GitOps Flux tool: efficiency, benefits, and use cases

After launch in 2017, the GitOps approach has been gaining popularity worldwide. The demand for GitOps practices is evidently on the rise. According to IT Jobs Watch, the share of jobs requiring GitOps knowledge increased from 0.01% to 0.05% of all IT jobs advertised. Why is such a trend much needed by today’s developers?

In 2019 DORA report compared elite teams and low performers to show shocking statistics. Elite teams are 106 times faster and 208 times more efficient if to speak about frequent code deployment. The DevOps approach turned to be amid the catalysts to move a development team from high-performing to the elite category. Meanwhile, the community understands GitOps as the next level of progress from the viewpoint of code deployment. Eventually, GitOps is an effective mechanism to help your team become elite and skyrocket its efficiency indexes.

GitOps tools: what are these instruments launched for?

GitOps is an approach to implement the Continuous Deployment software release process for cloud-based applications. Originally the approach is compatible with different platforms, but the community frequently associates GitOps with the Kubernetes platform. What are the reasons for such a tendency?

According to the CNCF survey, Kubernetes leads the ranking of technology trends. Kubernetes in production share reached 78% in 2019, and the platform’s popularity continues to conquer the market. As such, GitOps tools are mainly oriented to the Kubernetes platform, enlarging the efficiency of deployment processes.

GitOps Flux tool: efficiency, benefits, and use cases

What is the mission of GitOps operators, controllers, frameworks, and other accessorial elements? The primary goal lies in making this innovative method even more effective, faster, and corresponding with business owners’ demands. Developers store their declarative state and get a git repository, and it is magically applied to their Kubernetes clusters. To make this work, some tooling is necessary.

The GitOps toolkit includes the following categories of instruments:

  • Source controllers (GitRepository CRD, HelmRepository CRD, HelmChart CRD);
  • Notification controllers (Provider CRD, Alert CRD, Receiver CRD);
  • Kustomize controller (Kustomization CRD);
  • Helm controller (HelmRelease CRD);
  • Image automation controllers (ImageRepository CRD, ImagePolicy CRD, ImageUpdateAutomation CRD).

Furthermore, there are synchronization tools responsible for updates in case of new code deployment. Flux is the leading instrument of the GitOps ecosystem to perform this task.

Flux tool: General overview

Flux serves as a Kubernetes operator to ensure developers that cluster states match git repository’s states. As such, the tool’s primary goal is to provide the synchronization between Kubernetes clusters and source controllers. The second version of Flux (Flux v2) was released in August 2019, using a completely new approach for the synchronization process.
Flux v2 is a brand new product launched from the green field for using Kubernetes’ API extension system. The version is possible to be integrated with Prometheus and other main elements of the Kubernetes ecosystem. The update took into account the cons of the previous version. Eventually, Flux now supports multi-tenancy and serves for synchronizing any quantity of Git repositories.
The Flux instrument is interdependent with the GitOps toolkit, as the architecture leverages diverse CRDs to provide synchronization.

GitOps Flux tool: efficiency, benefits, and use cases

The main idea of Flux is to ensure that Kubernetes’ definitions always correspond with a git configuration. The second version is more amenable to current technologies and processes, as the tool comprehends the Kubernetes apps construction and operating principles.

The following steps are required to implement Flux:

  • Indicate the desired state of applications, configuration, monitoring, and other aspects in a Git to declare your system’s ideal state.
  • Apply YAML to obtain the correspondence with the declared state. All changes are implemented through Git. As such, you don’t need to run a kubectl file.
  • Utilize diverse tools to compare the actual and declared state of your system. Set up notifications when these states don’t correspond to each other.
  • The Git history contains a sequence of changes, and developers may recover the system state, rolling it back to any snapshot.
  • Developers may solve any problem through pull requests without changing the running system.

Key pros and cons of Flux implementation

What are the main benefits of Flux for developer teams?

  • The process of change integration is entirely automated. This said, you don’t need to empower CI with access to the cluster.
  • When a new transaction is added, the two ways are possible: it either succeeds properly or fails. This is why the system stays corresponding to the primarily declared state.
  • The tool provides developers with all the necessary infrastructure for being maximally code-centric.
  • You may receive notifications to diverse platforms leveraged for team communication. Moreover, this instrument supports diverse elements of the Kubernetes ecosystem (Kustomize, Harbor, etc.).
  • Flux makes the process of Continuous Delivery (CD) easier and more effective, and developers need to use necessary components only.
GitOps Flux tool: efficiency, benefits, and use cases

As for the cons of Flux, the following aspects are pointed out:

  • The tool is compatible with the Kubernetes platform only. If to use other platforms for GitOps methods implementation, other instruments are required.
  • Business owners need expert assistance to set up the tooling properly, as the process is rather complicated.

GitKube, Rake, Glazier, and Copper are considered as possible alternatives for Flux.
This shows Flux has doubtless advantages over the main competitors.

Who benefits from Flux implementation?

Flux helps the following specialists, simplifying their working process:

  • Cluster operators get the entire process automated without the risk of changes that ruin the declared state.
  • Platform engineers, responsible for continuous delivery, may restore the system if necessary.
  • Application developers get the necessary components only to keep code always live.

Among the companies who’ve implemented the Flux tool into their development procedures, the following ones are distinguished: BUX, Mola TV, Rossum, StreamElements, WISEflow, and others.

Get the ticket to the more efficient future

The process of Flux implementation is complicated. Consequently, some business owners prefer to stay on the previous levels and don’t let their companies develop. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to help your business with a strong push, setting up the Flux instrument. Join the list of companies who keep up with the times and welcome innovations.