OpenShift vs Kubernetes: Essential things you need to Know!

Nowadays people often compare OpenShift and Kubernetes. That is because they are both popular platforms for managing and deploying containerized applications. They have some key differences. Understanding these differences can help organizations to make decisions about which platform is the best fit for their specific needs and requirements. 

OpenShift is a platform as a service (PaaS) developed by Red Hat. This extends Kubernetes with additional features such as built-in support for CI/CD pipelines, a web-based console for managing and monitoring applications, and automatic scaling and self-healing capabilities. Kubernetes is a more barebones platform and requires additional tools and configurations to work like OpenShift. But it is more flexible and customizable for large and complex deployments. 

In this article, we will discuss some interesting facts about Openshift vs Kubernetes and will put a side-by-side comparison for better understanding. So, let’s get started!

OpenShift & Multi-Cloud Deployment

OpenShift can be used for multi-cloud deployment. OpenShift supports different cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP. You can also deploy it on-premises as well. It provides a consistent platform for managing containerized applications across different cloud environments. 

OpenShift allows you to move workloads between cloud providers or on-premises as needed. You can achieve this by using the OpenShift Container Platform’s abstraction layer for the underlying infrastructure. It creates possibilities to easily manage apps in different environments.

OpenShift multi-cloud deployment might require additional configuration or setup depending on the cloud provider you are using. You should consult the documentation of OpenShift and the cloud providers for more information.

OpenShift and Kubernetes: Side-by-Side Comparison

OpenShift and Kubernetes are both open-source container orchestration platforms, but they have some key differences. They are 


  • Developed and maintained by Red Hat
  • It Includes built-in support for scaling and rolling updates, as well as built-in monitoring and logging
  • It provides a web-based UI for managing deployments, as well as a command-line interface
  • It includes built-in support for deployment pipelines and integrates with Jenkins for continuous integration and deployment
  • It has an enterprise version with additional features and support options


  • It was developed and maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)
  • It provides basic building blocks for container orchestration but does not include built-in scaling or monitoring
  • It must be configured and managed through command-line interface and configuration files
  • It has a large and active community with many third-party tools and solutions available to add additional functionality

In summary, OpenShift is a more feature-rich platform out of the box, while Kubernetes is more flexible and customizable.

How can Kubernetes be the same as OpenShift? 

You must be surprised to know if it is possible to turn Kubernetes into OpenShift. The answer is yes, you can make Kubernetes at the same level as OpenShift. Because OpenShift is just a thing that includes several additional tools and configurations on top of Kubernetes to provide additional functionality. Those are 

  • A web-based console for managing and monitoring applications.
  • Built-in support for CI/CD.
  • Automatic scaling and self-healing of applications.
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) for securing the cluster.
  • Integrated container registry for storing and managing container images.
  • Built-in support for service meshes and network policies.
  • Advanced monitoring and logging capabilities.
  • Automated rollouts and rollbacks of application updates.

To achieve similar functionality on Kubernetes, you would need to set up and configure these tools and functionalities separately. This might include using external tools and services, such as Jenkins for CI/CD, Prometheus for monitoring, and Istio for service mesh.

OpenShift vs Kubernetes: Security Approach

Security is one of the key aspects of modern times. So, OpenShift and Kubernetes’ security approaches can change the ultimate decision between them. They are 

Kubernetes, as a bare-bones container orchestration system, focuses on 

  • Providing the basic building blocks for container orchestration leaves security as an aspect that must be handled separately. 
  • Kubernetes includes some built-in security features, such as role-based access control (RBAC) and network segmentation, but it relies heavily on additional tools and solutions for a comprehensive security strategy.

On the other hand, OpenShift takes a more holistic approach to security. OpenShift includes 

  • Built-in security features such as role-based access control, network segmentation, and SELinux security policies, 
  • It also provides additional security features such as integrated authentication and authorization and built-in secrets management. 
  • It also provides a Security Context Constraints (SCC) feature that allows administrators to define and enforce security policies for pods and services. 
  • It has an enterprise version that comes with additional security features and support options to help organizations to have a more robust security strategy.

The Learning curve of OpenShift vs Kubernetes

Kubernetes has a relatively steep learning curve. It requires a good understanding of container orchestration concepts and a strong familiarity with command-line interface (CLI) tools. Kubernetes also requires the use of additional tools and solutions for tasks such as load balancing, service discovery, and scaling. This can add to the complexity of the learning process.

OpenShift provides a more user-friendly and streamlined experience for container orchestration. OpenShift includes a web-based console and command-line tools that make it easy for users to manage and deploy containers. OpenShift also includes built-in features for tasks such as load balancing, service discovery, and scaling. This reduces the need for additional tools and solutions.

Final Verdict

The OpenShift vs Kubernetes debate is continuous. Some people think that OpenShift is simple and easy to learn. But this can not be the only deciding factor between them. This is true that OpenShift provides additional features beyond Kubernetes. Integrated authentication and authorization, built-in secrets management and security context constraints (SCC), and much more. 

But this makes the learning process more complex. Additionally, OpenShift has an enterprise version that comes with additional support and feature options. This will help organizations to have a more robust deployment. But this could be more complex than the free version. So, the winner depends on the requirements of developers and users. 

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