OpenShift vs Docker

Many companies deploy their applications using cloud computing, making them use containerization tools or platforms. They enable the developers to build applications with dependencies, plugins, CI/CD integration, libraries, etc., easily. They help in the implementation of agile practices and methodologies. Some common containerization tools are Docker and Openshift. They make the application development process due to their features and advantages. Some people struggle when they want to choose which platform to use. The article will cover several differences between Openshift and Docker, their features, advantages and disadvantages, etc.

What is OpenShift?

Openshift is a Kubernetes platform developed by Redhat that provides a cloud environment when building application containers. It works as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that helps developers containerize their applications. It makes it easy to build, run and deploy applications with good experience.

It assures developer teams good security, easy monitoring and logging, policy management, works well with other tools like Kubernetes, and Bitbucket, is fast, it supports provisioning, among other benefits. It supports most programming languages like Python, Java, Ruby, Go, Perl, etc.

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What is Docker?

Docker is a platform that enables developers to build, run, deploy, and test containers that work together with the operating systems and application source code and dependencies in different environments. It makes it quick to deploy and scale applications.

It has containers of operating systems that virtualizes the server's operating system. Each server has its Docker installed, and you can use different commands to control the containers.

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OpenShift vs Docker

There are several differences between Openshift and Docker. Some of the common differences are discussed below:


Openshift installation has fewer integrations which are easy to follow. You can perform the bare-metal installation, but sometimes, you can face several issues. When installing Docker, we use the Docker Hub or Docker desktop to install the version of Linux you need. Docker hub uses the cloud to host and distribute your images and containers, promoting developers' collaboration.

Third-Party Integration

Docker has support for different third-party applications. It works well with third parties like Bitbucket, Visual Studio, Redis, and CircleCI, among others. You can also integrate Docker with third-party plugins.

Openshift has a marketplace and catalogue to enable you to install different third-party applications and plugins into your applications. Some tools are for logging, infrastructure, storage, diagnostic, deployment, etc.


Openshift has methods like  Multiple Category Security that help separate different processes within the kernels or containers. It has web interfaces and an API that helps run the containers. It also has groups that lower memory by controlling the CPU sizes with their inputs and outputs.

Docker mainly uses the runtime containers when developers deploy applications. It uses LXC to separate different processes within the containers and kernels. It also has namespaces that enable developers to create isolated workspaces during the isolation process.


Docker supports several desktop and cloud environments, which they use to build and deploy applications. Openshift supports several deployment environments like Windows and Linux.

Source of Software Supply

Redhat offers enterprise versions of Openshift, but if you want free software, you can download OKD. Docker is open source and is mainly maintained and developed by Docker Inc with the community of open-source lovers.

Deployment Model

Openshift uses hybrid cloud and multi-cloud to handle deployments, while Docker uses Docker Swarm to manage multi deployments.

Supported Cloud Platforms

Openshift supports the following cloud platforms, i.e., IBM Cloud, Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS ensuring the developers have a good experience during deployment. Docker supports the following cloud platforms, i.e., Jelastic Kamatera, A2 Hosting, StackPath, Google Cloud Run,, Amazon ECS, Microsoft Azure, HostPresto, and Vultr, among others.

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Infrastructure Support

Docker enables you to package your applications as container images, making the containers run better when deployed in different environments. Docker works well with desktop and cloud-native environments, making it easy to build and test both Linux and Windows servers. Docker containers work well on most cloud platforms like Amazon, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, etc.It has many possibilities which one can expand.

Openshift supports various Linux and Windows servers, which sometimes require route configuration to get traffic from the containers. Using Openshift limits the user from performing certain activities unless they pay a subscription fee to get all the access.


Openshift gets approximately three releases per year, while Docker has several releases which occur yearly.

Update Management

Openshift uses Cluster Version Operator to handle the updates, while Docker handles updates using Docker Swarm.

Enterprise Use

There is an estimated number of around 2,000 companies that use Openshift. Since its open-source, Docker has attracted over 10 million developers worldwide.

Security Features

Openshift has strong security measures that ensure containers' safety using different authentication and authorization methods. It also has rules-based access control (RBAC) feature that controls the user access to different parts of the container and the permission.

Docker has several default mechanisms that protect its containers from attacks. Though their security is not very strict. Some of the security features include kernel namespaces, use of hardening systems like SELinux, GRSEC, AppArmor etc. and use of control groups,

Web Interface

Openshift has a good web interface compared to Docker. Docker has a web interface and a GUI application, but it's less user-friendly than Openshift.

Network Management

Openshift has OpenvSwitch, which uses Software-defined networking and overlay networking to provide networking. Docker uses multi-host networks together with overlay networks.

Container Image Management

Docker uses Docker EE to manage its containers and orchestrates the Docker images when integrating them with different APIs. Openshift works with the majority of the workloads like Docker images.

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Features of Docker and OpenShift

Some of the features of OpenShift include:

  • It is compatible with tools like Docker and Registry, which you can integrate into your application.
  • The platform has different components like authentication engines, management platforms, scheduling, data storage, etc.
  • Ability to manage application pipelines.
  • Its containers can test, build, and automate several application containers.
    Features of Docker include:
  • It has both an open-source platform and paid version.
  • It uses Docker daemon for hosting images, storage, networks, containers, and other functions like interacting with several APIs.
  • It has a Docker hub that allows developers to access over 1,000 libraries and applications for using them with their containers.
  • It has a Trusted Registry that improves security by providing a new layer of ownership.
  • It has a Docker Engine that has a Docker Swarm to help the load balancing of the clusters.

Advantages of Docker & Openshift

Some of the benefits of Openshift include:

  • It has a good user interface.
  • It makes it easy to scale the applications.
  • It automates most app development processes like scaling, building, development, container, etc.
  • It has built-in CD/CI solutions.
  • It supports multiple clusters.
  • It supports portability between different environments and workstations.

Advantages of using Docker include:

  • It supports multiple cloud platforms.
  • It has made the deployment processes faster.
  • Simple to do configurations.
  • It is easy to separate the resources and applications.
  • It is very secure. It ensures that your applications and containers are safe from attacks.

DisAdvantages of Docker & Openshift

Some of the disadvantages of Docker include:

  • There are several security concerns when using Docker if you don’t handle the configurations well.
  • The command line can be difficult to use sometimes.

Disadvantages of Openshift include:

  • Their customer care service can be slow sometimes.
  • Troubleshooting can be difficult with their little community in case of any issues.

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Docker and Openshift are good containerization tools that help developers build applications faster. They have different features and advantages, which give more options in choosing which one to use in your project. Docker has bigger community support compared to Openshift since Docker is open source making it easier to solve issues if you face them, while Openshift has little community support since you have to pay for some software.

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Openshift can use Docker to manage different services.

It depends on what you want to do, Openshift has a small community compared to Kubernetes.

Some of the Openshift competitors include Google Kubernetes Engine, Azure Kubernetes Service, Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, Amazon Elastic Container Service, etc.

Openshift helps developers containerize their applications making the development processes, deployment, monitoring, upgrading, provisioning etc., easier.

Learning OpenShift is easy and not complicated, as many people put it.

The best way to learn Openshift is with the help of their documentation or attending training like HKR Trainings.

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