Cloud costs
November 6, 2023
min read

ArgoCon 2023 Recap: GitOps Achieves Escape Velocity



As the curtains closed on ArgoCon North America 2023 this evening (November 6th), the Chicago air buzzed with the collective energy of Kubernetes and Argo aficionados. The event, held in conjunction with KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, brought together the community to deepen their understanding of the Argo Project and its constellation of continuous delivery tools — Argo CD, Workflows, Rollouts, and Events — that are enhancing Kubernetes' deployment and management landscape.

This year at ArgoCon North America 2023, we at Harness took great pride in our role as a platinum sponsor, providing more than just backing — we dove headfirst into a wealth of discussions and workshops, engaging with the community at every turn. Our dedication to the Argo Project and the wider cloud-native ecosystem was on full display as we shared our insights, learned from our peers, and took valuable feedback on our contributions to the community — from the Litmus Chaos initiative to the OpenTofu project.

For those who couldn't join us or wish to relive the experience, this blog will serve as your portal to the event's highlights. We'll walk you through the keynotes, engaging talks, enlightening discussions, and more, capturing the essence of ArgoCon right here in our recap.

Harnessians at ArgoCon 2023

About the Argo Project

At ArgoCon North America 2023, the central theme revolved around the Argo Project and its pragmatic approach to enhancing Kubernetes. Argo, with its suite of tools including Argo CD, Workflows, Rollouts, and Events, is fundamentally about addressing the day-to-day challenges encountered by those managing Kubernetes applications.

These tools aren’t just technical advancements; they're practical solutions. Argo CD simplifies the deployment process, Workflows handle complex jobs, Rollouts introduce safer updating mechanisms, and Events trigger actions based on specific scenarios. Together, they create a more manageable and resilient Kubernetes ecosystem.

The Argo Project's enhancement of Kubernetes APIs means less complexity and more automation for teams deploying cloud native applications. It translates into faster deployment times, reduced risk of errors, and a more streamlined workflow for operations teams.

With the Argo Project's impact outlined, let's pivot to the highlights and learnings from ArgoCon, where real-world applications and success stories took the spotlight, offering insights into the ways these tools are being leveraged to shape the future of Kubernetes deployments.

Conference Highlights

This year's topics coincided with general industry buzz. Many talks focused on how Argo can manage the complexity of deploying desired state applications at scale without compromising security and governance.


Artificial intelligence has been on top of technology headlines over the past year, and several talks focused on Argo tools applied to AI model training and observability. A key challenge is managing the immense amounts of parallel data processing inherent in AI applications. Teams at organizations like Intuit have begun pairing Argo Rollout capabilities to include anomaly detection as Kubernetes clusters scale, and Argo Workflows are increasingly used to manage the end to end training and evaluation of large language models like Llama.

Securing the Development Lifecycle

As software lifecycles become increasingly intricate, security concerns have intensified, particularly regarding the integrity of the technology stack. This has led CISO teams in both the private and public sectors to focus on mitigating vulnerabilities within the supply chain. In response, Argo developers and users have identified several security trends.

Firstly, the community is recognizing the benefits of the GitOps paradigm, which, by its nature, provides an immutable and declarative setup that acts as a single source of truth, aiding in maintaining a consistent audit trail for compliance purposes. Secondly, Argo is developing specific resources aimed at enhancing the security of multi-tenant applications.

Moreover, the Argo community is engaging in discussions to define what constitutes a well-architected framework, focusing on establishing a single source of truth that can help in the early detection and prevention of deployment misconfigurations, much like how cloud adoption led to the creation of standardized architectures and practices.

Managing Scale

Argo tools are at their core deployment tools, and an immense amount of community focus is being spent on how applications can be scaled to hundreds, thousands, and millions of users and environments. It’s clear that open source infrastructure as code (IAC) tools like Terraform aren’t going anywhere, but there’s been a pivot from pure automation to optimization and managing application complexity (for example, multi-cluster deployments). Major cloud providers like AWS have adopted and shared new patterns for designing and bootstrapping Kubernetes applications that can deploy at massive scale.

The Harness platform is designed to manage scaling infrastructure and business processes in ways with which native Argo currently struggles. This includes integrating GitOps deployments with existing project management and service desk tools. Harness also provides a single orchestration layer to manage horizontal and vertical scaling of Argo applications, along with automating promotion between environments.

Closing Remarks

ArgoCon 2023 has cast a spotlight on AI, security, and the need for scalable technology solutions. Argo tools have proven essential for modern software development and delivery needs. However, as deployment pipelines and strategies grow more sophisticated, the simplicity of ArgoCD might be challenged.

Harness Continuous Delivery not only integrates seamlessly with GitOps engines like Argo CD or Flux but also simplifies the progression of software artifacts through development, QA, UAT, and production stages. Harness provides a framework for multiple approval modes, ensuring that each transition can be thoroughly vetted according to the organization's governance needs. This level of control and oversight is crucial for maintaining quality and security as software moves closer to end-users.

As we reflect on the lessons from ArgoCon 2023, we encourage the tech community to consider how these tools can be applied to create secure, resilient, and scalable systems. To learn more and to join the discussion on leveraging these tools for your infrastructure needs, please visit Harness Continuous Delivery.

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Continuous Delivery & GitOps