Key Criteria for Evaluating GitOps Solutionsv2.0

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

1. Summary

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 common repositories and using automated delivery tools make an organization’s source code management system a reliable control plane for the 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 the originating code change, to approved code, and to deployed objects in the target environment.

Moreover, GitOps can reduce security risks by restricting how changes may be applied to deployment environments and who may make them, while at the same time 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. Beyond these scenarios, GitOps capabilities can be found as integrations with some continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD) suites and container platforms. General-purpose infrastructure as code (IaC) automation tools are also useful building blocks for implementing GitOps. Increasingly, container repositories and cloud vendor marketplaces are core to GitOps, providing the base images that applications are built on.

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 are likely to meet their needs better than platform offerings can. Organizations with none of these tools can expect a 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.

The GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar reports provide an overview of the GitOps market, identify capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technologies) and evaluation metrics (non-functional purchase drivers) for selecting a GitOps solution, and detail vendors and products that excel. These reports give prospective buyers an overview of the top vendors in this sector and help decision-makers evaluate solutions and decide where to invest.

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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