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OpenShift vs Kubernetes – A Complete Comparison Guide

OpenShift vs Kubernetes

OpenShift & Kubernetes are any DevOps professional’s top picks and recommendations when we talk about container orchestration. If we debate about OpenShift vs Kubernetes, instead of competing, they both offer different utilities that support each other when it comes to deploying containerized apps. In other words, Kubernetes is a vital segment of the OpenShift platform.

Due to their robust & flexible configurations, both utilities enable:

  • Enterprise-grade app development
  • Workload Management
  • Deployment of containerized applications (Using OpenShift with Kubernetes for management).

This blog post will shed light on some of the key differences between Kubernetes and OpenShift. Let’s discuss each platform along with their differences in detail.

What is Kubernetes

Kubernetes, introduced by Google, is an open-source and flexible Container-as-a-Service (CAAS) service that offers an organization to handle a range of services, including: 

  • Automated Deployment
  • Scalability of control and operations, 
  • Workload management
  • Container orchestration, etc.

What is OpenShift

Introduced by Red Hat, OpenShift is a cloud-native platform that offers functionalities as a combo of Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) and Container Orchestration. Fundamentally, OpenShift is also an open-source utility that capitalizes on using Kubernetes to handle Docker containers and ensure:

  • Workload management
  • Control of information flow without manual input
  • Self-monitoring, etc.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes – Key Differences Explained

Subscription Cost

The first notable difference between OpenShift vs. Kubernetes is their charges. Open-shit is a paid product. Whereas Kubernetes is an open-source platform that costs nothing.

OpenShift’s subscription model offers a complete portfolio of practical utilities and enterprise-grade support. Kubernetes is driven by community support and requires 3rd-party utilities to accomplish a range of particular tasks or processes.

Security Features

OpenShift offers a robust security mechanism as an integral part of its strict threat prevention model. For example, it restricts the Docker Containers to perform as regular images.

Kubernetes security features are activated by a complex setup and it doesn’t offer integrated authentication & authorization features. Apart from that, it requires you to outsource an API to integrate with 3rd-party utilities & features for different key functionalities. Its security mechanism is not pre-defined naturally like OpenShift. The reason is it doesn’t offer an integrated encryption model within a cluster, making Kubernetes more vulnerable to cyberattacks or intrusions.

Monitoring & Dashboard

OpenShift offers an engaging UX with an easy-to-understand web console. A simple and interactive dashboard in OpenShift enables experts to administer and keep records of all the resources at the same instance.

Kubernetes UI is much more complex to adapt & use. To access the GUI-based KPIs dashboard, developers need to install a 3rd party dashboard. It further requires you to set up an authentication & authorization roadmap to make it accessible as the interface lacks any login form. Expert and tech-savvy users don’t face any problem dealing with all this stuff, but it may haunt amateur users initially.

Updates and Support

OpenShift, being a paid platform, offers promising customer support and a comprehensive roadmap regarding a range of features and options. On the other hand, Kubernetes, an open-source platform, lacks any dedicated support and usually offers on-demand support in terms of its online community. If experts experience any potential problem with Kubernetes, they have no other way but to ask for assistance from the developers’ community or forums. No doubt, it’s an overwhelming thought to post a query or problem and wait for an experienced professional to respond.

Features or Tools Support

OpenShift’s paid service offers a range of features, including Monitoring & Networking as default utilities. Prometheus & Grafana – it’s insightful monitoring dashboards issue alerts and notifications regarding any potential issues or deadlocks. Whereas, Kubernetes requires third-party integrations or tools to support monitoring and networking features.

Choosing between OpenShift vs. Kubernetes

The aforementioned differences between Kubernetes and Openship can give you a clear idea about choosing the right platform to serve your development needs. When it comes to choosing between OpenShift vs Kubernetes, the solution is somewhat subjective. What’s more efficient & effective for a particular organization might not produce the same results for others. In simple words, both OpenShift & Kubernetes are remarkable when it comes to developing, deploying, & controlling containerized apps.

Kubernetes is the perfect choice for high-end applications that need consistent updates or revamps, like modern games. Similarly, OpenShift is the most appropriate choice for security-intensive, private, and high-risk applications having critical government, healthcare, or intelligence data.

On-premise Kubernetes solution that offers the same features as cloud-native K8 is more difficult to implement, control, or monitor in the absence of 3rd-party integrations. Whereas, OpenShift sounds more user-friendly solution because of its integrated features and default toolset.

But this utility is restricted to RedHat Enterprise Linux. Fundamentally, OpenShift is based and developed on a Kubernetes layer but offers additional utilities that revolutionize the entire orchestration process.

End Words

Both OpenShift and Kubernetes offer scalable and practical solutions depending upon the use case and the user. Enterprises can leverage the high-end support and integrated features provided by the OpenShift platform. And Kubernetes can best serve the purpose if organizations have experienced & trained orchestration team members.

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