OpenShift Vs Kubernetes — Key Comparison…

What is OpenShift ?

Red Hat OpenShift is a cloud-based Kubernetes platform that helps developers build applications. It offers automated installation, upgrades, and life cycle management throughout the container stack — the operating system, Kubernetes and cluster services, and applications — on any cloud. OpenShift gives organizations the ability to build, deploy, and scale applications faster both on-premises and in the cloud. It also protects your development infrastructure at scale with enterprise-grade security.

What is Kubernetes ?
Kubernetes is a free and open-source technology designed for container orchestration. It was initially created by Google. Kubernetes is now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation which was founded for the purpose of advancing container technology.

Kubernetes is a pluggable containerization platform that provides a rich set of features designed to help manage services and workloads. Kubernetes comes with features that automate a range of tasks, including deployment, networking, and scaling.

In this article you will learn about the key comparison between OpenShift and Kubernetes.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Platform Support

  • OpenShift 3.x — Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Red Hat Atomic
  • OpenShift 4.x — Red Hat CoreOS for the control plane, and either CoreOS or RHEL for worker nodes

Where in Kubernetes can be installed on almost any Linux distribution, including the popular Ubuntu, Debian, and other alternatives.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Installation

  • OpenShift 3.x : You can install this version by manually following reference guides or by using the openshift-ansible Even if you use the openshift-ansible project which automates the installation, the process may be slow, complex, and difficult to troubleshoot. The main advantage of openshift-ansible is that it provides rolling updates for the entire cluster.
  • OpenShift 4.x : You can install this version using a simplified installer, which currently supports vSphere, OpenStack , Azure and AWS. Installation is performed by a dedicated Kubernetes Operator, while the entire configuration remains within ConfigMaps inside the cluster.

Kubernetes offers a variety of installation tools, including kubeadm, kops, and kube-spray. Some tools are designed mainly for the cloud while.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - User Interface

Kubernetes offers a complex web-based interface compare to openshift, which is not generally recommended for beginners. To access the interface, users need to first install the official Kubernetes Dashboard and then forward the port address of their local machine to the cluster server by using kube-proxy. However, the dashboard does not have a login page. To authenticate and authorize users, you implement a process that allows users to create their own bearer tokens.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Updates

Kubernetes lets you perform multiple upgrades, which can occur simultaneously. To upgrade Kubernetes, you only need to invoke the kubeadm upgrade command, which lets you get the latest version of kubernetes. Before upgrading Kubernetes, be sure to take the ectd backup.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Security

Kubernetes provides role-based access control (RBAC), Transport Layer Security (TLS) for API traffic, and API authentication and authorization which required complex setup. Kubernetes also provides resource quotas for clusters and pods, which can limit the damage caused by a successful attack.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Routes vs Ingress

Kubernetes provides Ingress, which offers more options as it can be easily implemented on many different servers. Ingress provides more functionality than Routes but is a comparatively new solution.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Integrated CI/CD

Kubernetes does not provide built-in CI/CD integration.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Templates

OpenShift 4.x provides some granularity solution, similar to Helm charts, and offers an integrated OperatorHub, which is increasingly the preferred method for provisioning services such as databases and queue systems.

OpenShift 3.x offers additional options, including Automation Broker (previously Ansible Service Broker) and Service Catalog. However, you cannot install these processes on Kubernetes. Additionally, OpenShift does not support Helm.

Kubernetes provides Helm, which is a powerful alternative to OpenShift templates. Helm architecture used to be based on Tiller service, a component installed as a pod with extensive permissions, which was not compatible with the strict security policies of OpenShift. However, from Helm 3, Tiller is no longer used, and the project supports enterprise grade security, identity, and authorization features.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Networking

OpenShift provides several SDN modes for configuring pod network:

  • Network Policy mode allows project admins to set their own quarantine policies using the NetworkPolicy object.
  • Multi-tenant mode enables project-level isolation for cluster-wide pods and services.
  • Subnet mode offers a flat network of pods in which every pod is able to communicate with all services and other pods.

Kubernetes guarantees that Pods can connect to each other and assigns each pod an IP address from the internal network. This will make all containers in the pod behave as if they were on the same host. assigning each pod a unique IP address means that you can think of the pod as a physical host or virtual machine when it comes to port assignment, networking, naming, service discovery, load balancing, and application configuration and migration etc.

Kubernetes does not provide a complete networking solution same as OpenShift does. But there are several mature networking projects you can use with Kubernetes, such as Calico.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes - Container Image Management

ImageStreams allow users to download entire images and locally modify them without having to use third party tools. It also allows users to upload container images and internally manage virtual tags in OpenShift. When openshift uses ImageStream, users can set a trigger that can starts a deployment whenever a new image exists or a change in the reference of the tag occurs.

ImageStream registry solution is ideal for workloads that require a self-deployment process based on the build of a new image version.

Kubernetes integrates with the Docker registry same like OpenShift, Kubernetes does not provide a dedicated resource that can help you manage the workflow of building container images. You can use external tools or scripts, but in most cases, Kubernetes users build images using the Docker build command.

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Kamlesh Prajapati

DevOps Practitioner (CKA certified , RHOCP Certified, Azure Certified on az-104,az-400,az-303.)