changes to your Kubernetes cluster.
Key Benefits:
  • Faster deployments and releases
  • Improved reliability and consistency
  • Reduced errors and rollbacks
  • Simplified collaboration and visibility
  • Enhanced visibility and collaboration

In summary, Argo CD is a powerful tool that simplifies and automates Kubernetes application deployments using GitOps principles. It enables faster, more reliable, and collaborative deployments, making it a popular choice for managing cloud-native applications.

If you’re looking for a robust and user-friendly GitOps solution, Argo CD is worth exploring.

Atlantis – Terraform pull request automation

Atlantis GitOps Tools

Atlantis is an open-source, self-hosted Terraform Pull Request Automation tool written in Go. It acts as a guardian for your infrastructure, streamlining and securing your Terraform workflows by automating the review and application of Terraform changes within pull requests.

Additionally, it listens for GitHub, GitLab or Bitbucket webhooks about Terraform pull requests. It then runs terraform plan and comments with the output back on the pull request.

When you want to apply, comment <strong>atlantis apply</strong> on the pull request and Atlantis will run terraform apply and comment back with the output

Besides, it offers the following benefits:

  • Reduced Risk of Errors: Proactive identification and mitigation of infrastructure issues before deployment.
  • Faster Development Cycles: Streamlined pull request reviews and automated deployments lead to quicker time to market.
  • Improved Collaboration: Enhanced communication and visibility between developers and reviewers.
  • Increased Developer Productivity: Automation frees up developers from manual tasks, allowing them to focus on core development activities.
  • Simplified Infrastructure Management: Streamlined Terraform workflows and centralized configuration management.
How Does It Work?
  • Developers make changes to their Terraform code and submit a pull request.
  • Atlantis automatically detects the pull request and spins up a temporary, isolated environment.
  • It then applies the proposed Terraform changes within this environment, simulating the real-world impact.
  • Atlantis runs all configured tests and validations on the deployed infrastructure.
  • The results, including logs, test outputs, and infrastructure previews, are displayed directly within the pull request.
  • Reviewers can easily assess the changes and their potential consequences without needing any specialized Terraform knowledge.
  • Once approved, Atlantis can automatically apply the changes to the target production environment.
Key Features:
  • Automated Pull Request Reviews
  • Improved Collaboration
  • Enhanced Security
  • Simplified Workflows
  • Flexible Configuration

If you’re looking for a reliable and efficient way to automate your Terraform workflows and improve your infrastructure management practices, Atlantis is worth exploring.

Flux  – Open and extensible CD solution for Kubernetes. Powered by GitOps Toolkit

Flux GitOps tools

Flux is a tool for keeping Kubernetes clusters in sync with sources of configuration (like Git repositories and OCI artifacts), and automating updates to configuration when there is new code to deploy.

Flux version 2 (“v2”) is built from the ground up to use Kubernetes’ API extension system, and to integrate with Prometheus and other core components of the Kubernetes ecosystem. In version 2, Flux supports multi-tenancy and support for syncing an arbitrary number of Git repositories, among other long-requested features.

What makes Flux2 stand out?

  • Modern Architecture: Built from the ground up using Kubernetes’ API extension system and integrating seamlessly with core components like Prometheus, Flux2 offers a robust and scalable foundation.
  • Modular Design: Comprised of independent, specialized GitOps Toolkit components (e.g., source controller, image registry controller, Kustomize controller), Flux2 provides flexibility and customization to cater to diverse deployment needs.
  • Multi-tenancy Support: Manage and isolate deployments across multiple environments (development, staging, production) within a single Flux instance.
  • Arbitrary Git Repository Support: Connect to an unlimited number of Git repositories, enabling complex multi-cluster and multi-application configurations.
  • Enhanced Observability and Security: Robust metrics and logging capabilities coupled with a focus on secure access control elevate operational visibility and confidence.
How Does Flux 2 Work?
  • Users configure their desired state of infrastructure and applications in Git repositories using declarative manifests like charts and Kustomize files.
  • Then they connect Flux to their Git repositories.
  • Flux continuously monitors these repositories for changes.
  • Upon detecting a change it reconciles the actual state of the cluster with the desired state defined in Git.
  • It then applies controlled deployments and rollbacks in a controlled manner to ensure stability and minimize risk.
Key Benefits:
  • Increased Agility and Speed
  • Improved Reliability and Stability
  • Enhanced Collaboration and Visibility
  • Simplified Operations and Scalability
  • Extensible and Secure

It comes with comprehensive documentation tutorials and an active community to help you get started. If you are looking for a powerful and flexible GitOps solution for managing your infrastructure deployments Flux is a great choice.

Its modularity extensibility and focus on modern technologies make it a future-proof option for streamlining CI CD pipelines and empowering your DevOps teams. You can also consider using the best CI CD Tools for DevOps.

Flagger – Progressive delivery Kubernetes operator

Flagger GitOps Tools

Flagger, an open-source project under the Flux family, is a progressive delivery tool built specifically for Kubernetes environments. It leverages GitOps principles to automate and simplify the rollout of new application versions, promoting controlled and safe releases.

What makes it awesome?

  • Multiple Deployment Strategies: Supports Canary releases, A/B testing, Blue-Green deployments, and mirroring for flexible rollouts based on your needs.
  • Integration with GitOps: Seamlessly integrates with GitOps tools like Flux to manage deployments from your Git repository.
  • Automated Canary Analysis: Continuously monitors key metrics (e.g., traffic, health) during canary deployments and automatically promotes or rolls back based on predefined criteria.
  • Declarative Configuration: Define your desired deployment strategy and canary analysis settings in your Git repository using YAML files.
  • Extensive Metrics and Logging: Provides detailed insights into application health, canary analysis, and deployments for better visibility and decision-making.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Designed to handle diverse application architectures and scales efficiently across large deployments.
How Does It Work?
  • Configure your desired rollout approach (e.g., canary percentages, rollout intervals) in a YAML file within your Git repository.
  • Flagger monitors your Git repository for changes to these configuration files.
  • When a new application version is detected, Flagger automatically creates a canary deployment following your defined strategy.
  • Flagger continuously analyzes metrics related to the canary deployment (e.g., traffic, health, error rates).
  • Based on your configured criteria, Flagger automatically promotes the new version to full traffic or rolls it back if issues arise.
Key Benefits:
  • Reduced Risk
  • Faster Delivery
  • Improved Reliability
  • Simplified Operations
  • Enhanced Collaboration:

Whether you’re looking to implement Canary releases, A/B testing, or Blue-Green deployments, Flagger offers a powerful and automated solution for managing your Kubernetes application rollouts with confidence.

Jenkins X – CI/CD platform for Kubernetes that provides pipeline automation

Jekinsx gitops tools

Jenkins X is a robust GitOps tool designed for modern cloud-native applications. It streamlines the software development process by automating continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. With Jenkins X, teams can efficiently build, test, and deploy applications, fostering collaboration and accelerating time-to-market. Its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with Kubernetes make it an ideal choice for DevOps teams seeking a scalable and efficient solution.

It provides a complete developer experience, managing various aspects like:

  • Building and testing applications: Leverages Jenkins Pipelines for automated builds and tests.
  • Packaging and containerizing applications: Integrates with tools like Docker and Kaniko for containerization.
  • Deploying to Kubernetes: Handles deployments to different environments (dev, staging, prod) using GitOps principles for managing configurations.
  • Preview environments: Creates temporary previews of deployments for testing and feedback.
  • Monitoring and logging: Provides insights into application health and builds logs.
  • Team collaboration: Offers features like pull request automation and continuous delivery pipelines to empower teams.
How Does It Work?

1. Development Workflow:

  • Developers work on their code locally and commit changes to a Git repository.
  • Pull requests trigger Jenkins Pipelines which run automated builds, tests, and static analysis.
  • Upon successful testing, JX can create preview environments in Kubernetes namespaces for manual testing and feedback before merging to the main.

2. Deployment with GitOps Principles:

  • When merged to the main branch, JX triggers a deployment pipeline based on the predefined configuration in Git repositories (e.g., Helm charts, Kustomize files).
  • These configurations describe the desired state of your application and infrastructure in a declarative manner.
  • JX utilizes tools like Helm and Flux to apply and reconcile the actual state of your deployments with the desired state defined in Git.
  • This ensures consistency and automates infrastructure and application management.
Key Benefits:
  • Increased developer productivity
  • Improved application quality
  • Faster delivery cycles
  • Simplified infrastructure management
  • Enhanced collaboration

In conclusion, Jenkins X is a powerful tool that goes beyond just GitOps, offering a holistic CI/CD experience for cloud-native development. While it incorporates GitOps principles for deployments, it encompasses a wider range of functionalities to streamline the entire development and delivery process.

Sceptre  – A Tool to drive AWS CloudFormation as part of a CI/CD pipeline by using Hooks

sceptre gitops tools

Sceptre is a tool to drive CloudFormation. Furthermore, this GitOps Tool manages the creation, update, and deletion of stacks while providing meta-commands that allow users to retrieve information about their stacks. Additionally, it is unopinionated, enterprise, and designed to run as part of CI/CD pipelines. Sceptre is accessible as a CLI tool or as a Python module.

Key Features:

  • Code reuse by separating a Stack’s template and its configuration
  • Also, provides support for templates written in JSON, YAML, Jinja2, or Python DSLs such as Troposphere
  • Dependency resolution by passing of Stack outputs to parameters of dependent Stacks
  • Stack Group support by bundling related Stacks into logical groups (e.g. dev and prod)
  • Stack Group-level commands, such as creating multiple Stacks with a single command
  • Fast, highly parallelized builds
  • Built-in support for working with Stacks in multiple AWS accounts and regions
How Does It Work?
  • Define your infrastructure: Write YAML files containing CloudFormation templates and Sceptre extensions to describe your desired infrastructure state.
  • Store in Git: Version control your configurations in a Git repository, enabling collaboration and history tracking.
  • Run Sceptre commands: Use Sceptre commands like <strong>Sceptre deploy</strong> to execute CloudFormation deployments based on your YAML files.
  • Automatic reconciliation: Sceptre automatically detects changes in your Git repository and triggers deployments to reconcile the actual state with your desired state.
Key Benefits:
  • Utilises cloud-native Infrastructure as Code engines (CloudFormation)
  • You do not need to manage state
  • Simple templates using popular templating syntax – Yaml & Jinja
  • Powerful flexibility using a mature programming language – Python
  • Easy to integrate as part of a CI/CD pipeline by using Hooks
  • Simple CLI and API
  • Unopinionated – Sceptre does not force a specific project structure

If you’re looking for a user-friendly GitOps tool to manage your AWS infrastructure, Sceptre is a compelling choice. Additionally, its focus on declarative configuration, automation, and extensibility empowers you to build and manage cloud infrastructure efficiently and securely.

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Weave GitOps OSS – A simple open-source developer platform for cloud-native applications

Weave GitOps

Weave GitOps is a simple, open-source developer platform for people who want cloud-native applications but who don’t have Kubernetes expertise. Experience how easy it is to enable GitOps and run your apps in a cluster. You can also use Git to collaborate with team members making new deployments easy and secure. Start with what developers need to run apps, and then easily extend to define and run your own enterprise platform.

Weave GitOps defaults are Flux as the GitOps engine, Kustomize, Helm, Sops, and Kubernetes CAPI. If you use Flux already, then you can easily add Weave GitOps to create a platform management overlay.

Weave GitOps Open Source provides:

  • Continuous Delivery through GitOps for apps and infrastructure.
  • Support for GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket; S3-compatible buckets as a source; all major container registries; and all CI workflow providers.
  • A secure, pull-based mechanism, operating with the least amount of privileges, and adhering to Kubernetes security policies.
  • Compatibility with any conformant Kubernetes version and common ecosystem technologies such as Helm, Kustomize, RBAC, Prometheus, OPA, Kyverno, etc.
  • Multitenancy, multiple Git repositories, multiple clusters.
  • Alerts and notifications.
How Does It Work?
  • Weave GitOps uses a pull strategy that consists of two key components: a “Deployment Automator” that watches the image registry and a “Deployment Synchronizer” that sits in the cluster to maintain its state. At the center of our pull pipeline pattern is a single source of truth for manifests (or a config repo).

KubeStack – GitOps framework using Terraform for Cloud Kubernetes

Kubestakc gitops tool

Kubestack is a framework for Kubernetes platform engineering teams to define the entire cloud native stack in one Terraform code base and continuously evolve the platform safely through GitOps. It is an open-source tool licensed under the Apache-2.0 license. Some of the features of Kubestack include:

  • Defining the entire cloud native stack in one Terraform code base.
  • Continuously evolving the platform safely through GitOps.
  • Supporting Kubernetes, AWS, Azure, GCP, and other cloud providers
How Does It Work?

Adopting GitOps requires reliable infrastructure automation. Kubestack combines an intuitive change management process with at least one internal and one external environment to achieve this.

The change management process uses Git branches and tags to trigger the pipeline. The pipeline will either provide feedback for peer reviews, validate changes against the internal environment, or promote the change to the external environment.

This enables teams to jointly maintain the configuration of Kubernetes infrastructure and Kubernetes services in a reliable and automated way.

  • Kubestack’s GitOps process is designed to make infrastructure automation reliable.
  • Kubestack differentiates between infrastructure and application environments.
  • Any change follows the same review, validation, and promotion workflow.
  • Git branches and tags determine the environment and pipeline steps.
Key Benefits:
  • Streamlined management: Manage your entire platform from a single codebase, simplifying infrastructure operations.
  • Automation: Automates infrastructure provisioning and configuration changes, reducing manual effort and errors.
  • Consistency and safety: GitOps ensures consistent and safe deployments, minimizing downtime and risks.
  • Flexibility and extensibility: Adapts to different platform needs and integrates with existing tools
  • Unified Terraform Codebase: Define your entire cloud-native stack (clusters, node pools, services, etc.) in one place using Terraform.
  • GitOps for Continuous Evolution: Manage changes to your platform with Git, ensuring consistency and enabling safe deployments.

Overall, Kubestack is designed to help you manage your Kubernetes platform more easily and efficiently. It provides a unified way to define and manage your infrastructure, and it helps you to avoid costly mistakes. If you are looking for a tool to help you manage your Kubernetes platform, then Kubestack is a good option to consider.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the GitOps tools discussed offer a streamlined approach to managing and automating workflows in the development and deployment processes. These tools leverage the power of version control systems, particularly Git, to enhance collaboration, traceability, and reproducibility.

With features designed to simplify continuous delivery and ensure infrastructure as code practices, GitOps tools empower teams to achieve greater efficiency and reliability in their software development lifecycle. As organizations increasingly embrace DevOps methodologies, the adoption of GitOps tools becomes pivotal for maintaining agility and consistency in the ever-evolving landscape of software development.

We hope you find this collection helpful.

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