Now that the open source Argo continuous delivery (CD) platform has officially entered the ranks of graduated projects advanced under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the pace at which organizations are embracing a different approach to CD should accelerate in 2023.
Originally developed by Intuit, Argo has been at the forefront of an effort to more loosely couple CD to different continuous integration (CI) tools rather than requiring organizations to standardize on a single CI/CD platform. Argo achieves that goal by declaratively deploying and running cloud-native applications on Kubernetes clusters using a GitOps workflow that integrates infrastructure-as-code with software that needs to be deployed.
Argo itself comprises four sub-projects: Argo Workflows, Argo Events, Argo CD and Argo Rollouts. Argo CD is the most widely adopted, but Argo Workflows enables the creation of complex parallel workflows. At the same time, Argo Events, contributed by Blackrock, provides declarative management of event-based dependencies and triggers. Argo Rollouts defines a set of GitOps best practices to make ArgoCD more accessible. Organizations can, of course, adopt any of the sub-projects independently of each other.
In total, Argo is being actively used in production by more than 350 organizations, including Adobe, Blackrock, Capital One, Google, Intuit, PagerDuty, Peloton, Snyk, Swisscom, Tesla and Volvo. In the latest CNCF user survey, over 50% of respondents say they are running Argo in production or evaluating it. Overall, 8,000 individuals from 2,300 organizations are contributing to the project.
The primary reason Argo is gaining traction stems from the fact that many development teams within the same organization prefer different CI tools. A loosely coupled CD platform gives organizations the option to plug different CI tools into a common CD platform.
Pratik Wadher, senior vice president for product development at Intuit, says the rise of containers and Kubernetes presented an opportunity to transform how applications are built and deployed. Intuit then acquired Applatix, the original developer of Argo, in 2018. Intuit then donated Argo to the CNCF in 2020.
The goal is to increase the pace at which software can be deployed, says Wadher. Too many DevOps teams still rely on largely manual processes to deploy software on monolithic platforms. Kubernetes makes it possible to automate CD across multiple platforms by invoking a consistent set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that are the same regardless of where a cluster is running.
Now that Argo has graduated alongside Kubernetes, the willingness of enterprise IT organizations to embrace a more loosely coupled approach to DevOps should increase in parallel with increasing Kubernetes adoption in the enterprise, Wadher says.
At the same time, more organizations should be contributing to an open source project, he adds. For example, he noted that there is still plenty of work to be done in terms of applying artificial intelligence (AI) to CD processes.
It’s unclear how quickly organizations embrace GitOps workflows as they adopt Kubernetes. Existing DevOps workflows are compatible with Kubernetes, so some organizations may not see the need to re-architect processes they deem currently sufficient. However, as the volume of applications being simultaneously developed continues to build, it’s clear there will be more pressure to automate application deployments and the subsequent updates that are continuously created. As such, in 2023, it will be up to each organization to decide how to rise to that challenge.