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Container orchestration is a big difficulty for developers in the era of microservice applications. To reduce developers’ workload and make managing N-number of containers simple, there are numerous container orchestration tools available, such as Kubernetes and Docker Swarm. We’ll discuss one of the container orchestration tools in this blog article. It includes a few other features in addition to container orchestration. Red Hat® OpenShift® is the name of that tool.
Why are container orchestration tools required?
Each container has its lifecycle, including provisioning, deployment, networking, scaling up and down, and more. Especially enterprise applications have hundreds or thousands of containers, thus we may automate deployment and container management tasks by leveraging orchestration tools. Without redesigning, it may deploy the same application in many environments.
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What is OpenShift?
OpenShift is a group of containerization software products that were developed by Red Hat. It is the cloud development platform as a service, which is hosted on RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). RedHat offers production ready OpenShift where you can get support from RedHat, and there is another open-source community version of OpenShift called OKD.
Developers can create, test, deploy, and use their applications on-premises or in the cloud with the aid of OpenShift, which also includes a full stack automated software life cycle solution. The core of OpenShift is based on Kubernetes to manage the containers so Kubernetes is the kernel and OpenShift is the distribution with some additional functionality and features.
OpenShift vs Kubernetes
The main contrast between OpenShift and Kubernetes is that OpenShift is a “product” with a service level agreement (SLA) that allows us to receive enterprise support from RedHat, whereas Kubernetes is an open source “project” that receives contributions from a community of developers. The main differences between OpenShift and Kubernetes are as follows.
RedHat provides enterprise support for OpenShift for Enterprise OpenShift, however, there is relatively little community support for OpenShift (OKD) in general. As opposed to this, the developer community for Kubernetes is large and active, and they are actively working together to improve the platform.
While Kubernetes users must perform the authentication procedure manually, OpenShift offers a robust security policy and built-in authentication mechanisms. OpenShift offers a secure-by-default option that prevents us from running a container as root by default, improving security.
There is no need for docker daemons in master or worker nodes in OpenShift version 4 (v4). It will increase the cluster’s security. Whereas Docker is being dropped out, Kubernetes 1.24 and later will use Contanerd as a runtime instead.
Kubernetes does not have its image registry; we can use a private registry or create our docker registry. OpenShift, on the other hand, has its built-in image registry, and we can manage container images with “ImageStreams” on OpenShift.
The important parameter that will determine the range of security is networking. OpenShift has its networking solution, Open vSwitch, which includes three plug-ins. The three plug-ins are as follows:
- OVS- subnet,
- OVS – multitenant,
- OVS – network policy.
As opposed to Kubernetes, which relies on external networking products like Calico, Wave Net, etc.
Kubernetes uses Helm templates, which are adaptable and simple to deploy and upgrade. While OpenShift templates are somewhat complex, it lacks package versioning.
Releases and Updates
OpenShift has three releases per year, whereas Kubernetes has four releases each year on average. Multiple concurrent updates are supported by Kubernetes, but not by OpenShift DeploymentConfig.
Graphical user interface
Kubernetes has a complicated web interface, and users must install the GUI for Kubernetes elements. This may be burdensome for new users, and users must perform the manual authentication process. OpenShift, on the other hand, gives a simple login style console to graphically control and monitor the cluster. OpenShift Hybrid Cloud Interface, which allows us to create clusters in various cloud native environments or on-premises environments, is the key feature of the OpenShift console. From there, we can manage and monitor the resources.
Type of deployment methods
RedHat provides the two types of deployment methods listed below.
- Fully managed Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated cluster
- Self-managed on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
1. Fully managed Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated cluster
Fully managed OpenShift is available on Google Cloud Platform, Azure, IBM Cloud, and Amazon Web Services under the name ROSA (RedHat OpenShift Service on AWS). It also offers dedicated clusters on customer cloud provider accounts. The following conditions are necessary for using AWS. Like other cloud platforms, OpenShift has various requirements; you can read about them in the official documentation.
- IAM user called osdCcsAdmin with Administrator Access policy.
- Your Cloud subscription must have enough quota to create the required resources.
For more details about infrastructure requirements visit <hyperlink> https://docs.openshift.com/dedicated/osd_planning/aws-ccs.html#aws-limits_aws-ccs
- According to the standards for Customer Cloud Subscriptions, an organization service control policy (SCP) must be set up.
For more information about the SCP visit <hyper link>
2. Self-managed on the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
With RedHat’s self-managed OpenShift Container Platform, we can install OpenShift on local workstations, the cloud, and data centers. It currently supports cloud platforms including AWS, Azure, IBM Cloud, and GCP, and as I write this blog, it is in Alibaba Cloud’s technical preview.
A Self-managed OpenShift Cluster can be installed using one of two different techniques on cloud platforms.
- Infrastructure provided by the installer
- Infrastructure that is provided by users
However, some cloud providers, such as Alibaba, do not support user-provisioned infrastructure. Local OpenShift installation includes an installer program for Linux, Windows, and macOS. It has some prerequisites for local installation.
- 4 physical CPU cores
- 9 GB of free memory
- 35 GB of storage space
OpenShift on AWS and features
AWS and RedHat have partnered to deliver RedHat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA). AWS allows us to integrate AWS services with OpenShift Cluster, and customers may quickly establish fully managed OpenShift clusters.
- AWS service integration
- Maximum availably by deploying multiple AZ
- Integrated support with AWS and RedHat
- Fully managed with SLA
- pay as you go model billing
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Drop a query if you have any questions regarding OpenShift and I will get back to you quickly.
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1. Is OpenShift free?
ANS: – The free community edition of OpenShift is called OKD (Origin Kubernetes distribution). However, it provides fewer features than OpenShift’s enterprise edition. Additionally, RedHat is providing a free OpenShift trial for both fully managed and self-managed editions. You can find the details here <hyperlink> https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/cloud-computing/openshift/try-it
2. Is it possible to install OpenShift on a computer?
ANS: – Yes, it is currently possible. RedHat gives us the option to download an installer application and install OpenShift locally. Available installer packages for Windows, Mac, and Linux. But there are certain system prerequisites. You can find more details about system requirements here <hyperlink> https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_openshift_local/2.5/html/getting_started_guide/installation_gsg#minimum-system-requirements-hardware_gsg
3. Where is OpenShift used widely?
ANS: – Because OpenShift offers SLA and extra features like a private cluster, it is frequently used by the banking and financial industries and will increase the security of the applications.
WRITTEN BY Harikrishnan S
Harikrishnan Seetharaman is a Research Associate (DevOps) at CloudThat. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication, and he achieved AWS solution architect-Associate certification. His area of interest is implementing a cloud-native solution for customers and helping them by proving robust and reliable solutions for their complex problems, DevOps, and SaaS. Apart from his professional interest he likes to spend time in farming and learning new DevOps tools.
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