In a significant revelation at VMware Explore 2023, VMware introduced VMware Edge, a cutting-edge planning tool designed to revolutionize the management of edge computing services. Furthermore, VMware unveiled Project Keswick, an ambitious initiative to integrate zero-trust principles and GitOps workflows into application deployments. In parallel, the company introduced the VMware Retail Edge platform, catering to specific industry verticals, and initiated a managed connectivity service offering private 4G/5G wireless services.
VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator extends VMware’s secure access service edge (SASE) platform management tool. It has been thoughtfully expanded to encompass a broader spectrum of software running on edge computing platforms.
VMware suggests that as more workloads migrate to edge computing platforms, the imperative to centralize the management of these workloads will become more pronounced. This is particularly relevant due to the distributed nature of edge platforms, which often pose challenges in terms of physical accessibility. The impending question, however, revolves around whether IT teams or operational technology (OT) teams embedded within specific business processes will assume responsibility for managing these platforms.
Irrespective of the answer to this question, it is evident that GitOps workflows are poised to play a pivotal role in provisioning infrastructure and deploying applications necessitating frequent updates. Given the decentralized nature of these platforms, the utilization of asynchronous, pull-based orchestration tools assumes paramount importance.
In the long-term perspective, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are anticipated to confer upon edge computing the self-healing attribute. This prospect promises reduced downtime and enhanced system performance for IT teams.
The proliferation of GitOps in infrastructure and application provisioning has already transformed the IT landscape. Edge computing is poised to accelerate this transformation. Nevertheless, the challenge lies in the effective scaling of GitOps workflows. Many DevOps teams currently grapple with implementing DevOps workflows at scale. Given the forecasted increase in workloads spanning numerous edge computing platforms, automation is paramount in ensuring consistent deployment, security, and application updates.
GitOps has emerged as a methodology of paramount significance, wielding the potential to redefine how infrastructure is managed, fostering an environment characterized by harmony and efficiency.
GitOps, as defined by the CNCF GitOps working group, has garnered considerable traction within the IT industry owing to its capacity to streamline and automate infrastructure and application deployments. It leverages the potent capabilities of Git, a distributed version control system, and integrates them with established DevOps practices. GitOps, at its core, champions the values of consistency, reproducibility, and transparency in infrastructure management. It introduces a singular source of truth, facilitating meticulous tracking and auditing of changes.
The benefits of GitOps
GitOps empowers teams to fashion reusable and human-readable infrastructure blueprints employing declarative configuration files. This approach engenders heightened control, uniformity, and stability in infrastructure management.
Git is the linchpin of GitOps, serving as the ultimate lodestar for managing infrastructure and application configurations. Every modification is meticulously logged and audited, affording accountability and simplifying the rollback process.
Automated Continuous Delivery:
GitOps furnishes organizations with the ability to automate infrastructure and application deployments via Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. This substantially reduces manual intervention, mitigating human error and augmenting operational efficiency.
Observability and Feedback Loops:
GitOps emphasizes the criticality of monitoring, logging, and alerting. These elements converge to deliver actionable insights and feedback concerning infrastructure and application health. The resultant capability equips teams to sustain system stability, react to incidents enthusiastically, and refine system performance.
By embracing GitOps, organizations gain many advantages encompassing heightened reliability, expedited deployments, bolstered security, enhanced collaboration, and simplified infrastructure management. These benefits are poised to facilitate more effective management of cloud infrastructure, on-premises, and edge infrastructure, freeing teams to focus on pivotal tasks and expeditiously attain their business objectives.
GitOps: Beyond the Cloud to On-Premises and the Edge
While GitOps has traditionally been associated with the cloud, its potential extends seamlessly to encompass on-premises and edge infrastructure, even within air-gapped environments. This holds profound significance for organizations adopting hybrid architectures to address data gravity and optimize user experiences. Here, the efficient, scalable, and secure infrastructure management assumes pivotal importance.
The implementation of GitOps in on-premises and edge infrastructure mirrors the conjuring of a potent enchantment. It applies the same declarative, version-controlled, and automated approach, introducing a consistent and unified workflow across all infrastructure categories.
By embracing GitOps for the management of both virtual and physical infrastructure, organizations can revel in a spectrum of benefits:
GitOps ensures uniformity in infrastructure configurations across development, staging, and production environments, enhancing system stability and diminishing the risk of configuration disparities.
GitOps empowers organizations to expand infrastructure resources seamlessly. It automates deploying and managing new resources and applications, a facet of paramount relevance to edge and on-premises systems.
Each alteration to the infrastructure is etched indelibly within Git, forming a transparent and unassailable audit trail. This asset proves instrumental in complying with regulatory obligations and sustaining stringent security benchmarks.
When confronted with failures, GitOps equips organizations with the capacity for expedited restoration to a known, stable configuration. This minimizes downtimes and mitigates the repercussions of operational glitches.
Reduced Operational Complexity:
GitOps simplifies infrastructure management by promoting a uniform set of tools and processes across all environments. This facilitates seamless collaboration and simplifies the orchestration of complex systems.
By harnessing GitOps principles for managing on-premises and edge infrastructure, organizations are poised to streamline operations, augment reliability and security, and elevate their infrastructure management capabilities to the echelon of GitOps virtuosity.
ArgoCD, an open-source gem, finds favor among distinguished organizations like IBM, Intuit, and Ticketmaster. It champions the code and configuration synchronization automation from Git repositories to Kubernetes clusters. ArgoCD enforces continuous delivery, ensuring applications operate according to the most current and desired configurations.
Flux, another open-source champion, garners favor from institutions such as Weaveworks and Microsoft. It assumes the mantle of Git repository monitoring, autonomously aligning Kubernetes clusters with the desired state delineated within the repository. Flux is acclaimed for its capability to simplify the maintenance of cluster synchronization, extending support to multiple environments and namespaces.
Jenkins X, an automated CI/CD tool, is a cherished asset within organizations like Pivotal, CloudBees, and Accenture. It supports GitOps and empowers developers to seamlessly craft, evaluate, and deploy applications within Kubernetes environments. Jenkins X extends features such as environment promotion, preview environments, and automated pipeline creation, thus streamlining the development and deployment lifecycle.
Spinnaker, a stalwart of continuous delivery, finds adoption within esteemed organizations, including Netflix, Waze, and Target. It offers allegiance to GitOps workflows and allows organizations to oversee deployments across diverse cloud providers and infrastructure typologies. Spinnaker introduces advanced deployment strategies, such as canary and blue-green deployments, mitigating risk during updates.
Kustomize, a Kubernetes-native tool, is championed by companies like Red Hat. It presents a simplified pathway to customizing Kubernetes resources through a declarative approach. Kustomize allows users to construct and manage multiple environments effortlessly, employing a foundational configuration augmented by environment-specific alterations.
GitLab, a comprehensive DevOps platform, is embraced by organizations like Siemens and Goldman Sachs. GitLab orchestrates GitOps principles for the administration of infrastructure and application deployments. This platform integrates built-in CI/CD, Kubernetes interoperability, and potent automation capabilities, offering a holistic solution for organizations eyeing GitOps adoption.
The amalgamation of these tools within a coherent framework can realize a unified GitOps toolset optimized to cater to an organization’s specific objectives. The constituent components might comprise:
Git occupies the central role, serving as the indisputable arbiter for infrastructure and application configurations.
Kustomize is a potent choice for customizing and managing Kubernetes resources via declarative methods, streamlining the oversight of varied environments.
Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD):
Jenkins X or GitLab is harnessed to institute the automation of CI/CD pipelines. Both offerings include native support for Kubernetes deployments, environment progression, preview environments, and the autonomous generation of pipelines.
Deployment Automation and Synchronization:
ArgoCD or Flux, by continuous monitoring of Git repositories, ensures the perpetual alignment of Kubernetes clusters with the desired state, preserving infrastructure congruity.
Observability and Monitoring:
Prometheus and Grafana emerge as stalwarts for monitoring and observability. Prometheus, renowned for its robust monitoring and alerting toolkit, harmonizes seamlessly with Grafana, a versatile platform for visualizing metrics. Both tools readily integrate with Kubernetes environments, offering insights into system performance and health.
The blend of Git, Kustomize, Jenkins X (or GitLab), ArgoCD (or Flux), and Prometheus and Grafana culminates in a comprehensive toolkit, accommodating diverse aspects of GitOps workflows. The amalgamation engenders superior collaboration, simplified infrastructure management, and optimized deployment procedures while remaining steadfast to the principles underpinning GitOps. The exact composition of tools within this toolkit is subject to customization to meet each organization’s unique requisites and preferences.
In Closing: The Invaluable Role of GitOps
As we draw the curtains on this insightful voyage through the GitOps landscape, we must recapitulate the pivotal role of GitOps in modern IT infrastructure management. We have traversed a terrain where GitOps has heralded a profound transformation, bestowing IT professionals a realm of order and efficiency. In conclusion, we recount a few enlightening anecdotes to underscore the ideological realm that GitOps has fashioned for IT practitioners worldwide.
Cognixia’s DevOps Plus course provides you with the necessary skills and expertise to thrive in the ever-changing world of DevOps. After this course, you can smoothly execute GitOps processes by grasping GitOps concepts and adopting cutting-edge technologies, boosting your capacity to manage and deploy infrastructure efficiently in the continuously changing IT world.
This DevOps course covers intermediate to advanced aspects. Get certified in DevOps and become acquainted with concepts such as the open-source monitoring tool Nagios, including its plugins, and its usage as a graphical user interface. The Advanced DevOps fundamentals and Docker container clustering leveraging Docker Swarm & Kubernetes in the CI/CD Pipeline Automation are thoroughly discussed.