GigaOm Radar for GitOpsv2.0

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take
  7. About Don MacVittie


Enabled by infrastructure as code (IaC), GitOps takes advantage of the “as code” mode to move configuration information into version control systems. In the most evolved GitOps implementations, rolling out a new release is as easy as doing a commit to version control.

A GitOps approach can provide a range of benefits to organizations. The toolset that technical staff need to manage applications, infrastructure, and operational elements should be simplified. Changes are driven by the source control system, so staff can drive many downstream actions via source control tools. Managing infrastructure and operational resource definitions in source control also provides additional semantics and controls for these elements compared to a non-GitOps approach. For example, infrastructure configurations can be branched, versioned, reviewed, tagged, refactored, validated, unit-tested, and so on in the same way that application code is. Further, all changes are traceable and auditable, can have additional context available in the form of commit messages, and can have access or other policy rules applied to them. Organizations adopting GitOps may also benefit from increased agility and reliability because they can safely ship new code, scale, and adapt more quickly. Finally, GitOps allows organizations to improve their security posture as processes are simplified and codified and attack surfaces are reduced.

While this analysis focuses on vendors serving the GitOps technical space explicitly, GitOps is not prescriptive or especially intensive with respect to specific tools, and numerous approaches and tools can be assembled to implement a GitOps model. Arguably most current GitOps implementations are based on the distributed version control system, Git, and some form of deployment automation. Organizations with established DevOps-supportive technical tooling—such as source control, continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery/deployment (CD), IaC, and Kubernetes—will likely need to introduce new tools into their tool chain and invest in process adaptations to adopt GitOps. Organizations that are less sophisticated in terms of tools or processes will have more to adopt and adapt to as they move toward GitOps.

A GitOps toolchain assumes a version control tool, CI/CD tools, and centralized reporting. While not required, GitOps is far more useful with container registries and change control processes over repositories, though traditional infrastructure cannot be ignored.

Vendors in this space have all adopted one of three approaches to the worker portion of GitOps. Each vendor has implemented workers optimized for their toolchain, adopted the Flux CD open source project to their needs, or used Argo CD to achieve the worker portions of GitOps. We discuss these different approaches where relevant.

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key GitOps vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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