What is Red Hat OpenShift?

What is Red Hat OpenShift?

9 October 2023 0 By Anshul Pal

In today’s fast-changing world of technology, being able to adapt quickly and expand easily are crucial elements of modern IT systems. Businesses around the globe are taking advantage of containerization to create and release applications much faster and more effectively. One of the top platforms that enables this revolutionary process is Red Hat OpenShift.


Red Hat OpenShift is a powerful tool for managing containers. It’s like a shining example of new and exciting ideas in the world of container organization. It not only simplifies the complex process of container management but also empowers businesses to streamline their application development, deployment, and scaling efforts. In this article, we will delve deep into the world of Red Hat OpenShift, exploring its features, capabilities, and the myriad ways. it is revolutionizing the world of containerized applications. Join us on this journey as we unlock the potential of Red Hat OpenShift and discover how it can drive your organization’s digital transformation.

What is Red Hat Openshift?

Red Hat OpenShift is a cutting-edge platform created by Red Hat, a prominent name in open-source software. This platform takes Kubernetes, an open-source system for managing containers, and enhances it to offer a complete solution for deploying, expanding, and overseeing container-based applications.

It offers features like automation, security, scalability, and developer-friendly tools, making it an ideal choice for organizations looking to embrace modern application development practices, such as microservices and cloud-native architectures, in a secure and manageable manner.

Red Hat OpenShift offers developers an integrated environment for creating and deploying Docker containers and then managing them using the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform.

There are various versions of Red Hat OpenShift available:

  1. Cloud Service Versions:
    • Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift.
    • Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated.
    • Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud.
    • Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS.
  2. Self-Managed Versions:
    • Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus.
    • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
    • Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine.

While these versions may differ in their implementations, deployment locations, and pricing models, the core functionality and codebase of OpenShift remain consistent.

What is the difference between Red Hat and OpenShift?

Red Hat is the company that offers a wide range of open-source solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which serves as an enterprise-grade operating system. OpenShift, on the other hand, is a specific product offered by Red Hat that focuses on container orchestration and cloud-native application development. While they are related, they serve different roles within the realm of enterprise software and infrastructure.

Red Hat and OpenShift are related but serve different purposes within the context of enterprise software and cloud-native applications. Here are the key differences between Red Hat and OpenShift:

  1. Red Hat:
    • Company: Red Hat is a company that provides a wide range of open-source software solutions and services. It’s renowned for its enterprise-grade Linux distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and other open-source software products.
    • Focus: Red Hat’s primary focus is on providing operating systems, middleware, and infrastructure solutions for enterprises. It offers support, maintenance, and certification services for its software products.
    • Use Case: Organizations utilize Red Hat’s products to construct and oversee the essential infrastructure of IT environments, encompassing servers, storage, and networking. For instance, RHEL frequently serves as the operating system for servers and cloud instances.
  2. OpenShift:
    • Platform: Red Hat OpenShift, a specific product/platform developed by Red Hat, serves as a container orchestration platform built on top of Kubernetes, and it is designed for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications.
    • Focus: OpenShift’s primary focus is on containerization, microservices, and cloud-native application development. It provides tools and services for container orchestration, application development, and DevOps practices.
    • Use Case: People use OpenShift for developing, deploying, and managing modern applications built using containers. It simplifies the management of containerized workloads and supports agile development practices.

Why is Red Hat Used?

Red Hat is used because it provides a comprehensive ecosystem of products and services that enable organizations to build, deploy, and manage reliable and secure IT infrastructure and applications.

  1. Enterprise-Grade Linux: Red Hat is a leading provider of enterprise Linux solutions.It has earned a reputation for its robust and secure operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), widely used in business environments for running critical applications.
  2. Support and Maintenance: Red Hat offers excellent support and maintenance services for its products, including regular updates, patches, and security fixes. This is crucial for organizations that rely on stable and secure IT infrastructure.
  3. Open Source Expertise: Red Hat is a major contributor to open-source projects and communities. They have a deep understanding of open-source technologies, making them a trusted partner for organizations looking to implement open-source solutions.
  4. Container Orchestration: Red Hat OpenShift, based on Kubernetes, is a popular platform for container orchestration. It helps organizations deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications efficiently, making it a preferred choice in the world of microservices and cloud-native development.
  5. Certifications and Compatibility: Many software applications and hardware devices are certified to work specifically with Red Hat products, ensuring compatibility and reliability.
  6. Security and Compliance: Red Hat places a strong emphasis on security and compliance, making it a preferred choice for industries with strict regulatory requirements, such as finance and healthcare.
  7. Scalability: Red Hat designs its solutions to grow with businesses’ needs. Whether an organization is small or large, they can adapt Red Hat products to suit their requirements.
  8. Vendor Stability: Red Hat has a long history of stability and a strong presence in the enterprise IT landscape, giving organizations confidence in their technology choices.

What is the difference between Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift?

Kubernetes is a powerful and widely adopted open-source container orchestration platform, while Red Hat OpenShift builds on Kubernetes to provide a more user-friendly, opinionated, and secure container platform with additional developer-focused tools and commercial support options. Both are related but distinct technologies used for container orchestration and application management.

Here are the key differences between the two:

  1. Vendor and Ecosystem:
    • Kubernetes: Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform originally developed by Google and now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It has a large and diverse community of contributors and users.
    • Red Hat OpenShift: OpenShift is a Kubernetes-based container platform developed and maintained by Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary. It includes Kubernetes at its core but extends it with additional features, tools, and services.
  2. Ease of Use and Opinionated Approach:
    • Kubernetes: Kubernetes provides a powerful and flexible platform but can be complex to set up and manage. It offers a wide range of customization options.
    • Red Hat OpenShift: OpenShift is designed to be more user-friendly and opinionated. It includes an integrated set of tools and features for easier management, security, and application development. This opinionated approach can simplify many tasks.
  3. Security:
    • Kubernetes: Kubernetes offers basic security features, but users are responsible for configuring and managing security policies.
    • Red Hat OpenShift: OpenShift provides additional security features and tools, such as enhanced container isolation, built-in role-based access control (RBAC), and a security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) policy.
  4. Developer Experience:
    • Kubernetes: Kubernetes primarily focuses on container orchestration and infrastructure management. Developers often need to use additional tools to build, deploy, and manage applications.
    • Red Hat OpenShift: OpenShift aims to provide a more comprehensive developer experience. It includes developer-focused tools, like integrated CI/CD pipelines, source-to-image (S2I) builds, and developer consoles, making it easier to develop and deploy applications.

What are the main features of Red Hat?

Here are some of the main features and offerings associated with Red Hat. The company’s focus on open source, enterprise-grade solutions, and its extensive support and services make it a prominent player in the world of business technology.

  1. Middleware Solutions:
    • Red Hat JBoss Middleware: A suite of middleware products for building, deploying, and managing Java applications. It includes tools for application development, integration, and messaging.
  2. Virtualization and Cloud Solutions:
    • Red Hat Virtualization: An open-source virtualization platform for managing virtual machines (VMs) in data center environments.
    • Red Hat Cloud Suite: A comprehensive cloud infrastructure and management solution that includes virtualization, OpenStack, and container management.
  3. Management and Automation Tools:
    • Red Hat Ansible Automation: An automation platform for simplifying the management of complex IT systems, including infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment.
  4. Security Solutions:
    • Red Hat Insights: A proactive analytics and management tool that helps organizations identify and address potential security and performance issues in their IT environments.
  5. Enterprise Support and Services:
    • Red Hat provides extensive support, training, and consulting services to assist organizations in implementing and maintaining their open-source solutions.
  6. Community Engagement:
    • Red Hat is actively involved in various open-source communities, including contributions to projects like Linux, Kubernetes, and Fedora.
  7. Certifications and Partnerships:
    • Red Hat certifications are recognized in the industry, and Red Hat has partnerships with many hardware and software vendors to ensure compatibility and interoperability with their products.
  8. Hybrid Cloud Solutions:
    • Red Hat helps organizations build and manage hybrid cloud environments, allowing them to seamlessly integrate on-premises and cloud-based resources.

How Red Hat OpenShift works

Red Hat OpenShift, built on top of Kubernetes, simplifies the process of developing, deploying, and managing containerized applications as a container platform. It provides a set of tools, features, and best practices to make container orchestration and application management more accessible and efficient. Here’s how Red Hat OpenShift works:

  1. Containerization: OpenShift leverages Docker containers as the packaging format for applications and their dependencies. Containers provide a consistent and isolated environment for running applications, making it easier to build and deploy them across different environments.
  2. Kubernetes Core: At its core, OpenShift uses Kubernetes as the orchestration engine. Kubernetes automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.
  3. Container Registry: OpenShift includes a container registry where container images are stored. This registry is often based on Red Hat Quay, which provides secure image storage and distribution. Developers can push and pull container images from this registry as needed.
  4. Resource Abstraction: OpenShift abstracts the underlying infrastructure, allowing developers and operators to define and manage application resources using a declarative approach.
  5. Service Discovery and Load Balancing: OpenShift provides built-in service discovery and load balancing. This ensures that applications can discover and communicate with each other using DNS names or service names, even as the underlying containers scale up or down.
  6. Monitoring and Logging: OpenShift includes integrated monitoring and logging capabilities. It can collect and store application logs and metrics, making it easier to troubleshoot issues and monitor application performance.
  7. Operator Framework: OpenShift incorporates the Operator Framework, which allows developers to define custom operators for automating complex, application-specific operational tasks. Operators extend the platform’s capabilities and automate tasks like database backups, scaling, and updates.
  8. Containerized Applications Marketplace: OpenShift offers a marketplace of pre-packaged, certified containerized applications that can be easily deployed into your environment.

OpenShift Container Platform Architecture

The OpenShift Container Platform employs a microservices-based architecture composed of smaller, independent units collaborating seamlessly. It operates atop a Kubernetes cluster, storing object data in etcd, a reliable clustered key-value store. These services are categorized by function:

  1. REST APIs: These APIs expose the core objects, enabling users to interact with the system.
  2. Controllers: Controllers read data from these APIs, effect changes on other objects, and provide status updates or write information back to the object.

Red Hatt OpenShift


image-source: OpenShift Red Hatt

Users interact with OpenShift Container Platform by making calls to the REST API, which alters the system’s state. Controllers, in response, use the REST API to understand user intentions and synchronize system components. For instance, when users request a build, they create a “build” object. The build controller detects this, triggers a cluster process, updates the build object via the REST API upon completion, and notifies the user.

The controller pattern enhances OpenShift’s flexibility by enabling customized build execution, independent of image management or deployment. Controllers embody the system’s “business logic,” translating user actions into outcomes. Customization of controllers or introduction of unique logic allows various behaviors. From a system administration perspective, this means using the API to automate recurring tasks.

Controllers depend on a reliable stream of system changes to stay synchronized with user interactions. This event stream quickly conveys alterations from etcd to the REST API and controllers, ensuring efficient propagation of modifications. Controllers must also resynchronize at startup to validate system state, crucial for recovery from failures. This approach ensures the system aligns with user intent, as controllers continually harmonize it.

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