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Kubernetes Vs Openshift

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Nowadays, apps are developed using container technology. A container is a pack of application codes and their dependencies so that applications can run quickly in an isolated environment. Due to this isolation, we can run multiple containers on the same machine and share the OS kernel among them. In this article, we would be shedding light on two popular containerization systems - Kubernetes vs Openshift and find out the difference between them

Kubernetes Vs Openshift - Comparison

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a container-as-a-service (CaaS) framework created by Google developers. Kubernetes is an open-source containerization system that allows developers to automate application deployment, scaling, and operations. Being part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation also lets developers leverage many capabilities like process automation, container balancing, self-monitoring, storage orchestration, and more. 

[ Related Article: What is Kubernetes? - A Complete Guide ]

What is Openshift?

Openshift is a containerization software offered by an open-source software provider Red Hat. As per the company, Kubernetes is the kernel of the distributed systems, whereas Openshift is the distribution. We can state that "Openshift is a cloud-based Kubernetes that is considered as both containerization software as well as a platform as a service." 

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Kubernetes vs Openshift: What is the difference?

Both Openshift and Kubernetes run on Apache license 2.0 and have a robust and scalable architecture that eases application development, deployment, and overall management. Apart from some similarities, they also share some notable differences. So, below we would be disclosing the top 10 differences between Kubernetes and Openshift.

Point of DifferenceOpenshiftDocker Swarm
Project or productIt is a productIt is an open-source framework (project)
SecurityStrict and requires certain permissions to maintain the minimum security levelEasy to maintain the security level
Deployment ApproachIt has DeploymentConfigIt has deployment objects
FlexibilityLimited flexibilityBetter flexibility than open shift
Router Vs IngressRouter objects allow external access to open shiftIngress objects allow external access to Kubernetes services
User ExperienceBetter user experienceRequires additional tools to offer a good user experience

Offers native networking solutions to users 

Some of the Kubernetes components do not have networking solutions that are offered by the third party plugins
ManagementImageStreams make better management in Openshift Management of container images is not easy
Service  CatalogBetter service catalogIt has less provision of service within the cluster

[ Related Article: Basic Kubernetes Overview ]

Kubernetes vs OpenShift - Major Differences

#1. Project or Product

One of the most significant differences between Kubernetes and Openshift is that one is a project while another is a product. Kubernetes is an open-source framework or a project, whereas Openshift is the most used product for app development.  

OpenShift allows users to install the product with a subscription. The users can renew the subscription to expand their cluster. Kubernetes has a self-support model, a community, and a whole ecosystem to support users in problematic situations. In this case, users choose to use the project or prefer paying to gain support and features of the product.

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#2. Flexibility

The running environment of Openshift and Kubernetes differs. There is better flexibility of the operating system with Kubernetes, whereas Openshift has limits for its installation; Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host (RHELAH). Kubernetes doesn't require any particular or specific operating system. But yes, it needs some special skills and efforts for deployment. 

In terms of flexibility, Helm Charts of Kubernetes offers better flexibility than the templates of OpenShift. Helm chart is difficult to deploy on the OpenShift, whereas OpenShift can be easily installed on Kubernetes.

[ Related Article: Learn Kubernetes Architecture ]

#3. Security 

The security policies in OpenShift are way stricter than those in Kubernetes. It is easier for users to run simple apps on Kubernetes, but the security policies of OpenShift are quite strict and do not allow it. Some level of permissions is needed to maintain the minimum level of security provided by OpenShift. 

OpenShift offers an integrated server for better authentication. Whereas Kubernetes does not have any login commands, but they provide specific authentications for setup and configuration. In Kubernetes, Security contexts are part of container specifications, while OpenShift has a separate Security Context Constraint.

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#4. Deployment Approach

The approach towards deployment is different for both OpenShift and Kubernetes. OpenShift has DeploymentConfig, and Kubernetes have deployment objects. Controllers internally implement the deployment objects which are used to update pods.

The DeploymentConfig is implemented through dedicated pod logics, not controllers. If you have to deal with multiple and concurrent updates, better use deployment objects as DeploymentConfig does not support it.

[ Related Article: Kubernetes Interview Questions ]

#5. Container Image Management

In Openshift, ImageStreams helps in managing the container images easily. It lets users download whole images and transform them locally without using any external tools. Also, users can upload and manage container images and virtual tags conveniently. Kubernetes does not offer any container image management feature.

#6. User Experience

Users find it difficult to learn to operate the containers due to the cutting-edge interface. OpenShift offers support for logging into the clusters, whereas with Kubernetes, users need external tools to obtain credentials and create files.

With OpenShift, it is easier to switch between projects or namespace, but Kubernetes requires additional tools. Especially for beginners, OpenShift has an excellent user experience to offer as compared to Kubernetes.

[ Related Article: Study On Kubernetes Dashboard ]

#7. Networking

Kubernetes lacks a networking solution; therefore, users need to employ third-party network plug-ins. But OpenShift has its networking solution called Open vSwitch, which comes with three native plug-ins.

#8. Service Catalog

In Kubernetes, Service catalog forms are an optional component that needs a separate installation. Once the installation is done, it again requires contacting the existing service brokers. Also, it has fewer provisions for services in the clusters.  

Openshift Kubernetes has a service catalog with two default service brokers. It lets users integrate with another service broker for managed service in the case of Kubernetes. Openshift allows for easy deployment of the selective application.

Integrated CI/CD

The integrated Jenkins on the OpenShift makes management, upgrades, testing easy along with app deployment and helps the users create custom-made Jenkins images for a smooth update. Therefore, we can say that in this aspect of OpenShift vs. Kubernetes, OpenShift eases deployment of apps with the CI/CD pipelines.

[ Related Article: Learn Jenkins Tutorial ]

Releases and Updates

Kubernetes has an average of four releases every year, and OpenShift trails have an average of around three. Similarly, Kubernetes supports many concurrent and simultaneous updates, but OpenShift DeploymentConfig does not.

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Final Verdict

Both Kubernetes and Openshift are popular used container management systems having unique features. Above mentioned are some of the significant differences between Openshift and Kubernetes. To gain better knowledge of these systems, you can join our Openshift training and Kubernetes training.

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Last updated: 03 Apr 2023
About Author

Pooja Mishra is an enthusiastic content writer working at Mindmajix.com. She writes articles on the trending IT-related topics, including Big Data, Business Intelligence, Cloud computing, AI & Machine learning, and so on. Her way of writing is easy to understand and informative at the same time. You can reach her on LinkedIn & Twitter.

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