Kubernetes vs Openshift- All You Need To Know.

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Oct 16, 2023

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Both Kubernetes and Openshift are platforms that help software engineers and agile teams to develop, deploy, track, and manage applications at scale in a cloud environment. Talking about differences between the two, Kubernetes is integral to Openshift, not the other way round! Both can operate on on-premise, hybrid, and cloud environments. OpenShift can be divided into two parts. One, it allows Docker-formatted containers to be developed in an integrated development environment. Two, it manages the post-deployment processes and scalability through the Kubernetes platform.

OpenShift and Kubernetes: An Overview 

Kubernetes, also called K8S, is a container-orchestration platform that automates application deployment and management to achieve scale. OpenShift is a container-management platform that provides containerization software and also acts as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS). In a way, it makes Kubernetes more efficient. 

OpenShift with its flagship product OpenShift Container Platform is a group of software products that bring containerization solutions based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. OpenShift Container Platform helps create, deploy, and modify applications on demand. It allows a faster development and release life cycle for software. 

Kubernetes was developed by Google engineers and released in 2014 after using it for 10 years. Openshift is a product of RedHat that specializes in making open-source software. It was released in 2013.

What is Containerization?

Containerization is a virtualization of the operating system and is a major trend in agile software development. It can also be an alternative, and sometimes companion to virtualization. In this method of software deployment, Kubernetes helps group containers in logical clusters using a shared operating system but separated from each other. It helps easy discovery, deployment, and management of the containers.    

OpenShift and Kubernetes: Differences

A major difference between OpenShift and Kubernetes is that OpenShift is a product that is available for subscription and can be installed on-premise digital infrastructures such as servers and data centers. Kubernetes is an open source platform that gets regular updates from its operators but doesn’t come with support backup paid or unpaid. 

Another key difference between Kubernetes and Openshift is that Kubernetes is an independent platform that offers containerization solutions during the process of software development and deployment, making the workflow of the software engineers easy and scalable.

Kubernetes vs OpenShift

There is often a comparison made in terms of Kubernetes vs OpenShift. Are there any significant differences between them? Let’s look at them afresh and separately: 


OpenShift comes with many added features along with Kubernetes container workload compatibility. In particular, it uses virtualization of containers as it uses physical on-premise IT infrastructure for application deployment and management. Because OpenShift is a product that can be installed on-premise servers and data centers, it has multiple variants for specific needs and accordingly they are priced differently. You can develop and deploy web applications to one or more hosts through OpenShift. Whether it's a backend or public-facing application, OpenShift supports the process.

Key Features

  • Supports Node.js, Go, Python, Java, Ruby, and PHP
  • Extendable to support other programming languages
  • Enables automatic and manual scaling of applications


Kubernetes is a cloud-native platform and it doesn’t depend on virtualization of data center to offer its services. Compared to virtual machines, it offers an easy way to scale deployment and management of applications. Kubernetes supports both automation and declarative approach. It is portable and extensible in managing containerized services and workloads. Kubernetes can manage containerized applications in physical, virtual, and cloud environments and infrastructures.   

Key features

  • Load Balancing
  • Service Discovery
  • Self-Recovery
  • Batch Scaling

Some of the Most Critical Differences Between Kubernetes and OpenShift  


Project vs Product

Kubernetes is a project while Openshift is a product. Kubernetes is open-source whereas OpenShift is subscription-based. Kubernetes functions on a self-supported model where help comes from the community rather than the service provider as in the case of RedHat’s OpenShift.   


Both offer role based access control (RBAC) authorization. However, OpenShift’s security aspects are stronger than those of Kubernetes. OpenShift requires specific privileges to maintain a minimum security level. As a result, you have to learn the policies to deploy more apps. Kubernetes authentication setup requires more effort than OpenShift that uses an integrated server for authentication.


Kubernetes uses deployment objects for deployment of applications and updates. They can be internally implemented by controllers to update pods. In OpenShift, deployment is performed by the DeploymentConfig command. Dedicated pad logics rather than controllers are used to implement DeploymentConfig.  

User Interface (UI)

OpenShift has a more user-friendly log-in page for its console. It allows you to visualize projects, servers, and cluster roles through an easy access to the console. In Kubernetes, you need to install a dashboard that uses kube-proxy to connect your local machine to the admin server. Authorization and authentication are performed through a bearer token created manually. It doesn’t have a login page.

CI/CD Pipeline

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipeline is used to implement delivery of code changes reliably and frequently. Both Kubernetes and OpenShift provide CI/CD pipeline best practices but neither seems to be offering the complete range of functions in this niche. A more optimised CI/CD pipeline will require deployment of both Openshift and Kubernetes platforms. Enterprises may benefit by embedding more specific solutions outside these platforms such as automated testing and monitoring.

Kubernetes: Pros

  •  Portable
  •  Extensible
  •  Open-source
  •   Large
  •   Rapidly growing ecosystem

 OpenShift Pros

  •  Consistent security
  •  Built-in monitoring
  •  Centralized policy management
  •  Leverages developer experience
  •  Platform agnostic

 Summing up

Kubernetes and OpenShift are two most popular containerisation management platforms, each having its own set of strengths, a few weaknesses. They help software engineers to ease their workflows and achieve scalability in the development, deployment, and management of cloud-based applications. To master these two container orchestrisation systems, you should sign up a DevOps online training program.

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If you are undergoing a DevOps course or have a DevOps certification, you must have been sensitized that development and operations are two distinct stages of the software life cycle. The DevOps tools and protocols help software engineers to dismantle the divide between development and application stages of software development and deployment. It is achieved through DevOps training that involves various tools, philosophies, and cultures that together aim to achieve a system of seamless development and implementation of software for cloud applications.


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