What is GitOps?

GitOps is an operational framework. It incorporates DevOps’ best application development practices like version control, continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD), collaboration, and compliance, and applies them to infrastructure automation.

GitOps thus helps with the management of software deployment by enabling developers to store their infrastructure in the desired state and then use it to automate operational processes.

Core Components and Tools of GitOps

For GitOps to function efficiently, it requires certain core components and tools which also include three processes. These are:


In the automation processes, GitOps uses the pipeline of continuous integration and continuous development. For example, automating infrastructure updates.


IaC refers to the practice of storing all infrastructure configurations as a code. GitOps will help you with code management by tracking all the changes made to it. Also, using Git repositories will help you in delivering infrastructure as code.

Merge Requests and Pull Requests

In GitOps, merge requests and pull requests are used as a change mechanism for updating your infrastructure, as they are made to review or approve merge commits.

Build Server and Container Image Registry

Build server is a software that automates the building of all deployable updates. On the other hand, container image registries are all the repositories that store container images.

Git Hosting Service

For users, Git hosting services like GitHub and GitLab enable them to host Git-based projects. Conversely, for GitOps, these platforms are used for hosting configuration data and application code.

GitOps Agent

Also known as reconciliation agents, the GitOps agent is software designed to synchronize Git and Kubernetes to ensure that an application running on Kubernetes matches the contents of the corresponding Git repository.

Benefits of GitOps

Unlocking the potential of GitOps results in multiple benefits, revolutionizing development workflows and infrastructure management. These benefits are:

  • The foundational Git protocol is lightweight and open source, requiring minimal resources.
  • In GitOps, every element of a project’s infrastructure is stored in Git repositories, including configuration files, application code files, and infrastructure as code files.
  • This means that any modifications made to the applications or infrastructure are seamlessly synchronized with the live environment.
  • GitOps will enable you to manage your entire infrastructure and application development cycle using a single, unified tool.
  • This will result in better collaboration and coordination between your teams, as well as fewer errors and faster problem resolution.
  • GitOps will also help you take advantage of microservices and containers, helping you maintain consistency across all your infrastructure from docker images and Kubernetes cluster configurations to cloud instances and anything on-premises.
  • With GitOps, you will have standardized workflows, enhanced visibility, clear change history, streamlined deployment processes, and the availability of smaller potential attack surface areas.
  • Lastly, with GitOps, you will also have improved reliability and security via declarative states, continuous state reconciliation, revert and rollback capabilities, fork features, and versioned storage.

Drawbacks of GitOps

While GitOps has a wide range of benefits, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. These are:

  • GitOps does not facilitate the management of authentication or other sensitive data without the usage of an additional tool.
  • With GitOps, large teams might end up writing updates to the same files simultaneously to bring a change.
  • While GitOps lets you handle development through a pull approach, it does mean that your teams will be able to use only those tools that execute pulls.
  • You might face API throttling issues because of GitOps’ continuous polling of Git repositories.
  • Without any additional tools, it becomes challenging to align an environment’s desired state with Git at larger scales.
  • To make the best use of GitOps, your developers will have to curb the urge to directly edit something in production or manually change something. They should rather make a habit of keeping a record of what is happening in the merge requests and issues, get an approver to merge these requests, and then deploy the change.
  • YAML manifests are used in GitOps workflows to define the desired state of an application or infrastructure by specifying details like deployment instructions, environmental variables, and resource definitions. Thus, while GitOps operates based on Git repositories, if there are any errors or mistakes in the YAML manifests, it can lead to misconfigurations or deployment failures.