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Kubernetes VS Openstack

Are you wondering which one is better - Kubernetes or OpenStack? Dont worry! The answer is here. This blog digs deep into Kubernetes and OpenStack on the root level. It will help you to leverage a suitable tool for your business. This blog also analyses where the two tools sync and where they differ. Let's jump into the blog!

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Information technology plays an inevitable role in every business.  It is undeniably the basic resource required to enter markets, onboard new customers, and adapt to dynamic conditions of the market. Both Kubernetes and OpenStack are advanced technologies that bring out many benefits to all businesses. Though both have similar features, they significantly differ from one another! But the question is which one to choose? Many organizations often need help with this dilemma while switching to a modern IT infrastructure. Read the blog entirely to get clarity to make the right decision.

Table Of Contents

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is essentially an open-source tool, also known as "K8s" or "Kube". It helps orchestrate containers to automate software deployment, scaling,  networking, and management. Kubernetes uses Docker for it. Running a few containers is possible manually; however, managing a huge number without the support of a platform like Kubernetes would be a challenge. It can work on numerous infrastructures like private clouds, Public clouds, hybrid clouds, and others. It is a recent technology compared to OpenStack.

If you want to enrich your career and become a professional in Kubernetes, then enroll in "Kubernetes Training". This course will help you to achieve excellence in this domain.

What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is also an open-source platform for cloud computing that utilizes aggregated virtual resources for building and managing private and public clouds. It is commonly deployed as an IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service) in private and public clouds. 

OpenStack uses " projects " tools for handling core cloud computing services such as image services, networking, storage, and computing. OpenStack uses the self-service portal to allocate instant provisioning of virtual resources to its users. It helps organizations to efficiently add servers, networking, and storage components to the cloud without much effort.

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OpenStack Vs. Kubernetes: What are the similarities and Differences?

OpenStack and Kubernetes are open-source, community-driven, and enterprise-graded projects. CNCF oversees the development and sustenance of Kubernetes, while the OpenStack foundation governs OpenStack. Irrespective of a lot of similarities between the two, they have differences. You can choose the right tool by comparing the two tools from various angles.

  • Cloud computing Vs. Container Orchestration

OpenStack: It is a famous cloud-based open-source software that supports IT professionals in creating the cloud infrastructure for bare metals, containers, and virtual machines. OpenStack uses special technology and a computer system to create a cloud system where users can run numerous applications. 

Kubernetes: It is an easy-to-use container application launched in 2014. You can easily run and maintain Kubernetes clusters.  Kubernetes, the container-orchestration platform, assigns pods with a common DNS name and IP address. It simplifies the discovery of the pods. Kubernetes also optimizes the load balance between the pods efficiently. 

Key takeaway:  Kubernetes helps IT engineers automate many tasks, such as employing, managing, and scaling container applications. On the other hand, OpenStack only provides users the service of building and managing the public and private infrastructure. 

  • Automated Vs. Hands-on Deployment

OpenStack: it has a robust cloud management system. It supports managing large pools of storage, networks, and data center resources using APIs. It also facilitates engineers with additional components, including orchestration and management of services and faults, to ensure the smooth working of the applications. 

Kubernetes: It offers deeper and more extensible automated container management. The user can modify each container slowly and independently to minimize the error of the containers on the whole application. 

Key Takeaway: Kubernetes simplifies container management automation. 

Conversely, OpenStack uses many tools to automate cloud infrastructure setup and control. However, it needs manual effort to do so compared to Kubernetes.

  • Support for Containerized applications Vs. Non-containerized

OpenStack: It provides support for manual configuration. Even if you cannot containerize the applications, OpenStack will help deploy the application on the cloud using VM, private servers, and dedicated servers. Thus, a user can customize it as per the business requirements. 

Kubernetes: It is designed for managing containerized applications and microservices. Thus, application containerization is essential to deploy, scale, and manage with Kubernetes.

Key Takeaway:  you can leverage OpenStack for both containerization and non-containerization applications. On the contrary, Kubernetes can be used to manage only containerized applications.

  •  Cloud Native Vs. Virtual Machine Technology

OpenStack: It originally comes from virtual machines. Most users find it easy to switch from doing things old-fashioned, such as setting up servers and applications. You can easily deploy OpenStack by purchasing a private cloud from the OpenStack provider. So, it is better to create private clouds before deployment. 

Kubernetes: The deployment of Kubernetes is ideally suitable for businesses with a deep understanding of the cloud. Prior experience in containerization, CD (continuous deployment), CI ( continuous Integration), automated testing, and other cloud technologies and skills are necessary.  

Key Takeaway: If you want to execute containerized applications using Kubernetes, you must install a centric setup. The setup must satisfy the cloud-native principles. On the other hand,  OpenStack is a robust platform that you can use to manage cloud-native configurations and conventional workloads. Virtual machines and dedicated servers are highly used for this purpose.

When to Use Kubernetes?

Kubernetes can be used when you need to: 

  • deploy containerized applications in the cloud.
  • develop applications that are cloud-native and can run via containers.
  • Implement cloud strategies for deploying containers in production environments.
  • employ Kubernetes scalable architecture that helps to deploy and handle large distributed applications
  • automate the maintenance tasks using self-healing container management
  • use a container management tool that sets multiple environments. The environments can be private data centers or cloud-based platforms. It can be Google Kubernetes Service (GKE), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) or others.

When to Use OpenStack?

You can use OpenStack when you need to: 

  • set up the cloud infrastructure that meets the requirements without creating the infrastructure from the start.
  • build a private cloud for general purposes.
  • develop a public cloud for local purpose
  • scale projects vertically and horizontally.
  • control the cloud infrastructure, VMs, and also bare-metals.
  • build capabilities for cloud-native for non-containerized workloads.

Combining OpenStack & Kubernetes

Kubernetes on OpenStack

  • It is much easier than directly running it on bare metal.
  • Some tools enable the rapid establishment of Kubernetes clusters on OpenStack. Examples include Juju, Magnum, and Cluster API.
  • Users receive a dedicated pool of resources, permitting them to create Kubernetes instances as needed with the help of OpenStacks multi-tenancy capabilities.
  • Kubernetes clusters can leverage the capabilities of OpenStack, such as load balancing using vGPU, Octavia, and others.

OpenStack on Kubernetes

  • It helps separate OpenStack services from the operating system for smooth functioning.
  • OpenStack can leverage Kubernetes' lifecycle management features to simplify tasks like upgrades.
  • Adopting K8 as standard makes OpenStack’s design streamlined and accessible to everyone on their workstation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is OpenStack essential?
  • OpenStack simplifies communication between cloud services. It also allows the building of a private cloud in the data center.
  • What is the main advantage of Kubernetes?
  • Kubernetes helps in automating resource allocation. Users can scale their applications based on demands by adding or deleting containers.
  • What is the main difference between Kubernetes and OpenStack?
  • Kubernetes is a robust platform that simplifies containerized application orchestration. On the other hand, OpenStack employs virtual resources to build and manage public and private clouds.
  • What is the main disadvantage of Kubernetes?
  • You must undergo intensive training to master Kubernetes. In addition, you must have sound experience in troubleshooting and debugging containerized applications.
  • Can OpenStack exist without Kubernetes?
  • OpenStack and Kubernetes are similar as both serve as the foundation for implementing open-source infrastructure in the cloud.

Conclusion

Kubernetes and  OpenStack are similar and can be used independently.  You must thoroughly learn the tool if you want to identify the right tool that fits your needs. If you combine the positive features of the two tools, it will work greatly. OpenStack and Kubernetes increase organizations' efficiency when used as complementary technologies. If you want to explore more about Kubernetes and OpenStack, you can join the online courses in MindMajix. It will help you choose the best tool out of the two and perform seamless IT operations in your business.

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Last updated: 09 Dec 2023
About Author

As a Senior Writer for Mindmajix, Saikumar has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Programming, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Oracle BI, Cognos, and Alteryx. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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