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Harness DevOps Tools Vs. Argo CD
*Last Updated: 3/31/2021
Detailed Feature Comparison
Harness CD Vs. Argo CD
Argo CD is an open-source solution, and as such, only offers an on-prem version. Harness provides both on-prem and SaaS versions of the product, which adds appeal for those who don’t want to manage or maintain backend servers.
Argo CD is an advanced tool. There is a steeper learning curve than most, but it may be worth pushing through and learning it, as the features make up for a lack of intuitiveness. An area of improvement for Argo CD would be that it requires a paradigm shift in how you deploy: traditionally, you kick off a deploy (or it’s part of an overarching deployment pipeline). However, Argo CD is true GitOps and if you take advantage of their automated sync functionality, when you make changes to your Helm charts, they can be automatically deployed inside your cluster. For instance, if you set an environment variable DEBUG = TRUE in your Helm chart repo and merge it, Argo CD can automatically update your deployment to reflect that change. To drive this home, there’s no action outside Git that’s needed on behalf of the developer. While most developers are comfortable with this, a lack of UI-driven pipeline execution limits the scope of users and increases the learning curve.
Argo CD was designed to be cloud-native and has no support for legacy/non-cloud/monolithic technologies. Harness does provide support for traditional apps.
Argo CD has PreSync, Sync, and PostSync hooks to support complex application rollouts (Blue-Green & Canary). There is documentation on how to configure Canary deployments but much of the configuration is left to the engineer. Harness provides guided Canary deployments out of the box – no coding required, only some minor config.
Continuous Verification is the process of monitoring your app for abnormalities after a deployment. For example, Continuous Verification could catch a latency issue or 5xx errors and automatically roll back your app to the previous version. The idea is to catch errors as quickly as possible – ideally, before customers notice – and make a seamless transition back to the prior version. Argo CD offers a feature called auto sync that allows you to implement manual checks. They also have automated rollbacks, so you could put a post-deploy hook into the chart to perform some smoke tests, and if that fails, roll back. It’s a bit of a manual process to do all this. Harness, however, provides Continuous Verification out of the box, effectively reducing risk and reputational damage from downtime. Harness supports many vendors, including Prometheus, Datadog, AppDynamics, New Relic, StackDriver, CloudWatch, and custom monitoring and observability tools.
Argo CD does not offer native secrets management capabilities. There are many ways to do it through a third party, such as HashiCorp Vault or Helm Secrets. Harness, on the other hand, offers proprietary, integrated secrets management. No third parties are required, but all major secrets managers are supported.
Argo CD provides audit trails for application events and API calls. There is also fairly robust Git auditing that provides the who, when, and what of changes. Harness provides audit trails on every pipeline, workflow, step, execution, and change. It’s all audited by Harness so you have a complete trail of all user activity.
There are four key metrics when it comes to software development: Lead Time (the average amount of time it takes from the time code is checked in to the version control system to the point in time where it is deployed to production), Deployment Frequency (the number of times deploys to production occur in a time period), Mean Time to Restore (MTTR: how long it takes to resolve or rollback an issue in production), and Change Failure Rate (what percentage of changes to production fail). These metrics are paramount in truly understanding performance. Argo CD does not provide native Accelerate metrics dashboards. Harness offers a beautiful dashboard specifically for these metrics and allows you to set alerts as needed – for example, you could set an alert to notify you if the Change Failure Rate goes above 1%.
*Please note: Our competitors, just like us, release updates to their products on a regular cadence. We keep these pages updated to the best of our ability, but there are bound to be discrepancies. For the most up-to-date information on competitor features, browsing the competitor’s new release pages and communities are your best bet.
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