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The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is a container – based application platform that enables businesses to accelerate and simplify application development, delivery, and deployment on-premises or in the cloud. As OpenShift and Kubernetes become more widely used, developers will be expected to understand how to develop, build, and deploy applications using a containerized application platform. While some developers are interested in managing the underlying infrastructure, most developers prefer to focus on developing applications and leveraging OpenShift’s simple building, deployment, and scaling capabilities.
Introduction to OpenShift and Kubernetes
One of the most important aspects of deploying infrastructure is ensuring compatibility between different software systems. A common challenge in deploying a distributed system is ensuring that the different software systems work together.
One of the challenges we see companies having is finding a solution that works for them–OpenShift or Kubernetes?
While both systems are useful, they each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Kubernetes is an open-source container management system that provides built-in tools and support for creating and managing containers across clusters. OpenShift is a PaaS solution based on OpenShift Origin, which is a project by Red Hat.
Image Courtesy 1 Kubernetes vs Red Hat OpenShift NordCloud https://nordcloud.com/kubernetes-the-simple-way/
Kubernetes is a container-as-a-service (CaaS) framework developed by Google developers over a decade ago. Kubernetes is, at its core, a portable, open-source containerization system that allows developers to manage services and workloads. The system streamlines application deployment, scaling, and management. Kubernetes, which is now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, enables application developers to take advantage of capabilities such as self-monitoring, process automation, container balancing, storage orchestration, and more.
Advantages of Kubernetes:
- Distributed, horizontally scalable, and reliable framework for building, managing, and operating containerized applications on any platform including on-premises environments and cloud providers such as Amazon EC2 and Google Compute Engine.
- Community-driven project that is quickly evolving as organizations use it to create and deploy new applications.
- Easy to install and operate as it is available on most major cloud providers such as Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, etc., providing flexibility in terms of deployment locations.
OpenShift is a containerization software family developed by open-source software provider Red Hat. Kubernetes, according to the company, is the kernel of distributed systems, while OpenShift is the distribution. OpenShift is, at its core, a cloud-based Kubernetes container platform that is both containerization software and a platform-as-a-service (PaaS). OpenShift provides consistent security, built-in monitoring, centralized policy management, and Kubernetes container workload compatibility. It’s quick, allows for self-service provisioning, and integrates with a wide range of tools. OpenShift OKD, formerly known as Origin, is an open-source platform that allows developers to create, test, and deploy cloud-based applications. It also supports a variety of programming languages, including Go, Node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and Java.
Advantages of OpenShift:
- A fully managed platform that handles all of the details of running a service in a scalable environment (e.g., scaling servers automatically as demand increases)
- Runs on top of the open-source operating system Linux, so customers have full control of the operating system underlying their applications.
- Easy to deploy and maintain at scale, with fast release cycles and consistent updates due to the use of RPM packaging.
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Features of both the Platforms
Availability & Reliability: Both Kubernetes and OpenShift are reliable and performant solutions that enable customers to manage their application components in a way that improves availability and reliability.
Authentication & Authorization: Both systems make it easy for administrators to provide users with secure access to an application.
Performance & Scalability: Both systems are designed to support large-scale applications by providing scalability and flexibility across multiple clusters and nodes.
Ease of Use: Both systems are easy to set up and use and manage through a web-based UI or API.
The OpenShift Container Platform is built on a microservices architecture that runs on a Kubernetes cluster. Data about objects managed by the OpenShift platform is stored in etcd, a clustered, reliable key-value store that is part of the Kubernetes control plane.
OpenShift is built on Kubernetes controllers, which receive user requirements, apply the necessary changes to objects, and ensure the cluster is always in sync with those requirements. APIs can also be used to automate and schedule routine tasks. In this case, each script acts as a controller, monitoring changes and taking action.
Image courtesy 2 OpenShift https://docs.openshift.com/container-platform/4.8/architecture/architecture.html
OpenShift Container Platform is a containerized application development and deployment platform. It is intended to enable applications and data centers to scale from a few machines and applications to thousands of machines serving millions of clients. Its implementation in open Red Hat technologies enables you to extend your containerized applications beyond a single cloud and into on-premises and multi-cloud environments.
OpenShift Vs Kubernetes
Both have a robust and scalable architecture that allows for rapid and large-scale application development, deployment, and management. They are both licensed under Apache License 2.0. Here are some of the key differences between OpenShift and Kubernetes.
How is OpenShift improving Kubernetes?
Container orchestration, load balancing, distribution, and scalability are all provided by Kubernetes in addition to enabling the scheduling of containers on worker nodes. With the help of enhancements, OpenShift uses these ideas.
OpenShift can upgrade the nodes’ underlying operating system because it is built on RHEL CoreOS.
Scalability is increased through the combination of OpenShift and Kubernetes, along with security and developer-friendly features. With the help of this precise control, OpenShift 4 can scale up 10 to 10,000 containers.
Developers can now set up shop on a Kubernetes cluster in 15 minutes, complete with the necessary metering and monitoring tools.
Image Courtesy 4 OpenShift Architecture https://docs.openshift.com/container-platform/4.8/architecture/architecture.html
Automation in OpenShift
When you deploy more microservices using OpenShift, how do you know if your code works properly?
The Solution is automation. Many companies’ overall digital transformation concepts for cloud-native environments now include containerization. Containers can be difficult to monitor because they keep changing. A lot of companies switch from using monolithic systems to microservices, which results in hundreds.
That’s why automation is so important – it helps us understand the dependencies within a technology stack and how that affects users. This way, we can avoid business impact.
Automated monitoring of cloud-native workloads can help you understand all the connections and dependencies present throughout the cloud.
Key features and benefits of OpenShift
Docker containers are still supported, OpenShift 4.0 defaults to the Container Runtime Interface — Open Container Initiative (CRI-OCI), which can handle a greater number of container nodes at scale.
OpenShift is based on technologies that enable the orchestration of many containers and scaling to a larger scale. It offers significant advantages for software development and deployment:
- Scale up cloud-native microservices: Microservices architectures are loosely connected and combined to create a high-performing application. OpenShift makes it feasible to develop and deploy cloud-native microservices at scale, which can improve performance.
- Manage and scale your infrastructure. OpenShift is flexible, the cloud-based architecture allows businesses to manage their applications in a way that is controlled by them. This eliminates the need for concerns about storage, security, and lifecycle management.
- Utilize open-source and cloud-native technologies and access a large partner ecosystem. OpenShift has a set of developer tools that include command-line utilities and IDE support. Additionally, OpenShift is pre-built with easy-to-use templates that you can customize quickly. It also works well with popular continuous integration programs such as Jenkins
As a developer, I just want to build a new project and I want to make sure I’m following the right practices! OpenShift itself has built-in capabilities to take care of image building based on code changes. It has built-in container registration which gives you the simplest way to create an image after running docker build, it also registers that image and stores it in the local container registry.
OpenShift developed the Route idea for externally exposing services (with additional capabilities such as splitting traffic between multiple backends, sticky sessions, etc). The Routes design ideas strongly inspired the Kubernetes Ingress architecture. I’m not going to get into OpenShift networking here, but it’s simple and requires no additional effort while writing the code!!
There are many more features in OpenShift that I haven’t talked about.
- ODO CLI for developers, letting you simplify
- The developers at OpenShift, view applications as entities.
- IDEs plugins for VSCode.
- An Operator makes it easy to run PostgreSQL databases. Try it today at Operatorhub.io/post
- Developer Works — A code workspace your data scientists love
- Pipelines for Dev Build
- Not only can OpenShift be used to run existing software, but it can also run plugins, conjures illusions, and spies
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1. Which is better for my application?
ANS: – It depends on your specific needs. Both platforms have robust solutions for running containers in production and can scale easily to meet your application’s demands. The key difference between the two is that OpenShift was designed with developers in mind, while Kubernetes focuses more on container management itself.
2. What are the key benefits of OpenShift Virtualization?
ANS: – OpenShift Virtualization helps technology teams streamline their app development process and optimize the way they use their IT infrastructure.
3. What hypervisor is OpenShift Virtualization using?
ANS: – OpenShift VMs running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux KVM continue to use the same trusted RHEL-based virtualization technology as earlier versions of the OpenStack Platform.
4. Is OpenShift Virtualization open source?
ANS: – Yes, OpenShift Virtualization is based on the upstream KubeVirt project. The source code for this project can be found at https://github.com/OpenShiftPlatform/kubevirt
WRITTEN BY Navneet Nirmal Toppo
Navneet is a Research Associate at CloudThat. He is a Microsoft Certified Solution Professional and a Certified Network Security Specialist and who has experience in AWS, Azure, GCP & vSphere. He is passionate about cloud computing, cybersecurity, and learning new cloud-native technologies who strives to provide the best cloud experience to clients through transparency.
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