GigaOm Solution Profile: Weaveworks

An Exploration Based on Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Key Criteria Analysis
  3. Evaluation Metrics Analysis
  4. Bottom Line
  5. About Jon Collins

1. Summary

Weaveworks was founded in 2014 as a container deployment and Kubernetes cluster management platform provider, with its flagship product known as the Weave Kubernetes Platform (WKP). The company defined the concept of GitOps in 2017, as it looked to manage its own software offerings. Its initial impetus was to improve speed of delivery and fault resolution in the world of container-based applications, an area fraught with complexity due to its distributed nature.

Weave Kubernetes Platform offers a standard platform of components suitable for most Kubernetes installations (such as ingress controllers, service mesh, and role-based access controls (RBAC)), enabling a Kubernetes cluster to be created with minimal additional effort. The platform can be installed on any Kubernetes platform including on-premises, in virtualized environments and in cloud-based environments such as AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). It offers a standardized install across Kubernetes platform providers, using Kubernetes Cluster API (CAPI) services, and can also “adopt” an existing Kubernetes cluster to bring it under GitOps control.

Weave Kubernetes Platform includes the following capabilities:

  • Flux, which offers GitOps pipeline services—as per the Key Criteria in this report.
  • Weave Cortex, a Prometheus-based monitoring and performance management tool for Kubernetes-based applications

Given Weaveworks’ heritage as founder of the term GitOps, Flux unsurprisingly offers the gamut of table stakes features for GitOps, across Git integration and deployment automation.

Weaveworks’ focus is on how a (git-based) repository and features can be used to close the loop between development, deployment, and operations. It offers capabilities to support both deployment of applications, and configuration and management of the underlying (Kubernetes) runtime environment.

Weave Kubernetes Platform (Figure 1) integrates with common versions of Git including GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, and indeed Azure DevOps. It’s worth noting that features are dependent on the specifics of each version, with only GitHub being 100% supported. For example, Azure DevOps does not support clone/update of repositories and uses SSH rather than HTTPS.

Weave Kubernetes Platform is strong around monitoring for, identifying, and responding to configuration drift, requiring a Git pull request every time a change is detected in the deployment environment. Recent versions of the product have enhanced support for team workspaces and enhanced security features such as RBAC.

In this report, we review Weave Kubernetes Platform version 2.5. Note that Weave Kubernetes Platform does not provide build management capabilities directly, preferring to integrate with common CI tools such as Jenkins and Spinnaker.

Figure 1. Weave Kubernetes Platform

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.

Vendor 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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