OpenShift is a family of containerization software developed by Red Hat and has been around since 2011. However, it has recently gained more steam over the past couple of years.

In this post, I'll give an introduction to OpenShift, with a series of follow ups that give examples of provisioning, scaling, and CI/CD.

What is OpenShift?

  • OpenShift is Red Hat's cloud development Platform as a Service (PaaS).
  • OpenShift is based on top of Docker containers and Kubernetes container cluster manager.
  • OpenShift is an open source cloud-based platform.
  • OpenShift allows developers to create, test, and run their applications and deploy them to the cloud.
  • Gartner refers to OpenShift as a Cloud Enabled Application Platform (CEAP).
  • OpenShift provides self-service capabilities for container management.
  • OpenShift can be deployed on to a public or a private cloud.

Built on Kubernetes and Docker

Docker provides containerization at the OS level wherein each application deployment and all its relevant libraries and artifacts are packaged into a single Docker container.

Kubernetes, built by Google, provides orchestration, scheduling, and management of these Docker containers.

Simplistically speaking, OpenShift is a front-end management tool built on top of Kubernetes.

Gartner Peer Insight Reviews

Gartner provides verified reviews from members of the IT community on various products and solutions. OpenShift is rated quite well, given an overall 4.2 rating across 48 reviews.

Some comments include:

"User Interface is excellent but improvement is needed in Developer tool and monitoring" ~ Senior Engineer in the Finance Industry
"Easy to integrate with existing authentication mechanism, good UI interface" ~ QA Architect in the Manufacturing Industry
"Easy containerization, requires high level support and clear understanding of legacy apps" ~ IT Project Manager in the Manufacturing Industry
"Amazing container orchestration tool" ~ Architect in the Services Industry
"The implementation is not easy, but it is a great tool that makes day to day much easier" ~ Manager Information Technology Infrastructure in the Services Industry
"Creating a POC was difficult but end product has been great" ~ Specialist Application Engineer in the Healthcare Industry

From these review snippets, the common themes appear to be that it boasts a great interface (true), provides great containerization management functionality (true), and is not too easy (somewhat true).

OpenShift Alternatives

There are numerous alternatives to OpenShift on the market, many of them open sourced as well. The offerings and features vary, but that is for another post.