What is the Difference Between GitOps and DevOps?

What is the Difference Between GitOps and DevOps?

In the world of software development, there are many different methodologies and practices that dev teams can use to build and deploy their applications.

Two of the most popular approaches are GitOps and DevOps.

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two distinct concepts, both of which have different goals and principles to properly manage infrastructure provisioning.

Let’s dive in to find out the key differences between GitOps vs. DevOps.

DevOps Defined

DevOps Defined

DevOps is a methodology that emphasizes collaboration between development and operations teams to automate and streamline the software development process.

The goal of a trained DevOps team is to create a culture of continuous delivery for modern cloud infrastructure configuration.

That is, an environment where code changes can be quickly and easily deployed to production environments.

DevOps teams use tools like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, configuration management, and monitoring and logging to achieve the goal of quick, interactive software deployment.

GitOps Defined

GitOps Defined

GitOps, on the other hand, is a specific implementation of DevOps that focuses on using Git as the source of truth for all infrastructure and deployment-related configuration.

GitOps was originally popularized by the cloud-native community.

They saw it as a way to simplify and automate the deployment of containerized applications to Kubernetes clusters.

In GitOps all infrastructure and deployment changes are managed through Git, just like code changes.

This means that any changes to infrastructure or deployment configuration should be made through a pull request to a Git repository, where they can be reviewed and approved by other team members.

Once the changes are merged, they are automatically applied to the target environment using a GitOps tool like Flux or Argo CD.

One Source of Software Development Truth

One of the primary advantages of utilizing GitOps lies in its capacity to offer a singular source of truth for all infrastructure and deployment configurations.

This provides a streamlined approach to managing and examining changes while simultaneously decreasing the likelihood of configuration drift or manual errors.

In addition, GitOps delivers improved visibility and control over the deployment process, including version control system architecture, given that all modifications are recorded and can be either audited or rolled back if necessary.

Although GitOps is typically associated with cloud-native environments, it is adaptable to any infrastructure or deployment pipeline.

GitOps is particularly valuable in situations where infrastructure is governed as code, using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools like Terraform or CloudFormation.

By managing all configuration modifications via Git, teams can easily monitor and manage changes to their infrastructure, ensuring that only the desired alterations are deployed to their production environment.

Top GitOps Software Tools

Top GitOps Software Tools

Here are our top 10 GitOps software tools.

  1. Argo CD – A continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes applications
  2. Flux – An open source, GitOps-native system that enables automation of cloud native deployments
  3. Weaveworks – Automates software deployment and management on any cloud environment with a Git hosted repository
  4. Vamp – Uses GitOps to enable automated deployment and updates of Docker containers across multiple clusters in production systems
  5. CNCF Helm Charts – Manages complex Kubernetes applications using versioned charts stored in GitHub repositories
  6. Jenkins X – Supports the development and operation of containerized workloads using the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) tools like Helm, Tekton Pipelines, Knative & Istio
  7. Spinnaker–Integrates with many CI/CD platforms such as TravisCI, CircleCI or GCP’s Stackdriver
  8. Codefresh–A pipeline platform running inside Kubernetes clusters allowing users to develop microservices quickly while managing all related artifacts through gitops process
  9. Rancher–Enables teams to deploy their services at scale while leveraging the power of DevSecOps practices
  10. GitLab–A platform for managing projects and code that is specifically designed to integrate with CI/CD processes.

Overall, GitOps can be a powerful tool for automating the deployment of application services across multiple clusters in production systems. Using Git as the source of truth for all infrastructure and deployment configuration makes it easier to track and audit changes, while providing better visibility and control over the overall software deployment process.

And with tools like Flux and Argo CD, it’s easier than ever for teams to take advantage of the benefits of GitOps.

Top DevOps Software Tools

Top DevOps Software Tools

If you’re looking for a solution to your DevOps needs, here are our current, top DevOps software development tools.

  1. Ansible – Automation and Configuration Management Tool
  2. Puppet – Infrastructure and Application Orchestration Tool
  3. Chef – Automated Delivery & Deployment Platform
  4. Jenkins – Continuous Integration/Delivery (CI/CD) Server
  5. Nagios– IT Infrastructure Monitoring & Alerts System
  6. Kubernetes – Container Scheduling & Orchestration Platform
  7. Docker–Containerization Software for Application Packaging
  8. Splunk–Data Collection, Analysis & Logging Solution
  9. Terraform –Cloud Template Definition Language (HCL) 10. Vagrant – Virtual Machine Provisioning Solution


While GitOps and DevOps share many principles and practices, they are distinct concepts with different goals and approaches.

GitOps and DevOps have distinct differences. While DevOps focuses on process automation, GitOps uses code-based configuration management to achieve automation. DevOps is a broader methodology that emphasizes collaboration and automation across the entire software development lifecycle.

In addition, GitOps provides an opportunity for teams to collaborate around a single source of truth for managing software development lifecycle components, infrastructure and software deployment configuration.

On the other hand, GitOps is a specific implementation of DevOps that focuses on managing infrastructure and deployment configuration through Git.

By using Git as the source of truth for all configuration changes, GitOps provides better visibility, control, and automation over the deployment process and can help teams achieve faster and more reliable outcomes in software development.

Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations--delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.
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Ryan Nead