Being in tech, there are two words you must have heard of: GitOps and DevOps. But ever wonder what exactly they are? And how do they stack upon each other? In this blog, we will break down the basics of GitOps and DevOps to understand their differences and similarities.

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In a nutshell, DevOps is a culture/methodology that brings together software development and IT operations. DevOps aims to offer better collaboration, communication, and automation between development and operation teams.

GitOps, on the other hand, is comparatively a newer concept. It is based on using Git, a popular version control system, as the single source of truth for managing infrastructure and deployments

Both of these methodologies are different yet a lot similar as well. So let's explore each of them and get into the details. 

What is GitOps?

GitOps is a software development approach that uses Git as the main hub for managing infrastructure and deployments. In GitOps, an application's important settings and code are stored and controlled using Git. It acts as an overall reference for the entire system. 

In GitOps, developers can define the state of their application's infrastructure and configuration by stating their intentions in the Git repository. 

The system automatically checks and adjusts the current state to match the desired state specified in Git. In this, there's no system of manual changes. 

Simply put, GitOps makes things easier by keeping everything related to an application, such as settings and code, in one place using Git.

Also Read: DevOps vs SRE vs Platform Engineering

How does GitOps Work?

In GitOps, developers get to use Git to define how they want their application's infrastructure and configuration to be. That allows users to specify the desired state in the Git repository instead of manually making all those changes. 

Once the developer defines the desired state, an automated reconciliation process is employed by GitOps. 

This process ensures that the actual state matches the desired state. It is achieved through a GitOps operator or controller continuously monitoring the Git repository for changes.

And once the changes are detected inside the Git repository, the GitOps operator gets into action. 

It retrieves the updated configurations and code from Git and applies them to the target environment. This is often done through a CI/CD pipeline, which automates deployment.

The GitOps operator compares the desired state defined in Git with the current state of the infrastructure. If there are discrepancies, it takes the necessary actions to reconcile the two states. 

For example, if a new configuration is added to the Git repository, the operator ensures that the corresponding infrastructure resources are provisioned or updated accordingly.

The key principle in GitOps is that the entire system's state is managed through Git. 

Any changes made to the infrastructure or configurations are committed to the Git repository, enabling version control, traceability, and collaboration among team members.

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What is DevOps?

DevOps is software development methodology that aims to bridge the gap between the development and operations teams. It streamlines software development and delivery processes through effective collaboration, communication, and automation. 

Usually, both development and operation teams have worked in separate silos. 

This results in communication gaps, delays, and inefficiencies. DevOps breaks down this issue and offers a better collaboration between them. 

How to Create an Efficient DevOps Strategy?

DevOps strategy defines how effectively your entirensoftware development function works. Here are a few steps you can follow.

Assess your current state.

The first thing you need to do is to evaluate your organization's current development and operations processes. Identify pain points, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement. 

This assessment will provide insights into the specific challenges you need to address with your DevOps strategy.

Set clear goals.

Define what you want to achieve with DevOps. 

Whether it's improving deployment frequency, enhancing collaboration, or reducing time to market, establish clear and measurable goals that align with your business objectives. 

These goals will guide your strategy and help you track progress.

Foster a culture of collaboration.

DevOps is not just about tools and processes; it's a cultural shift. Encourage collaboration and communication between development and operations teams. 

Break down silos and promote shared responsibility. Foster a collaborative and inclusive environment where ideas are freely shared and teams work together towards common goals.

Embrace automation

Automation is a key aspect of DevOps - be it through DevOps Automation Tools or scripts you create.

Identify and automate manual and repetitive tasks in your development and operations workflows. 

Implement continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines to automate the build, test, and deployment processes. Automating routine tasks frees time and resources, reduces errors, and increases efficiency.

Choose the right tools.

Selecting the right tools is crucial for a successful DevOps implementation. 

Consider tools aligning with your organization's needs, goals, and infrastructure. Look for tools for collaboration, automation, monitoring, and version control. 

Popular DevOps tools include Git for version control, Jenkins for CI/CD, and Docker for containerization.

Also Read: Top 13 Alternatives to Docker Desktop and Docker

Implement monitoring and feedback loops.

Monitoring is essential for understanding the performance and health of your systems. 

Implement robust monitoring and logging solutions to gain real-time insights into application performance, infrastructure, and user experience. 

Set up feedback loops to gather input from users, operations teams, and stakeholders. This feedback will help you iterate and improve your systems continuously.

Encourage continuous learning and improvement.

DevOps is a journey of continuous learning and improvement. Encourage a culture of experimentation and learning from failures.

Embrace post-incident reviews to identify areas of improvement and implement changes to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

Foster a growth mindset and provide opportunities for skill development and knowledge sharing.

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GitOps vs. DevOps - Is GitOps Different from DevOps?

GitOps is a software development methodology that uses Git as the primary source of truth for managing infrastructure and deployments. 

DevOps is a methodology combining software development and operations to streamline the entire software delivery process.




Infrastructure and deployment management

Collaboration and integration

Key Principle

Infrastructure and configurations are declaratively defined in Git, with an automated process to reconcile the desired state with the actual state.

Collaboration, communication, and automation between development and operations teams to streamline software delivery.

Central Repository

The Git repository is the primary source of truth, storing and version-controlling infrastructure configurations and application code.

No specific emphasis on using Git as the primary source of truth. Multiple tools and repositories can be used for version control.

Deployment Process

Changes in the Git repository trigger an automated process to apply the desired state to the target environment.

Automation plays a significant role, involving various tools and processes for building, testing, and deploying software.


Infrastructure and deployments

A broader range of practices, including collaboration, automation, testing, monitoring, and feedback loops throughout the software development lifecycle.

Visibility and Traceability

Provides clear visibility and traceability of infrastructure changes through version control in Git.

Provides visibility and traceability across the entire software delivery process, including code changes, test results, and deployment history.

Common Challenges of Traditional DevOps Processes

Why did GitOps become so popular? Primarily because tradition DevOps workflows had a lot of challenges. Here are a few of them.

Manual Synchronization

In traditional DevOps, the live system must be manually updated to reflect the changes after a configuration change is approved and merged into the repository. 

This manual synchronization introduces room for error and potential inconsistencies between the desired state and the actual state of the system.

Lack of Automation

Traditional DevOps processes often require manual intervention and coordination for various tasks such as software deployments, environment provisioning, and scaling. 

This lack of automation can lead to delays, human errors, and difficulty scaling infrastructure as the system grows.

Limited Visibility

Without a centralized and real-time view of the system's state, gaining comprehensive visibility into the current status, performance, and health of the infrastructure and applications can be challenging. 

This lack of visibility can hinder effective troubleshooting, monitoring, and performance optimization.

Complex Configuration Management 

Managing and maintaining complex configurations across different environments and systems can be daunting. 

Traditional approaches relying on custom imperative scripts can result in intricate, error-prone, and hard-to-maintain configuration management.

Collaboration Bottlenecks

Collaboration among team members, including developers, operations, and other stakeholders, may face bottlenecks due to a lack of transparency, feedback delays, and difficulty tracking and reviewing changes made to the configurations.

Also Read: Differences between Terraform and Pulumi

DevOps + GitOps - The Ultimate Combination?

Integrating GitOps into traditional DevOps processes can bring significant benefits. 

Let's explore how combining DevOps with GitOps can enhance the software delivery lifecycle.

Automated Synchronization

By incorporating GitOps into DevOps, the synchronization between the desired state and the live system becomes automated. 

Changes in the Git repository are automatically applied to the target environment, eliminating the need for manual updates and reducing the risk of inconsistencies.

Streamlined and Reproducible Deployments

GitOps provides a declarative approach to configuration management, ensuring consistent and reproducible deployments.

With version-controlled configuration files, teams can easily track and roll back changes, enhancing reliability and reducing errors during the deployment process.

Increased Efficiency through Automation

GitOps extends the automation capabilities of DevOps by automating not only the software build and deployment processes but also the management of infrastructure and configurations. 

This automation minimizes manual effort, accelerates delivery cycles, and improves efficiency.

Real-Time Visibility and Monitoring

Integrating GitOps brings real-time visibility into the system's state. Monitoring tools can be integrated into the GitOps workflow, allowing teams to monitor the infrastructure, applications, and performance metrics proactively. 

This visibility enables quick detection of issues, faster troubleshooting, and better decision-making.

Collaboration and Transparency

GitOps leverages the collaboration features of Git repositories, facilitating teamwork and fostering transparency. 

Teams can track and review changes through commits and pull requests, enabling effective collaboration, knowledge sharing, and peer reviews. 

This promotes better communication and alignment between development and operations teams. 

This is why Humalect provides Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) features for security and transparency among different teams.

Version Control and Auditing

GitOps incorporates version control for infrastructure and configuration files, enabling precise tracking of changes. 

This allows teams to audit and review the history of modifications, understand the impact of changes, and revert to previously known good states if necessary.

Scalability and Consistency

GitOps provides a scalable approach to managing infrastructure and deployments. 

With Git as the central repository, it becomes easier to scale the system, handle multiple environments, and manage configurations consistently across different stages of the software delivery pipeline.

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Drawbacks of GitOps

Does not Fix Bad Practices

While GitOps provides a structured approach to managing infrastructure and deployments, it is important to note that it does not inherently fix underlying bad practices. 

Addressing existing issues in development and operations workflows, collaboration, and automation processes is crucial before implementing GitOps. 

GitOps should be seen as an enabler for improving existing practices rather than a standalone solution.

Auditing Challenges

GitOps relies on Git repositories for version control and tracking changes. 

While this provides transparency and traceability, auditing can become challenging in complex environments with many repositories, branches, and configurations. 

Proper governance and access controls should be in place to ensure accurate auditing and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Programmatic Updates

GitOps primarily focuses on managing declarative configurations and infrastructure as code. While it excels in managing static configurations, it may have limitations when handling dynamic or programmatic updates. 

Consider the specific requirements of your application and ensure that GitOps aligns with the necessary mechanisms for programmatic updates, such as APIs or event-driven systems.

Operational Overhead

Implementing GitOps introduces new operational considerations. Teams must ensure the Git repository and associated infrastructure are properly maintained, backed up, and secured. 

It requires managing access controls, addressing branching strategies, handling merge conflicts, and ensuring synchronization between the repository and the live environment. 

Additional time and effort may be required to configure and maintain the GitOps workflow properly.

Organizational Alignment

Integrating GitOps into traditional DevOps practices may require organizational changes and alignment. It involves establishing new processes, roles, and responsibilities. 

All stakeholders, including developers, operations teams, and management, need to understand and embrace the shift in workflow and collaboration patterns brought about by GitOps.

Top 5 GitOps Tools


Flux is a widely adopted GitOps tool developed by the team at WeaveWorks. It integrates with Kubernetes and uses Git as the source of truth for managing deployments. 

Flux monitors the Git repository for changes and automatically applies them to the Kubernetes Cluster, ensuring the desired state is maintained.

Argo CD

Argo CD is an open-source GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes. It provides a declarative approach to managing deployments using Git repositories as the configuration source. 

Argo CD supports automated deployment, rollback capabilities, and synchronization with Git repositories.

Jenkins X

Jenkins X is an open-source, cloud-native continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platform built on top of Jenkins. 

It incorporates GitOps principles to automate and streamline software delivery for cloud-native applications. Jenkins X integrates with Git repositories to trigger pipelines, build container images, and deploy applications to Kubernetes.


GitLab provides a complete CI/CD pipeline, repository management, and integrated Kubernetes support. 

GitLab enables teams to manage their entire software development life cycle within a single platform, integrating GitOps practices seamlessly.

Argo Rollouts

Argo Rollouts is a Kubernetes controller and CLI tool designed for progressive delivery and rollouts. 

It allows for fine-grained control over deploying new versions of applications, canary deployments, and blue/green deployments

Argo Rollouts leverages GitOps principles, enabling teams to manage rollout configurations using Git repositories.

What is the Difference between DevSecOps and GitOps?

DevSecOps integrates security practices into the DevOps workflow, emphasizing collaboration and coordination between development, operations, and security teams to ensure security is embedded throughout the software development lifecycle.

GitOps, on the other hand, is a software development approach that revolves around using Git as the primary source of truth for managing infrastructure and deployments. 

It emphasizes declarative configuration and automation, ensuring the desired state defined in the Git repository is automatically reconciled with the actual state of the system.

While both DevSecOps and GitOps can be used together to enhance software delivery, they have different focal points:

  • Focus: DevSecOps focuses on integrating security practices and considerations into the entire DevOps workflow, ensuring secure coding, secure configurations, vulnerability management, and compliance. GitOps, on the other hand, focuses on managing infrastructure and deployments using Git as the single source of truth.

  • Collaboration: DevSecOps emphasizes collaboration between development, operations, and security teams to identify and address security concerns early in software development. GitOps, while fostering collaboration between development and operations teams, may not explicitly address security-specific collaboration.

  • Security Integration: DevSecOps places a strong emphasis on security practices, including continuous security testing, vulnerability scanning, security automation, and secure code reviews. While GitOps can support security by ensuring that infrastructure configurations are version-controlled and auditable, it may not directly incorporate security-specific testing and automation.

  • Automation: Both methodologies promote automation but in different areas. DevSecOps focuses on automating security testing, vulnerability assessments, and compliance checks. GitOps, on the other hand, automates the management of infrastructure and deployments based on the desired state defined in Git.

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GitOps, Kubernetes & Humalect

GitOps is often used as a methodology for managing and deploying applications on Kubernetes. But, as we have seen so far in this blog, GitOps is not exclusive to Kubernetes at all.

GitOps is a process that promotes using Git as the source of truth to find out “the desired state of the system”.

Here’s what this means.

Just as a particular source code snippet, when committed to Git, produces the same “binaries” every time, modern cloud infrastructure should be as predictable and as easy to provision.

And right now, Kubernetes is almost synonymous with modern cloud infrastructure.

In the context of Kubernetes, GitOps allows teams to store and version control Kubernetes manifests (YAML files) that describe the desired state of the application or infrastructure. This is where Humalect comes in.

Humalect is a self-serve DevOps Automation Platform that empowers you to deploy on Kubernetes in 30 mins.

Built on top of your favorite DevOps Tools, it deploys a layer of automation to auto-generate YAMLs, Terraform scripts, & Dockerfiles and seamlessly generate IaC using Terraform, provision K8s clusters, and deploy unlimited (infinitely scalable) environments.

Humalect supports GitOps principles and can integrate with Git repositories (GitHub, GitLab & BitBucket) as the source of truth for application deployments.

CI/CD pipelines are effortlessly handled, ensuring your code is built, tested, and deployed efficiently and accurately.

Security measures like automated SSL, AWS security scans, ECR image scans, etc. are seamlessly integrated, keeping your cloud applications protected. 

Using in-built logs & metrics and with integrations with monitoring tools, you can debug your apps post-deployment.

Also Read: Top 19 Monitoring & Testing Tools for Microservices

Frequently Asked Questions

Is GitOps a subset of DevOps?

Yes, GitOps can be considered a subset of DevOps. 

Who coined the term - “GitOps”?

The term "GitOps" was coined by Alexis Richardson, the CEO of Weaveworks.

What are some GitOps Tools?

Flux, Argo CD, Jenkins X, GitLab, Argo Rollouts