OpenShift and Kubernetes are the two most well-known container orchestration platforms. So, OpenShift and Kubernetes are now on the battlefield. OpenShift is a PaaS service for managing and deploying containerized applications. This system includes Kubernetes, Docker runtime, and other open-source projects.
Kubernetes is a flexible and customizable platform to scale the managing and deploying of apps. But it does not have additional tools and configurations as OpenShift. And both OpenShift & Kubernetes have their pros and cons. So, their ultimate choice will depend on the project’s aim.
In this article, we will talk about OpenShift vs Kubernetes to help you decide which one is best for your container production environment. So, let’s get the ball rolling!
Is OpenShift a layer on top of Kubernetes?
OpenShift is built on top of the Kubernetes Distribution service. It uses Kubernetes as the underlying orchestration and container management layer. But it extends its functionality with additional features and tools such as built-in support for CI/CD pipelines, a web-based console for managing and monitoring applications, automatic scaling and self-healing capabilities, and role-based access control.
OpenShift also provides an opinionated approach for deploying and managing applications, a set of best practices and conventions that can make it quicker and easier for developers to get started. It also integrates with other Red Hat products, such as Ansible and JBoss. However, OpenShift is not just a layer on top of Kubernetes, it is a fully-featured platform that provides a complete solution for managing and deploying containerized applications, but it still relies on the core features of Kubernetes.
Why should we use OpenShift?
There are several reasons why we should use OpenShift. Let’s take a look.
Built-in support for CI/CD pipelines
OpenShift provides built-in support for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, which makes it easier for developers to automate the process of building, testing, and deploying their applications.
OpenShift provides a web-based console to provide real-time information about the status of applications, resource usage and logs to monitor the apps.
Automatic scaling and self-healing
OpenShift automatically scales applications based on resource usage and self-heals in case of a node failure. This makes it easier to ensure that applications are running optimally.
OpenShift provides Role-based access control (RBAC) to control who has access to what resources. This is important for security and compliance. It is also more opinionated and prescriptive, meaning it comes with best practices and conventions.
Integration with Red Hat
OpenShift is developed and supported by Red Hat. So, it integrates with other Red Hat products, such as Ansible and JBoss, to manage and deploy applications across various environments.
OpenShift vs Kubernetes for scaling
Both OpenShift and Kubernetes are designed to handle the scaling of containerized applications. Both platforms have built-in mechanisms for automatically scaling deployment based on resource usage in case of a node failure. However, the way they handle these tasks has some differences.
OpenShift provides automatic scaling based on resource usage. It can be configured to
- Automatically scale up or down the number of replicas. This deployment is based on CPU or memory usage.
- It also offers self-healing capabilities. This automatically restarts failed pods and replaces unresponsive nodes.
Kubernetes also provides automatic scaling based on custom metrics. It can also be configured to
- Automatically scale up or down the number of replicas of a deployment based on any custom metric. This can be exposed through the Kubernetes API. Kubernetes also offers self-healing capabilities.
Kubernetes in OpenShift allows OpenShift to restart or replace pods. In short, OpenShift focuses more on resource usage, and Kubernetes focuses on custom metrics.
Kubernetes Use Cases over OpenShift
Here are the reasons why one might choose to use Kubernetes over OpenShift. They are
- Flexibility and Customization: Kubernetes is more flexible and customizable, making it better suited for large and complex deployments where a high degree of control over the platform is needed.
- Large and diverse community: Kubernetes is an open-source project actively developed by a large and diverse community of contributors. This means that there are third-party tools and available resources for learning and troubleshooting.
- Open-source and vendor-neutral: Kubernetes is open-source and vendor-neutral, which means that it can be used with a wide range of cloud providers and infrastructures.
- Strong Support for stateful workloads: Kubernetes is more mature for stateful workloads and provides storage orchestration, volume provisioning, and StatefulSets.
- Large ecosystem of third-party tools: Kubernetes has a large ecosystem of third-party tools that can manage and monitor the platform.
Most developers use Kubernetes for its flexibility with customization. You will not get such advantages over a heavy opinionated approach of OpenShift.
OpenShift vs Kubernetes UIs
OpenShift and Kubernetes provide different user interfaces for managing and monitoring containerized applications. OpenShift console provides real-time information about the status of applications, resource usage, and logs.
But Kubernetes primarily provides command-line tools(CLI) and kubectl allows you to perform a wide range of tasks such as scaling, rolling updates, and troubleshooting. It also provides a web-based dashboard to monitor the status of apps. So, you will need previous experience to work with it.
In summary, OpenShift provides a more complete and user-friendly web-based console than Kubernetes web-based dashboard.
Both platforms are built on top of Docker and provide a way to run, manage, and scale containerized applications in a cloud-native environment. OpenShift is full of options and more prescriptive. It means it comes with best practices for deploying and managing applications.
Kubernetes is a more barebones platform and does not have many additional facilities like OpenShift. But it is more flexible and customizable. So it is more suitable for large and complex deployments. So, the winner will depend on the requirements of the project.