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Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps Platforms v1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Summary

GitOps is rapidly evolving as a best practice approach for deploying cloud-native applications, and it is also a tooling framework for automating best practices. In broader terms, GitOps can be seen as an evolution of software-defined approaches to infrastructure as these become increasingly automated, and therefore has applicability beyond cloud-native applications.

At its core, GitOps links two concepts:

  • Managing infrastructure information via a version control system such as Git
  • Closing the loop between operational infrastructure management and a software-defined infrastructure definition

Modern version control systems and approaches natively address the management of configuration files associated with software-defined infrastructure. Today, these files are standardized using YAML and Terraform, boosting the need to store them in a common repository associated with code. This trend has been accelerated by hyperscalers such as AWS and Azure championing best practices around infrastructure as code (IaC).

But GitOps is more than simply storing IaC files in version control. It closes the loop between declaration, deployment, and operations, allowing visibility, manageability, and security. This closed loop enables monitoring of configuration changes in the live environment to drive updates to “last known good” configuration information, helping to ensure that the desired and actual configurations stay in sync.

Note that while this report focuses largely on Kubernetes, the model espoused by GitOps is growing to cover other areas of enterprise technology use across cloud, enterprise, telecom, edge, and even into policy and process management and AI. While GitOps solutions today—the focus of this report—are targeted at cloud-native Kubernetes environments, we expect the principles, practices, and tools to extend more generally across software-defined application architectures.

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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