With so many “Ops” approaches to software development out there, it’s understandable if you’re confused about definitions, differences, and use-cases.
GitOps and DevOps are two popular strategies that aim to streamline the process of developing, delivering, and operating software. They share certain principles, but both are distinct approaches with varying strengths that can help you achieve different goals.
In this guide, we'll discuss the core principles of both GitOps and DevOps, the benefits they offer, and their practical applications. We’ll also explain how Instatus can help you get the most out of your status page—regardless of the approach you take.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let's quickly go over four key differences between GitOps and DevOps:
DevOps is a much discussed (and often misunderstood) set of principles, practices, and tools that aim to streamline the development and delivery of software.
How does it work?
At a high level, DevOps combines development and operations into one process—hence its name. It emphasizes collaboration between teams to ensure that everyone involved has the same understanding (and ownership) of the project.
By doing this, DevOps helps teams develop rapid feedback loops, greater visibility into the entire software lifecycle, and more efficient problem-solving practices.
But it doesn’t end there
— DevOps teams also work to build cultures of continuous improvement, with the goal of making existing processes better with the help of new technologies and tools.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to DevOps
DevOps encourages automated processes like continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD), monitoring, and logging. Integration plays a big role in all of this, too. Tools that simplify or automate different aspects of the DevOps workflow are linked together to form chains (called toolchains) that speed up the flow of information through a workflow.
That's one of the reasons why we've worked to integrate Instatus with other popular tools like Slack and Checkly. Instatus makes it easy to fit your status page into your existing toolchain, so you can keep your users (and team members) in the loop about availability and outages.
DevOps emphasizes collaboration between teams—especially those involved in the development process (e.g., developers, designers, QA engineers). This makes it easier to identify and address issues quickly.
DevOps teams often use tools like Slack, Trello, and Jira that help them stay up-to-date on what's happening with projects. These tools also have the added benefits of encouraging DevOps feedback loops, shared goals and objectives, and real-time communication—all of which can help make sure a project is successful.
DevOps encourages teams to constantly experiment and learn, so they can improve their processes over time. This includes testing new tools, technologies, and techniques to help teams stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.
Ultimately, DevOps is about embracing change and building a culture of experimentation. The idea is that by finding, learning, and using the right best practices and tools, you can streamline your software lifecycle and improve customer satisfaction.
Speaking of tools… if you’re looking for a status page solution that’s simple to implement but powerful enough to meet your needs, Instatus was built with you in mind. Instatus makes it easy to create a beautiful, interactive status page that fits neatly within your existing toolchain.
GitOps is best understood as the sum of its two parts:
GitOps is mainly focused on automation, so it doesn’t replace DevOps. It augments or supplements it. GitOps is a good fit for teams that want to keep their ops and development workflows integrated, but don't necessarily have the resources (or time) to implement an end-to-end DevOps process.
Explaining the ins-and-outs of declarative infrastructure could fill an entire blog post, so we won’t go into too much detail.
Just to give you an idea of what it is—declarative infrastructure asks what the desired state of a system should be (rather than how the system should be configured to reach that state).
In GitOps, the entire application infrastructure is declaratively defined and stored in a Git repository. The Git repository serves as the single source of truth for the desired state of the infrastructure, including the application code, configuration, and environment definitions.
Automatic pull operations are a key aspect of GitOps that help ensure that the infrastructure always remains in sync with the desired state we just covered above.
With automatic pull operations, changes to the Git repository trigger automated actions to pull those changes and apply them to the infrastructure.
This ensures that the application is always running in its desired state and helps reduce the risk of inconsistencies due to human error.
To use an analogy, GitOps operates like an encyclopedia. When a publisher needs to edit or update an encyclopedia entry, they don’t actually edit the encyclopedia—they write a new version and add it to the collection.
This is exactly how GitOps works.
Teams commit changes to a repository in Git, where all changes are tracked and versioned. This helps ensure that no changes are lost or overwritten, making it easier to run audits. Plus, the fact that changes are tracked in a single repository means teams can rollback any undesired changes quickly and easily.
Change approvals are a key part of any DevOps workflow. They help teams ensure that changes are properly tested and approved before being applied.
GitOps makes this easier by automating the change approval process. Teams define rules (like who should approve changes and what criteria must be meet) in their configuration files. Then automation tools scan the configuration files and approve changes based on those rules.
This helps teams stay organized and ensures that changes are tested and approved before being applied to production environments, which is important for ensuring the quality of a project.
|Declarative in nature. Versioned and immutable. Automated change approvals. Continuous reconciliation
|Focus on automation of processes. Emphasis on collaboration and communication. Integration of development & operations teams
|Git, Kubernetes, GitHub and BitBucket
|Jenkins, Docker and Ansible
|Source code repository and automated processes
|Automating processes to streamline workflow
|Systematic and deterministic
|Flexible by design
Instatus is perfect for teams looking to get the most out of their status page. Its powerful integrations with communication and monitoring tools like Slack and Pingdom make it easy to customize your page and quickly update users on the status of their services.
Plus, Instatus offers advanced features like auto-updating incident timelines and proactive notifications, so you can keep your users informed without having to manually update the page. It's a great way to improve your user experience and reduce support tickets.
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