OpenShift vs Kubernetes: Understanding The Differences

8 min read

The term “containerization” may come up while discussing OpenShift vs Kubernetes. However, have you ever considered its definition and application?

“The bundling of numerous apps to improve the ability to develop, manage, and distribute them across various platforms” is the standard definition of containerization. Organizations may become more scalable and agile with the help of containerization. What was the outcome? More productive development of applications. Businesses have now become more and more aware of the benefits these amazing technologies provide.

Since Kubernetes is an integral part of OpenShift, comparing the two might be confusing. “Enterprise Edition of Kubernetes” is how we, the vendor, describe OpenShift. While there aren’t many containerization arrangements available, it might be challenging to select the best one from the list.

OpenShift integrates with Kubernetes to improve app performance, while Kubernetes simplifies application deployment, scaling, and administration.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes

So, continue reading and exploring the OpenShift Kubernetes differences you must know in 2024.

What is OpenShift?

Red Hat, a developer of open-source software, invented the OpenShift series of containerization software products. The business claims that OpenShift is the dispersion and Kubernetes the kernel of autonomous systems. Fundamentally, OpenShift is a cloud-based Kubernetes storage container platform that could potentially viewed as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) as well as containerization software. It is also partially constructed on another well-liked containerization framework, Docker.

The ability of OpenShift to easily interact with an IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, for generating and placing containers in the Docker standard is one of its most notable advantages. The robust Kubernetes platform then efficiently manages these containers. Because it supports so many different programming languages, including Java, Perl, Ruby, Python, and Node.js, OpenShift is very flexible.

OpenShift’s flexibility is a significant selling point. Because it’s expandable, users may work with applications written in multiple languages. It can accommodate new frameworks, including Istio and Knative. The platform gives you the freedom to scale containerized apps manually or automatically to suit your unique requirements. Now, we will deliberate the key features of OpenShift in our comparison of OpenShift vs Kubernetes.

Key Features:

  • Cluster Installation: OpenShift 4 introduces cluster installation as a new functionality. With the installer-provisioned architecture seen in OpenShift 4, installers have total control over the AWS deployment procedure. With this feature, clusters may be quickly assembled from scratch.
  • Cluster upgrades: An administrator may monitor available updates for the clusters using OpenShift’s update service, which includes a straightforward user interface.
  • Cloud Automation: OpenShift 4 offers automation providers for on-premises bare hardware and virtual platforms, including VMware, OpenStack, and Red Hat Simulation.
  • Knative: One of the emerging technologies in OpenShift 4, Knative, is appropriate for developing workloads that provide Function-as-a-Service (FaaS). This feature mainly helps with the administration, creation, and implementation of a serverless task that can be easily scaled down to zero when unavailable for use and scaled up to meet specific demands.
  • Kubernetes’ operators: One of the numerous new OpenShift capabilities that helps with application administration is Kubernetes operators. It enables interaction between the code and the Kubernetes system, increasing the job’s efficiency and dynamic nature. The responsibilities of a Kubernetes operator might include developing complex applications, updating software versions, and managing kernel modules for nodes in hardware-intensive computer clusters.
  • ODO Command Line Interface: One additional feature of OpenShift 4 is the ODO command-line interface (CLI). The CLI created by Red Hat is excellent for enhancing OpenShift code containerization and deployment. Now, we will discuss the Kubernetes in our OpenShift vs Kubernetes comparison.

What is Kubernetes?

More than ten years ago, Google developers developed the open-source container-as-a-service (CaaS) platform that became Kubernetes. Fundamentally, Kubernetes is an open-source, transportable containerization platform that enables developers to oversee workloads and services. The system streamlines operations, scalability, and application deployment. Check out our one of the best and most affordable Managed Kubernetes Hosting Services!

The complex work of managing distributed, containerized apps is made easier with Kubernetes, especially when running large-scale operations. Developers may choose specific locations for their applications to execute while using Kubernetes, as the platform handles almost all deployment and administration tasks. This automation facilitates effective application growth and maintenance while streamlining the development process.

It can operate in hybrid clouds, on-premises systems, and cloud environments. Developers utilize Kubernetes to add functionalities to their CI/CD pipelines, such as load balancing, storage accompaniment, and process automation.

The main reason Kubernetes automates the challenging process of maintaining containerized apps is that it provides a stable platform for installation, scaling, and monitoring. One of the many advantages of Kubernetes OpenShift is that it makes infrastructure management less complicated. By peripheralizing, developers can focus on shipping and application development instead of worrying about disrupting the underlying infrastructure. Now, we will discuss the key features of Kubernetes in our OpenShift vs Kubernetes comparison.

Key Features: 

  • Service Identification and Load Balancing: Kubernetes offers these two features as services. Kubernetes automatically allocates load balances, DNS designations, and IP addresses to pods—the minor transportable computing units that you can create and oversee in Kubernetes. For load balancing, the Kubernetes Service works with a group of pods. It acts as a hub for service discovery and provides access via the same address to the external network and other pods.

Also Read: Kubernetes vs Docker: Navigating the Container Seas

  • Automatic Bin Packing: By allocating containers based on resource requirements, Automatic Bin Packing guarantees resource efficiency and availability.
  • Self-Recovery: When a node fails, Kubernetes (K8) restarts failed containers, swaps out failing containers, and removes containers that don’t pass health checks. Automation of Rollout and Rollback: In the case of a bug, the system is automatically rolled back to an earlier version to avoid system failure.
  • Batch Completion and Scaling: This lets you handle batches and Continuous Integration (CI) operations. Programs may be scaled manually or automatically.
  • Replication Controller: This device makes sure that a certain quantity of pod copies are operational at all times. In other words, a backup controller makes sure that a pod, or pods, is constantly up and running. If there are numerous pods, the Replication Controller destroys them. If there are insufficient pods, it starts with additional ones. Unlike manually created pods, Replication Controller-managed modules are automatically taken over in case of failure, deletion, or termination. Now, we will discuss the significant differences between OpenShift vs Kubernetes you must know in 2024.

Also Read: Kubernetes Interview Questions: Common Interview Questions Unveiled

OpenShift vs Kubernetes: Key Differences!

OpenShift vs Kubernetes Key Differences

While both OpenShift and Kubernetes support containerization, comparing them with a knowledge of their differences is essential. Despite being container orchestration systems, the two systems differ in functionality and are intended for distinct user types.

Different use cases exist for Kubernetes OpenShift inside the container orchestration space. OpenShift offers a pre-made application framework with an opinionated foundation that is easy to use.

In addition, Kubernetes provides an adaptable platform for optimizing containerized loads built upon a modular framework. This kind of understanding is one of the essential requirements for businesses to choose which is best for their specific needs.

Setting Up And Installing

Kubernetes provides adaptable installation choices for in-house, cloud, and hybrid settings. However, creating a Kubernetes network from scratch may be challenging and require a thorough knowledge of its settings and parts.

OpenShift offers the OpenShift Containers Platform and OpenShift OKD (the public distribution) for a more simplified installation process. It also contains installation tools and pre-configured frameworks that facilitate configuration. However, this may impose more particular infrastructure necessities than vanilla Kubernetes.

Combined CI/CD

Continuous integration, or CI, is a recommended DevOps technique. Continuous Integration – CI refers to the process of executing automated tests regularly to make sure that each new commit doesn’t cause integration issues or cause the application to break. Continuous delivery, or CD, occurs concurrently with or following continuous integration. All code modifications are pushed to the testing and/or production environments following the build step.

Jenkins is an automated server leveraged by OpenShift that supports source-to-image and may be used as a continuous integration (CI) server. To construct a CI/CD pipeline, Kubernetes further depends on a third-party technology known as CircleCI.

Comfort Vs. Adaptability

One essential aspect of OpenShift is its ease of use. This program facilitates the deployment and use of container-based applications. It offers easy tools for developers, making application development more straightforward, and a drag-and-drop interface for creating uniform user interfaces. Therefore, it is the main difference between OpenShift vs Kubernetes.

On the other hand, Kubernetes exhibits flexibility by letting users oversee each component in an orchestrated, full-stack, containerized context. This flexibility provides a wide range of customization choices, which can require learning more curves.

Also Read: Kotlin vs Java: Choosing The Right Language


Network policies, role-based control of access (RBAC), secrets management, and other strong security features are implemented by Kubernetes. To fulfill business security standards, however, protecting a Kubernetes cluster frequently necessitates extra tools and configurations.

By extending Kubernetes’ security rules with additional built-in security features like security context constraints (SCCs), OpenShift expands upon the security paradigm of Kubernetes. OpenShift also offers automatic vulnerability assessment of container images and tighter integration with business authentication systems.

OpenShift’s security guidelines are more stringent. For example, running a container as root has no restrictions. To improve security, it also provides a secure-by-default option. Developers must manually generate bearer credentials and other authentication processes since Kubernetes lacks built-in authorization and identification features.

Support & Community

An enormous open-source community that actively contributes documentation, support, and a plethora of third-party tools and plugins is available to Kubernetes users. Several Kubernetes service providers also offer commercial assistance.

Since OpenShift is a Red Hat product, it comes with official enterprise support, which includes access to Red Hat’s technical assistance, professional assistance, and extensive documentation. The platform is being actively improved by the OpenShift community as well.

Also Read: PostgreSQL vs MySQL: Which Database is Best For Your Project?

Infrastructure Focus Vs. Developer

OpenShift strongly emphasizes an aDevEx toolbox, which has a unique design that boosts developer efficiency and saves time. Additionally, it contains capabilities that streamline the application creation method, such as S2I builds and an app development developer’s interface.

On the other hand, Kubernetes is a low-level system that runs on the infrastructure level and provides strong primitives for managing clusters and containers. Although Kubernetes includes synchronization and auto-scaling APIs, extra tooling is required for the jobs’ developer focus. Therefore it is the main difference between OpenShift vs Kubernetes in 2024.

Cost and Organizational Preparedness

Since Kubernetes is an open-source project, it is free. Expenses are related to any corporate support services and the infrastructure it uses. Regarding corporate readiness, Kubernetes fits many different kinds of enterprise applications well because of its flexibility.

Red Hat provides software, support, and upkeep as part of the OpenShift subscription model. Businesses seeking an all-inclusive solution with fixed expenses and enterprise-level support may find this appealing.

OpenShift vs. Kubernetes: Which One Is Better?

OpenShift vs. Kubernetes Which One Is Better

Which is better, Kubernetes or OpenShift? Kubernetes is a strong, adaptable orchestrator for container workloads, but it must have a manual configuration. OpenShift adds more functionality, including tools for developers and a more secure default configuration, but at the expense of increased complexity. What is “better” depends on the circumstances.

Kubernetes works brilliantly for heavily used programs that need to be updated often, like games. For heavy-duty, GDPR-compliant, security-sensitive apps, such as those in the healthcare or, institutional or governmental domains, OpenShift could be the best choice.

Installing, managing, and monitoring self-hosted Kubernetes is a more significant challenge without third-party connectors. With so many built-in capabilities, OpenShift appears to be a simpler alternative to administer, but it is only compatible with Red Hat Linux variants. OpenShift is fundamentally based on a Kubernetes layer but offers extra capabilities that distinguish it from other container orchestration options.


Understanding the distinctions is essential in the OpenShift vs Kubernetes argument. OpenShift’s rigid methodology delivers simplified solutions, whereas Kubernetes offers flexibility at the expense of increased complexity. Your decision is based on your requirements and tastes. Making the best choice for container orchestration requires careful consideration of these differences. But how does OpenShift use Kubernetes?

Conversely, Kubernetes offers more control and flexibility over the infrastructure and is effective in various challenging and hybrid scenarios. That means there is no black-or-white decision when choosing between OpenShift and Kubernetes, so keep that in mind.

The solutions that best suit an organization’s unique setting might be advantageous. Determining the best strategy for container management and operations requires examining these variables. If you have any queries related to OpenShift Kubernetes, comment below them and get the best possible answer accordingly!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q#1 Is OpenShift The Same As Kubernetes?

No, OpenShift isn’t a Kubernetes clone. It is a Kubernetes distribution with extra tools and functions to improve container management in general. Kubernetes is the foundational orchestration engine for OpenShift, which builds upon it.

Q#2 What Is OpenShift Used For?

When you think of pictures as cookie-cutter tools and containers as the actual cookies, OpenShift allows you to develop, deploy, and handle container-based applications. It offers a self-service interface to create, modify, and implement applications on demand, enabling quicker creation and release life cycles.

Q#3 Is OpenShift A PaaS Or SaaS?

With its enhanced developer and worker experience, OpenShift is a turnkey packaging platform as a service (PaaS) that offers enhanced features to Kubernetes, such as automated operations, highly available, completely handled public and private groups, and over-the-air platform upgrades.

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