Chances are you’ve heard the terms ‘Containers,’ ‘Kubernetes,’ and ‘OpenShift’ mentioned time and again. These terms are thrown around often, but most people do not know what they mean. This article shall throw light on these terms and how they differ from each other.
‘Containerisation’ refers to bundling different applications to manage and run them in different environments.
“A container is a standard unit of software that packages code and its dependencies to help the application run seamlessly in different computing environments.”
Containers are often compared to machine virtualisation approaches. However, they do not contain operating system images, making them portable and lightweight. Application deployments are packages of software components involved in application development. You can use multiple containers in large application deployments as container clusters and manage them using a container orchestrator like Kubernetes.
Containers are used in many ways:
- Many organisations migrate their current applications to different environments via containers. This is called ‘lift and shift.’
- Containers also find themselves in Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) platforms that let users upload, start, stop, and organise applications, containers, and clusters. This is done through container-based virtualisation or an Application Programming Interface (API).
- It is easy to isolate, deploy, and scale distributed applications and microservices via individual container building blocks.
Designed by Google developers over a decade ago, Kubernetes is an open-source containerisation system and CaaS framework that allows developers to manage workloads and services. Kubernetes automates a bunch of processes, including scaling, operation, and application deployment.
Kubernetes is known for its process automation, self-monitoring, container balancing, storage orchestration, among others. Its stand out features include:
- Breaking down containers into smaller modules to facilitate granular management.
- Better infrastructure than a lot of DevOps tools.
- Easy, often, and seamless deployment of software updates.
Enterprises are primarily using Kubernetes for better performance. Black Rock, for instance, found it difficult to manage complex Python installations on users’ desktops. They used the core components of Kubernetes on the existing systems, giving them more control over the clusters.
OpenShift is a range of containerisation software products developed by Red Hat based on Kubernetes to develop, deploy and manage applications. It is both a containerisation software and a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and partly built on Docker, which is another tool designed to run and deploy applications. OpenShift offers various features, the best of which are centralised policy management, built-in monitoring, and consistent security. OpenShift is also known for accelerated application development to hit the market faster.
Example – Ford Motor Company aims to provide the best automobiles at reasonable prices. This includes parts distribution and dealerships. They use OpenShift to speed up deliveries and enhance maintenance.
“With OpenShift, we have a common framework that can be reused for deploying an application or service because every major cloud provider has Kubernetes compatibility. We can now deliver features in a more secure, reliable manner.”
- Jason Presnell – CaaS Product Service Owner, Ford Motor Company
Source: Dell Technologies
Red Hat OpenShift
OpenShift vs Kubernetes
Both Kubernetes and Openshift are known for their scalable architecture that facilitates easy and fast application development, management, and deployment on a wide scale. However, they have their differences, two of which are explained below:
Kubernetes does not have in-built authorisation or authentication capabilities, which means as a developer, you need to manually create authentication procedures. On the other hand, OpenShift is known for its strict security policies. It does not allow you to run a container as a root. Besides this, you get to boost the security using its secure-by default option.
As far as deployment goes, Kubernetes is more flexible and can be installed on most platforms. However, with OpenShift, you need Red Hat’s proprietary Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host (RHELAH), Fedora, or CentOS, which means your options are limited.
While containerisation helps you break applications into smaller coupled components, container management systems like Kubernetes and OpenShift help applications function seamlessly. Using them efficiently will take your business a long way in enjoying many of the benefits, including consistency, scalability, and stability. So, it is crucial that you containerise your services and bring a myriad of benefits to your business. You can visit Unocloud to explore more about such services.