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Common Pitfalls when Integrating Git and Container Delivery Pipelines

Git is the industry standard for version control, offering a robust feature set to manage software developments at any scale. The rapid development requirements and the extensive popularity of DevOps and technologies like containerization have led most software development environments to transition to Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery practices. There, CI/CD tools facilitate end-to-end software delivery pipelines.

It can be a complex process to properly integrate Git into CI/CD pipelines in container-focused development environments. So let’s look at some common issues users may face while creating a git-based container delivery pipeline.

Platform and Tool Incompatibility

The first thing to ensure is that all the tools and platforms that are planned to be used in the delivery pipeline are compatible with each other with proper integrations. Git offers users the freedom to use any source control platform that uses git for version control. Thus, the selected version control platform should be able to seamlessly integrate with the CI/CD tool. The tighter the integration, the higher the functionality will be. This compatibility is essential since changing CI/CD or source control within a development can be a nearly impossible task, requiring vast amounts of time and resources.

Furthermore, this integration directly impacts the container deployments. As most container deployment will rely on orchestration platforms like Kubernetes, users must ensure that the CI/CD tools can provide the necessary functionality to build and deploy containers in the desired orchestration platform.

Unsuitable Workflow Configurations

Proper workflows are crucial for maintaining a container delivery pipeline. Workflows define all the aspects of the pipeline from how and when code changes are made, how they are verified and merged, and testing to deployment. In a container-based environment, workflows revolve around building the containers so that the git repositories will include the application code, configurations, dependencies, and the build files themselves.

Thus extra attention must be put towards the Git workflows as after containers are created it becomes increasingly difficult to identify code errors. With this in mind, proper workflows must be created to verify the code before creating the containers. For example, without proper workflows, there is a chance that users may frequently encounter errors like no such remote origin when dealing with remote repositories that would require them to constantly troubleshoot git.

Additionally, Git branching strategies play a key role in deciding what kind of workflows can be adapted as branching strategies determine how code changes are handled and ultimately deployed. The best git branching strategy to adapt with Containers will be a strategy that is well suited for a CI/CD environment such as GitHub Flow, Trunk Based, GitLab Flow, etc. They enable users to create simple yet functional workflows to develop and deploy containers rapidly while reducing bugs.

Inexact Scoping

Scoping is directly related to workflows as it specifies the content in the code repository. Gone are the days when only the application code was included in the version control. In most modern developments, version control extends to other areas such as databases and infrastructure. Containers combine everything that is required to run the application to a single object. So a git repository must include the source code plus all the container and application configurations. These configurations need to be correctly scoped if infrastructure changes are also managed in a version-controlled manner. For example, when deploying containers in Kubernetes, each Kubernetes config change, deployment, etc., must be included in the version control with each new version dictating the deployment environment.

However, not everything should be included in a Git repository. Some configurations, such as security profiles, may be relaxed in staging environments while strict in production. Proper scoping allows users to define the way code configurations need to be committed to a specific branch or a repository. Furthermore, it offers users the freedom to support multiple workflows and integrate automation practices easily without worrying about misconfigured containers or infrastructure.

Delivery Pipeline Troubleshooting

There will be instances where issues within the delivery pipeline can halt the complete development process. Source control is one common area that can cause issues, especially when multiple developers rapidly modify the codebase. Workflows and branching strategies help alleviate most of these issues, yet still, there will be instances where users encounter some kind of errors.

You might face different errors when creating containers based on git repositories. Therefore, proper troubleshooting guidelines must be established beforehand on how to handle these errors. For example, users can quickly search and find a solution and apply it themselves for a straightforward error like “not a git repository”. However, more complex issues like merge conflicts or infrastructure modification failures must be handled by team leads and relevant team members.

Troubleshooting practices must be woven into the delivery pipelines with continuous monitoring to minimize any impact on the delivery process when an issue is discovered in the pipeline. Then, it should be fixed as quickly as possible depending on the issue and the scope.

Conclusion

The combination of Git, Containers, and CI/CD pipelines is the gateway to creating fast and agile container delivery pipelines. With proper planning, anyone can create delivery pipelines that incorporate all the advantages of these tools and technologies while avoiding the common pitfalls associated with them.

Originally posted 2021-12-01 19:53:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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