Digital Transformation

GitOps Becomes Standard Operating Model for Enterprise Automation

  • 100% YoY growth; two-fold increase in GitOps community
  • Weaveworks open source project has achieved 1 billion container images pulled
  • Beyond Kubernetes; new industry alliances will expand GitOps use cases

Weaveworks, the GitOps company, today announced it has doubled its enterprise revenue in less than a year. The company also reported its enterprise customer base doubled in the first half of 2022 alone, and that Flux, which powers Weave GitOps, the industry’s leading full-stack GitOps platform, has achieved 1 billion container image pulls in 2022. This growth correlates with maturing Kubernetes adoption trends, as reflected in figures from the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation). According to its 2021 Cloud Native Survey, 96% of organizations already use or are evaluating Kubernetes as a core part of the infrastructure, and of these 75% have fully or partially automated enterprise release cycles.

According to CEO Alexis Richardson, Weaveworks’ robust growth reflects growing acceptance among global organizations that automation through GitOps is the most effective way to reduce complexities inherent in the largest digital transformation and infrastructure modernization strategies. He also believes Kubernetes is only the starting point for a GitOps revolution.

“Industry’s growing trust in cloud native has ushered in the next big technology challenge,” he said. “With GitOps, we are now able to simplify and automate the complexity of disruptive tools including Kubernetes. Now that we can scale, we’re facing new challenges: how to apply these powerful management techniques to the broad category of cloud native?

“Enterprises want to embrace hybrid and multi-cloud strategies involving a mix of legacy applications and databases — not just greenfield — and to explore new tools like serverless application platforms. GitOps as a methodology is the gold standard to accomplish this, delivering manageability, reliability and security. The next step is to apply GitOps best practices beyond Kubernetes. I predict GitOps will become the standard operating model for hyperscale enterprise automation across the full technology stack,” concluded Richardson.

His comments come as the GitOps community doubles and digital transformation and cloud native application strategies become commonplace in Global 2000 institutions.

Beyond Kubernetes with GitOps for Terraform

As hybrid, multi-cloud, multi-cluster use cases grow in complexity, enterprise DevOps teams are looking to GitOps to mass-automate many of the deployment processes that slow down project completion, notably configuration, security, and compliance at scale.

“You can see the starting point of our expansion beyond Kubernetes in our Terraform Flux integration (Tech Preview), which allows DevOps teams to configure a full stack environment on any cloud,” said Richardson. “The Terraform controller makes the entire ecosystem of Terraform modules available in GitOps for configuring resources on any cloud and across different parts of the software stack including databases, networking and security.”

Drivers of GitOps Adoption

“Large organizations need to deploy trusted applications across a wide range of complex deployment environments, including multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments with on-premises resources and edge computing environments,” said Roy Ilsley, Chief Analyst at Omdia.“One of the challenges faced by CIOs is toreduce the complexity of operating across these environments.Weave GitOps has been developed as a simple and automated approach to the deployment and management of cloud native applications, this makes the process of doing so consistent, secure, and scalable. Key benefits of adopting this approach includes agility, speed, and preventing errors that could bring down the entire platform.”

Creating a Global, Self-Service Developer Experience

The idea that GitOps is gaining traction within the largest enterprises was supported in a recent interview given by Orange Business Services CTO Phillipe Ensarguet, at Mobile World Congress. Ensarguet suggests telecoms companies must focus on creating a self-service developer experience and make the shift from traditional CI/CD/CT pipelines to continuous deployment and operations (CD/CO) – and that GitOps is the only way to get there.

“If you are not able to automate longer or deeper than with the CI/CD, then you have no lever to manage the scaling – and that’s critical to the whole thing,” he said. “A key issue for us is how fast can we achieve operations to implementation. The company that can bring a global experience to the market that makes the development teams productive – very fast, in a smooth way, with an approach you can scale across the company – will have a game changer.”

Scale Out – adding legacy apps and bare metal to Kubernetes

Cloud native has long been seen as a way to modernize legacy applications. The difficulty is that most real world applications are hard to move into containers 100%. Alternatively, virtualizing multiple Kubernetes clusters – may be heavyweight and pricey. According to Weaveworks, an ideal solution would support a mix of bare metal, virtual and containerized nodes in lean, simple clusters that are dynamically provisioned across the target environments of choice.

Weaveworks introduced Liquid Metal earlier this year to simplify scale-out Kubernetes clusters across multiple environments. Originally built in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom to run Kubernetes across its core and bring 5G services to the edge, Liquid Metal allows dynamic Kubernetes Cluster-as-a-Service provisioning across both lightweight VMs and bare metal. An approach that puts rocket-boosters on application modernization.

Zero Trust: Policy as Code

To fully realize the benefits of a cloud native approach, leaders must find a way to scale governance. According to Gartner, human error and misconfigurations will account for 95% of cyber security incidents. It makes sense then, as humans remain the weakest link, organizations must take steps to secure cloud-native applications while mitigating risk.

They can do so with embedded security and compliance guardrails into their software lifecycles. Weaveworks announced embedded policy as code capabilities within Weave GitOps this spring, enabling applications teams to safely deploy and manage applications continuously using policies ranging from Kubernetes security best practices to compliance to operational best practices.

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