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GitOps vs DevOps

GitOps vs DevOps – What’s the difference?

Both GitOps and DevOps are fast becoming the gold standard approach for development teams. DevOps culture represents a shift from traditional software and tech development which involves a linear path from ideation and concept to launch and encourages collaboration and fast feedback, as opposed to working in isolation or silos. In this article, we take a closer look at the GitOps vs DevOps methodology to help you decide whether GitOps will work for your software development project.

As modern software development practices are progressing quickly, today we are not limited to DevOps methodology. You’ve probably already heard the term GitOps and you’re not sure what it is and how it differs from DevOps culture. Well, you’re in luck - in just a moment we will explain the two methodologies, looking at GitOps vs DevOps to show you how they are similar and also, more importantly, how they differ.

We’ll also explore GitOps methodology in more depth and look at some of its applications. So, buckle up and enjoy the deep dive into the brave new world of DevOps and GitOps!

What exactly are GitOps and DevOps?

Explaining in detail DevOps and GitOps function is beyond the scope of this article, but we will give you a broad overview of each.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a hybrid word that combines ‘Development’ and ‘Operations’, rather than keeping the two disciplines separate.

DevOps stems from Agile methodology, which is a way of working that allows for greater collaboration between software development and operations teams, streamlined feedback loops, constant collaboration between developers, stakeholders, and users, and continuous improvement and deployment.

In basic terms, DevOps allows software and app developers to release new products and updates at high velocity. This is achieved by using various processes and tools, such as breaking projects up into smaller parts or phases and using platforms to manage things like change control and continuous deployment. Due to the many benefits, modern organizations are often happy to bring in outside help in the form of DevOps consulting services.

What is GitOps?

GitOps is an offshoot of DevOps that evolved from best practices of implementing continuous deployment for cloud native applications. Git is software that is frequently used by developers to track changes in code and files, helping teams to collaborate and coordinate their efforts effectively and develop clean source code.

Applying GitOps methodology allows developers and project managers to use Git as a single source of truth and control center to oversee system architecture. In other words, it enables various developers and teams to create, update, delete, and otherwise manipulate source code without causing chaos.

GitOps helps developers to verify code using Git pull requests and it also automates the deployment of complicated infrastructure changes.

GitOps is growing in popularity as it has been proven to work and maintain cleaner, more accurate code. However, GitOps does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with DevOps, i.e. you can have a DevOps culture without applying GitOps, but not vice versa.

GitOps vs DevOps - Which is Best?

As mentioned in the previous section, GitOps is actually a branch of DevOps, so GitOps vs DevOps is not really a fair comparison. However, some developers may be better off sticking to a DevOps approach without the GitOps methodology, while others may benefit from applying GitOps. The best solution depends on the needs and goals of the project.

To help see the difference and decide for yourself whether GitOps will work for you, we’ve compiled an easy-reference table to compare GitOps vs DevOps side-by-side.

DevOps GitOps
Basic definition  An agile methodology that enables continuous improvement and deployment (CI/CD)  The methodology that enables improved management and provisioning of infrastructure and deployment
Main goals  Lowering the error rate, removing silos in the team, reducing cost efforts, and more  Speed, accuracy, clean code, increase productivity 
Tools and resources   All mentioned in the GitOps section relate to DevOps as well  Cloud configuration tools, supply chain management tools, ERP, Infrastructure tools, CI/CD pipelines 
Accuracy  Not so focused on the precision of code  Highly focused on accuracy and clean code 
Flexibility and adaptability  Open and less rigid  Less open and rigid/strict 

What is GitOps Methodology?

A basic outline of a GitOps workflow or pipeline is as follows:

  1. Write code
  2. Set up version control
  3. Implement automated testing
  4. Set up image repository
  5. Deploy app
  6. Apply Kubernetes or other container orchestration platform.

Each stage of the GitOps pipeline also contains DevOps best practices to ensure effective collaboration, version control, compliance, automation, and CI/CD tooling. In a nutshell, GitOps enables teams to automatically deploy system infrastructure and maintain it.

A common misconception is that GitOps is all about Kubernetes and nothing else. The truth is, GitOps methodology usually uses Kubernetes, as it can be applied as cloud-native code rather than a standalone declarative tool. GitOps involves creating declarations in Git as a single source of truth, which can then be deployed automatically using Kubernetes.

The benefit of this approach is that the infrastructure configurations of each cluster are independent, allowing for easy rollbacks and restoration. You can simply apply ‘Git revert’ to return the application to its previous state. Developers can also use an SSH key to enforce security measures such as code authorship and provenance guarantees.

Once you have a declared state in Git and a version control system in place, you can configure it so that any changes a team member makes will automatically transfer to your system without the use of cluster credentials. This is a major benefit of GitOps as it saves time by keeping things separate and secure.

Kubernetes will handle many of the issues that occur during app development, including node or pod failure. Software agents can also be used to ensure accuracy and alert the team to problems such as divergence and Git conflicts.

Main Benefits of GitOps

Implementing a DevOps culture and applying GitOps can yield a number of benefits for app developers and project teams.

  • Accelerated Productivity - Building in a GitOps version control system and feedback loop will reduce the average time to deployment. Using GitOps methodology and continuous deployment allows development teams to ship up to 100 times as many changes per day as usual, which speeds up the overall development time by a factor of two or three.
  • Easier Compliance & More Stability - Managing a cluster through Git means you can keep track of all changes with an audit trail and log, helping with compliance and improved stability.
  • More Reliable - The power to revert and rollback apps in Git means you can easily reproduce earlier versions and maintain better system reliability. The process of deleting system architecture is also made easier and more reliable.
  • Improved Consistency - GitOps allows for a collaborative and integrated approach across app development, infrastructure configuration and Kubernetes changes. In other words, the entire development team follows a consistent CI/CD workflow which are held together by Git pull requests and reproducible code on Git.
  • Less Training Needed - New developers can get on board and be productive more quickly as they will be using familiar Git tools. They will be able to carry code and carry out specific system operations within days rather than weeks.
  • Enhanced Security - Git is an accurate single source of truth which is backed by security guarantees. It also uses strong encryption to make sure that changes are tracked securely, with proof of authorship and provenance.


GitOps is a powerful methodology that is related to DevOps. It can help app developers to be more productive and create more reliable, consistent products, as well as manage modern cloud infrastructure.

The main features of GitOps methodology is the establishment of a robust version control system within Git and the application of declarative tools such as Kubernetes to manage infrastructure provisioning.

Interested in finding out more about how GitOps workflows can help your software development team?
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