Openshift vs Kubernetes

Currently, many developers are using cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud Platforms, and Microsoft Azure to deploy their applications. To make the deployment processes faster and easier, they use containerized technologies like Kubernetes and Openshift to containerize the application and deploy them to the cloud. You have the power to control some of the resources like volumes, memory, etc.The whole process gets automated, making it easy to scale the applications and reduce cases of downtime and security issues.

Openshift vs Kubernetes - Table of Content

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source, portable, and extensible platform that helps software teams manage their containerized workloads. It uses declarative configurations to help automate the deployment of services. Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is in charge of Kubernetes and has provided a guarantee of a faster development cycle. It works well with other frameworks and technologies like Docker. It helps ensure that deployment is easier and fast with the help of its features like security, networking, scalability, etc.It works well with different environments, i.e., the cloud and the on-premise. Other features of Kubernetes include automatic recovery of containers when it fails through restarts and health checks, the ability to roll out to previous versions, assigning IP addresses and DNS names automatically, etc. 

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What is Openshift?

Openshift is Redhat's product, a commercialized Kubernetes platform that provides cloud experience during deployment. It gives teams the chance to build and deploy applications at their preferred location, either cloud or on-premise. It is a a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) service. Most of its activities are automated and make the development to deployment efficient. It offers both free and paid versions. It works well with other DevOps tools like Docker. It provides environments with more security, good customer support, and faster deployment, making it suitable for small and large applications. It integrates well with some of the applications like Ansible, IBM Cloud, Jenkins, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure. It supports the majority of the programming languages like Java, Go, Python,  Perl, PHP, and Ruby. 

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Differences between Openshift and Kubernetes

Openshift and Kubernetes work using the Apache software and share many similarities. We shall look at the difference between the two using their features and how they work. Some of the differences will vary from deployment, support, security, user interface, networking etc

Deployment

Since Kubernetes is an open-source framework, it works well with majorities of the cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Linux distributions like Debian and Ubuntu. You can also use deployment controllers and objects to help update pods and handle application updates, respectively.

 For Openshift, you have to pay for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host (RHELAH), Fedora, or CentOS, making it hard for businesses to enjoy using it. It has the DeploymentConfig command, which limits developers from working with controllers but instead uses dedicated pod logic. The disadvantage of this method is that it doesnt offer support for multiple updates.

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Security

Kubernetes has role-based access control (RBAC) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) that provides security for API traffic, authentication, and authorization, but you must know how to configure the setup. One of the features that you need to be careful about is that Kubernetes provides quotas for the pod and clusters with no encryption, making it easier for attacks.

Openshift has serious security policies that prevent developers from running many container images, including the main official images, to improve security. It uses privileges to control the people who have access to some common Openshift operations. It also has authentication servers and uses the Kubernetes built-in security features to keep the images safe.

 Top 30 frequently asked Kubernetes Interview Questions !

Support

It is easier to get support when using Kubernetes since it's an open-source project. You can connect with millions of developers by asking them any related queries about the platform. You can also view the issues raised by other developers and how they answered they got answered.

Openshift is a commercial product making it hard to get support. You have to talk to the few customers who use the Red Hat product. If the developers doesnt help you, you have to contact customer care, who are available 24/7.

Releases and updates

Kubernetes can release up to four versions per year, while Openshift can produce up to three versions per year. When updating Kubernetes, you can do multiple updates at the same time. 

You can use the kubeadm upgrade command to install an update to a new version. You have to ensure that all the installation files get backed up during the updating process.

Openshift is a bit different, and there are no alerts that can help you know when to perform an update. You access the files you want to update using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux package management system.

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Networking

Kubernetes uses pods that help in connection. Each pod has its IP address making it easier to behave like a physical host. The IP addresses make the containers behave as if they are on the same host. It makes the virtual machines perform some functions like load balancing, application configuration, networking, service discovery, etc. The networking of Kubernetes is not very strong as it relies on other projects like Calico.

Openshift provides software-defined networking (SDN) as its networking solution. It ensures that network clusters get unified, promoting communication between two pods. Several SDN modes allow project administrators to set policies and isolate the projects for pods and services. 

It has a pod network to help it communicate with other pods and other services. Some pods use OpenShift SDN with Open vSwitch (OVS) for configuring overlay networks. 

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Templates

Kubernetes uses Helm templates, making them easier to use and providing more flexibility to the users. Its architecture uses Tiller, which controls the permissions of the pod installations. When a new version of Helm gets introduced, it no longer supports Tiller.

Openshift templates are simple to use, but the majority of the templates provided are not sophisticated, making deployment hard, and forcing users to extend the flexibility of the templates using external wrappers. Openshift has different versions:3 and 4, which have different characteristics. Openshift 3 has Service Catalog and Automation Broker options that you cant use on Kubernetes. Openshift 4 has granularity, and OperatorHub makes it easier to work with services like databases.

Image Registry management

Kubernetes does not support image registry management, making it hard to manage the registries. You can use external tools, write different scripts, or use the Docker build commands to build different images.

Openshift has Image streams that make it easy to create and manage image registries. You can check the information of different registries and even change the existing image tags. The streams enable the users to download and modify images without external tools, manage the virtual tags, upload the images, and start deployments using tag reference tags. You can also use the streams to self-deploy workloads and deploy new versions using the chained builds.

Integrated CI/CD

Continuous Integration and Continuous delivery are some of the best DevOps practices making it easy to implement the agile methodologies. Both platforms integrate with the CI/CD solutions when you want to work with the features. Openshift integrates well with Jenkins and Docker hub to provide a CI server for your project.

Kubernetes has the same issues as Openshift. It depends on the Integration for the CI/CD to work, and it relies on Circle CI for CI/CD integration. Those with Docker knowledge can create a registry, but you won't be able to integrate it. It makes it easier to manage the applications by making it easier to test and monitor them.

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User  Interface

Kubernetes has a complex dashboard, making it hard for beginners to use it. To make it suitable for usage, you have to install the Kubernetes dashboard and then use the Kube proxy to change the portal address from your local machine to the cluster server. To create logins, you use bearer tokens to authenticate all the users. Despite all these, services that run on Kubernetes like Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) have more tools for management, and some are pre-configured.

Openshift web console uses a login page for authentication. The users get the chance to manage the resources by adding, deleting, etc.You can also have visual charts of servers, roles, projects etc

Top 30 frequently asked Openshift Interview Questions !

Product vs project

Those who want to use Openshift have to pay for you to access the features and have an easy time talking to customer support. Kubernetes is free to use since it's open-source, and you can get support from millions of developers who use it.

Installation

Installation of Kubernetes gets done on the majority of the Linux platforms like Debian, Ubuntu etc.You can’t install Openshift anyhow, and it only supports specific platforms. When installing it on different versions, you can use kops, kubeadm, and Kube-spray methods. Some of the methods are a bit complex, and you will need to be careful during installation. 

You can install Openshift on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Red Hat Atomic for Openshift version 3 using openshift-ansible for faster installation and updating.

Red Hat CoreOS or CoreOS for Openshift version 4 with the help of a simplified installer that works well with AWS and vSphere platforms, and the last one is RHEL and  CentOS that works well with OKD platforms. 

[Related Blog: Kubernetes Architecture ]

Which one is the best to use?

Now you have a deeper understanding of the two technologies we use in containerizing applications. Both of them are important, and they play an essential role in ensuring you deploy applications easily. Openshift technology runs on Kubernetes, making it have limited features compared to Kubernetes. The guide made you understand which platform to choose when you want to integrate them into your project. You have to consider some facts like cost, level of skills, speed etc 

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Ishan Gaba
Ishan Gaba
Research Analyst
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.