DevOps vs. GitOps: Which Approach Is Right for Your Organization?

DevOps, DevSecOps, SecDevOps, and now… GitOps?

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.

GitOps vs DevOps: Key Differences

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let's quickly go over four key differences between GitOps and DevOps:

  • Focus: GitOps is focused on the source code repository, while DevOps has a broader focus on the entire software development lifecycle. In other words, the two approaches have very different scopes. GitOps is concerned mainly with the codebase, while DevOps considers every aspect of software development, from planning to deployment.
  • Goal: The goal of GitOps is to automate the process of deploying changes and managing production environments. DevOps is also concerned with automation, but its goal is to improve the software development process as a whole.
  • Automation: GitOps is almost entirely reliant on automation for version control, deployment, and delivery, while DevOps prioritizes automation but also considers other manual processes. This isn't a major difference—DevOps also makes heavy use of automation, just not in the same way as GitOps.
  • Tools: GitOps heavily relies on version control tools like Git and Kubernetes, while DevOps leverages a wide range of tools to achieve its goals. With DevOps, you have more options to choose from and greater flexibility.

What is 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: Key Features

Automation & Integration

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.

Collaboration & Communication

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.

Continuous Improvement

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.

DevOps: Pros & Cons


  • Improves collaboration across teams
  • Enhances development speed and efficiency
  • Reduces risk of human error


  • Requires teams to fill specific DevOps roles
  • Can be costly to implement and maintain

DevOps Alternative: GitOps

GitOps is best understood as the sum of its two parts:

  • Git: An open-source version control system.
  • Ops: Operations (e.g., system and network administration). In other words, GitOps is a way to use Git and related tools (like GitHub, BitBucket, etc.) to manage operations duties like deploying and configuring servers. This helps ensure that changes are properly documented and tracked, making it easier to identify problems quickly.

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.

GitOps: Key Features

Declarative Infrastructure

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.

Automated Pull Operations

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.

Versioned & Immutable

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.

Automated Change Approvals

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.

GitOps: Pros & Cons


  • Makes it easier to deploy, rollback, and debug changes
  • Automates change approvals
  • Reduces risk of errors in production systems


  • Requires that teams learn DevOps and version control tools
  • Can be difficult to set up initially

GitOps vs. DevOps: Feature Comparison

ApproachDeclarative in nature. Versioned and immutable. Automated change approvals. Continuous reconciliationFocus on automation of processes. Emphasis on collaboration and communication. Integration of development & operations teams
ToolsGit, Kubernetes, GitHub and BitBucketJenkins, Docker and Ansible
FocusSource code repository and automated processes Automating processes to streamline workflow 
FlexibilitySystematic and deterministicFlexible by design

Get More Out of Your Status Page With Instatus

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.

Try Instatus for free today!

Instatus status pages
Hey, want to get a free status page?

Get a beautiful status page that's free forever.
With unlimited team members & unlimited subscribers!

Check out Instatus

Start here
Create your status page or login

Learn more
Check help and pricing

Talk to a human
Chat with us or send an email

Statuspage vs Instatus
Compare or Switch!

Changesblog and open stats

Twitter, now and affiliates

Policies·© Instatus, Inc