Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. GitOps Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Shea Phillips


GitOps is an approach to supporting continuous delivery that aims to simplify, accelerate, and improve the way organizations apply application code and infrastructure changes to deployment environments.

In the GitOps model, application code and declarative infrastructure artifacts are stored, managed, and applied to target environments using a common set of tools, workflows, and automations. Storing everything in codified form in a common repository and using automated delivery tools make an organization’s source-code management system a reliable “source of truth” for desired application and infrastructure state. Simple code management commands such as “merge” or “tag” are translated through automation into corresponding actions against target environments.

The GitOps model makes the collaborative benefits of using code management tools, such as working together via pull or merge requests, available for infrastructure artifacts. In alignment with DevOps, this approach helps to bring the often-disconnected domains of development and operations closer, improving overall efficiency, visibility, and reliability. Traceability is also improved, and changes to environments are easily audited and followed, from originating code change, to approved code, to deployed objects in the target environment.

Finally, GitOps can reduce security risks by restricting how changes may be applied to deployment environments and who may make them while reducing cycle times through automation.

Depending on their starting point, organizations seeking to adopt GitOps may follow different paths. A source-code management system—most commonly Git—is the basic technical prerequisite. Although frequently associated with cloud-native infrastructure generally and Kubernetes specifically, GitOps is equally applicable to virtualized, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and hybrid environments as well. Beyond this, GitOps capabilities can be found as integrations with some continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) suites and container platforms. General-purpose infrastructure-as-code (IaC) automation tools are also useful building blocks for implementing GitOps.

Organizations already using some of these tools will find the effort to adopt GitOps to be more procedural or cultural than technical, and focused solutions will likely better meet their needs than platform offerings. Organizations with none of these tools can expect non-trivial effort in technical, procedural, and cultural dimensions. These organizations may find that offerings with a broader scope than GitOps can give them the technical capability to help evolve their practices on several fronts simultaneously.

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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