Differences Between OpenShift and Kubernetes: A Comprehensive Guide – IQCode (2023)

OpenShift and Kubernetes: Differences and Comparison

In this section, we will discuss the differences and comparison between OpenShift and Kubernetes.


Both OpenShift and Kubernetes are open source container management platforms that can be used for deploying and managing containerized applications. However, there are some key differences between the two, which we will explore in this section.

What is OpenShift?

OpenShift is a container application platform that is built on top of Kubernetes. It provides additional features and tools for developers and application administrators, such as built-in CI/CD pipelines, source-to-image builds, and integrated logging and monitoring.

Key Features of OpenShift

Some of the key features of OpenShift include:

  • Built-in CI/CD pipelines
  • Source-to-image builds
  • Integrated logging and monitoring
  • Container orchestration with Kubernetes
  • Role-based access control

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It provides a high level of flexibility and scalability and can run on any infrastructure.

Key Features of Kubernetes

Some of the key features of Kubernetes include:

  • Automated deployment and scaling of containerized applications
  • Load balancing and service discovery
  • Automatic binpacking of containers
  • Self-healing of applications
  • Horizontal scaling

OpenShift Vs Kubernetes: Differences and Comparison

The main differences between OpenShift and Kubernetes are:

  • OpenShift provides additional features and tools on top of Kubernetes
  • OpenShift has built-in CI/CD pipelines and source-to-image builds
  • OpenShift has integrated logging and monitoring
  • OpenShift has role-based access control
  • OpenShift is more user-friendly for developers and application administrators


Both OpenShift and Kubernetes are powerful tools for deploying and managing containerized applications. Whether you choose OpenShift or Kubernetes will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is OpenShift based on Kubernetes?

A: Yes, OpenShift is built on top of Kubernetes.

Q: What is the difference between OpenShift and Kubernetes?

A: OpenShift provides additional features and tools on top of Kubernetes, such as built-in CI/CD pipelines, source-to-image builds, and integrated logging and monitoring. OpenShift is more user-friendly for developers and application administrators.

Important Resources

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Comparison: OpenShift vs Kubernetes for Container Development

Containers are a lightweight and portable type of virtualization for operating systems that package all the necessary executables, binary code, libraries, and config files. Two popular container development platforms are Kubernetes and OpenShift. Containerization is being increasingly utilized by many businesses due to its flexibility, scalability, and efficiency in managing, creating and deploying distinct applications across various infrastructures.

Kubernetes is a core component of OpenShift, referred to by vendor Red Hat as the “Enterprise Edition of Kubernetes.” Although there are a limited number of containerization orchestrations available, picking the right one can be a challenge. While Kubernetes facilitates app deployment, scaling and operations, OpenShift works seamlessly with Kubernetes to help apps run more efficiently. This article compares and contrasts the essential features of OpenShift and Kubernetes.

OpenShift: A Cloud Development Platform

OpenShift, developed by Red Hat, is a cloud-based, user-friendly, and open-source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that enables developers to create, test, and run applications before deployment. It supports languages like Node.js, Ruby, Python, Perl, and Java, and is easily extensible to frameworks like Istio and Knative. OpenShift allows containerized apps to scale automatically or manually and includes various virtualization concepts. It also offers an integrated development environment (IDE) to create and deploy Docker-formatted containers, which are managed by Kubernetes. Overall, OpenShift is an efficient and versatile platform for cloud-based application development.

Features of OpenShift

OpenShift 4 comes with a range of new features:

  • Cluster Installation – OpenShift 4 includes an installer-provisioned architecture, allowing clusters to be set up from scratch in minutes
  • Cluster Upgrades – OpenShift’s update service has a simple UI that allows for easy tracking of available updates
  • Cloud Automation – Automation providers for virtual platforms such as OpenStack, VMware, and Red Hat Virtualization, as well as on-premises bare metals, are available in OpenShift 4
  • Knative – Suitable for creating Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) workloads, this feature aids in the management, development, and deployment of a serverless workload that is scalable to meet specific demands and can scale down to zero when not in use
  • Kubernetes’ Operators – This new feature helps with the management of applications and allows code to interact with the Kubernetes system, making the job more dynamic and efficient
  • ODO Command Line Interface – OpenShift 4 includes ODO, a CLI developed by Red Hat that optimizes code containerization and deployment on OpenShift.

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What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source containerization technology developed by Google over a decade ago. It enables developers to automate container deployment, management, scaling, and networking. Kubernetes allows you to manage distributed, containerized apps at enormous scale. It’s now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, giving developers access to self-monitoring, automation, container balancing, storage orchestration, and other features. Kubernetes organizes containers into logical clusters for easy management and discovery and is suitable for both on-premises and cloud systems.

Kubernetes Key Features

  • Service Discovery and Load Balancing: Kubernetes assigns DNS names, IP addresses, and load balancing to pods automatically, enabling service discovery and access to external networks and pods through the same address.
  • Automatic Bin Packing: Optimizes container placement based on resource needs.
  • Self-Recovery: Restarts or replaces failing containers and deletes containers that fail health checks.
  • Rollout and Rollback Automation: Rolls back to a previous version if faults arise to prevent system failures.
  • Batch Execution and Scaling: Allows manual or automatic scaling of programs, and manages batches and Continuous Integration (CI) workloads.
  • Replication Controller: Ensures a specified number of pod replicas are always running, terminates excess pods, and starts more pods if necessary.

Comparison between OpenShift and Kubernetes

OpenShift and Kubernetes are two popular platforms that differ significantly in a number of aspects. Below is a table comparing them side-by-side.

Feature OpenShift Kubernetes
Open-source availability Commercial product Open-source product
Security policies Stronger security policies with integrated authentication and authorization Lenient security policies with limited authentication and authorization capabilities
Web console accessibility Easily accessible with form-based resource creation and management Needs separate installation and port forwarding through Kube-proxy
Scaling Simple scaling Complex scaling with YAML script creation required
Dashboard User-friendly dashboard for cluster management Default dashboard with basic functionality; needs additional tools for larger clusters
Deployment Uses DeploymentConfig command without multiple update support Uses Deployment objects with multiple and concurrent update support
Image registry Built-in image registry that works with Docker Hub and Red Hat No integrated image registry, but allows pulling images from a private registry
Platform compatibility Works with Red Hat’s proprietary Linux platforms only Works with various Linux distributions and cloud platforms like Azure and AWS
Community support Limited support mainly from Red Hat developers Strong developer community constantly improving the platform
Updates per year 3 updates per year without concurrent update support 4 updates per year with multiple concurrent update support
Networking Includes out-of-the-box networking solution with plug-ins No networking solution but allows third-party network plug-ins
Templates Less adaptable and user-friendly templates Helm templates that are simple to use and allow more flexibility
Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) Includes Jenkins container for Continuous Integration but not a complete CI/CD solution No complete CI/CD solution, but can be integrated with other technologies for a comprehensive pipeline
Container image management Uses Image Streams to manage container images No container image management functionality
External access Uses Router objects for external access Uses Ingress objects for external access

Choosing the Right Container Management System: Kubernetes vs. OpenShift

Kubernetes and OpenShift are popular container management systems, each with their own capabilities, advantages, and disadvantages. Kubernetes automates application deployment, scaling, and operations, while OpenShift improves application performance through containerization.

If you’re familiar with containerization and K8s, you may prefer Kubernetes because it’s more flexible. However, OpenShift provides a better CLI and web interface for beginners.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your needs and requirements. It is advised to use the web interface for beginners.

Remember, the goal is to improve application performance. Consider your needs and choose the management system that works best for you.


  1. Is OpenShift fully certified Kubernetes?

Yes, OpenShift has been 100% certified by CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation).

  1. What benefits does OpenShift offer over Kubernetes?

OpenShift provides many benefits, including a better User Interface, Automated Workflow, a more effective Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) Solution, better Security tools, great Node Configuration, and Operating System Support.

  1. Is OpenShift difficult to learn?

No, OpenShift is beginner-friendly and not difficult to learn.

  1. What framework was used to develop OpenShift?

OpenShift was developed by Red Hat and written in Go and Angular.js.

  1. Which is better, OpenShift or Kubernetes?

Both OpenShift and Kubernetes are popular container management systems, and they have unique features and advantages that make them different. While Kubernetes automates application deployments, scaling, and operations, OpenShift helps applications run more efficiently by working with Kubernetes.

  1. Does OpenShift use Kubernetes?

No. Even though OpenShift has a built-in Kubernetes platform that makes the installation process easier, OpenShift and Kubernetes are different container orchestration platforms.

Important Resources

Here are some useful resources related to Kubernetes and OpenShift:

These resources can be helpful to learn more about these technologies and prepare for interviews.

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