Weaveworks, the company that coined the phrase GitOps, will soon be no more. The company’s CEO Alexis Richardson wrote in a LinkedIn post earlier this week that the company was shutting down.
According to Richardson, while the company was bringing in over $10 million in revenue, the sales growth wasn’t consistent. The company really needed a long-term investor, and was in the process of being acquired when the deal fell through.
This follows the recent acquisition of another continuous delivery (CD) company, Armory, whose intellectual property and technology is now owned by Harness.
In terms of what Weaveworks shutting down means for GitOps, Gopal Dommety, CEO of OpsMx, another CD company in the space, said that though Weaveworks was one of the originators of the idea, it has spread widely across the industry at this point.
“GitOps is still the right answer for fast, automated, flexible, and secure software delivery and operations,” he said.
According to Paul Delory, research vice president at Gartner, the industry is “indebted to them for creating this category,” but “clearly that didn’t translate to commercial success.”
Delory attributes this to two main reasons. First, Flux, which is an open-source CD solution for Kubernetes that Weaveworks was sponsoring, was facing strong competition from another open-source GitOps project, ArgoCD.
“I feel like there was much more interest in ArgoCD of late, which is simpler to use … Functionality-wise, there’s much less daylight between the two products than there used to be,” he said.
Second, it’s possible there’s just not a commercial market for GitOps, even though there’s a lot of hype around this. There are many reasons for this, such as that it’s mainly limited for use with Kubernetes, there is a long setup process before GitOps can even be up and running, and there’s also confusion about who to sell GitOps products to: developers, IT teams, platforms teams, etc.
Overall, Delory says that the freely available open-source market of GitOps tools makes it hard to justify buying a commercial tool.
“Even if an IT organization is amenable to your sales pitch, you’re still looking at a long, high-touch sales process while you figure out who in a particular IT organization has the desire and the budget to sign the contract,” he said. “That makes a steady stream of venture capital even more critical, while you wait out these long sales cycles. But VC money is harder to come by right now. As Alexis alluded to in his blog post, Weaveworks couldn’t get its hands on enough capital to sustain itself while its technology and sales efforts came to fruition.”
Many people may also be wondering what the shutdown means for the future of the Flux open source project, since Weaveworks was heavily involved in contributions.
Chris Aniszcyk, CTO of the CNCF, which is the current home for the project, says that many Flux maintainers have already been hired by other companies and will continue work on the project.
“CNCF will do our best to notify our member companies to pitch-in when it comes to these situations like we have in the past,” he said. “The CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) reviews the health of projects often and in cases where a project is forked or is lacking maintainers, we work with our member community. Not so long ago, the Cortex project ran into issues where Grafana forked it and maintainers were moved to focus on that project. CNCF made a call to our members to see if folks can help and AWS and Red Hat stepped in.”
Richardson also said in his LinkedIn post that he was working directly with “several large organizations” to ensure the future of Flux.
“The story does not end here – our open source software is used everywhere,” Richardson said.