Developed by Red Hat, OpenShift is a container application platform that provides a unified, managed, and secure application environment for developers to build, deploy and run their applications. OpenShift is built on top of Kubernetes, which provides an easy way to manage your application infrastructure as a set of containers that run on your own servers or any public cloud.
Because of its maturity, robust toolset, tight security, and flexibility, OpenShift is one of the most popular container management platforms. However, it is far from the only option, and there are multiple viable OpenShift alternatives available.
In this article, we’ll take a look at three of the most popular OpenShift alternatives: Amazon ECS, Google’s GKE, and Azure’s AKS. In addition to reviewing the platforms individually, we’ll directly compare each one to OpenShift to help you find the best solution for your infrastructure.
There are plenty of reasons to want to find a great OpenShift alternative. Maybe you are concerned about ease of administration, developer toolkit, or specific product capabilities. Whatever the reason, there are multiple alternatives worth exploring.
If you're looking for an OpenShift alternative, here are three platforms that provide similar functionality.
|OpenShift is an open-source platform that enables developers to build and deploy containerized applications. It’s based on Kubernetes, an open-source container management system developed by Google. It also provides a framework for developers to run their applications in a cloud environment or on-site.
|Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a highly scalable, high-performance container orchestration service that makes it easy to run, stop, and manage containers on a cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.
|The GKE is a cloud-managed service that allows users to run their workloads in a managed environment using Kubernetes.
|Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a cloud-managed Kubernetes service that makes it easy to deploy and scale containerized applications.
|OpenShift can be accessed as a service through a web console or command-line tool. Using templates or YAML files, allows you to create pods, services, secrets, volumes, and more. OpenShift also lets you install third-party add-ons such as Helm and Prometheus directly into your cluster without downloading them manually first.
|EKS is a managed service that provides you with the ability to create and manage your Kubernetes cluster without worrying about provisioning or managing servers yourself. You can also use ECR (Elastic Container Registry) to store your container images in the cloud instead of running your own registry.
|GKE takes care of provisioning and maintenance of the underlying clusters hence it is considered as “Containers as a Service”
|AKS provides its container registry service, which can be used to store container images created in AKS clusters or outside of them.
|OpenShift runs on RedHat CoreOS, you can create compute machines, which are also known as worker machines, that use RHEL as their operating system.
|EKS supports kubernetes-compatible Linux x8, ARM and windows server OS
|Support for multiple Linux distributions, including CoreOS Rkt containers; support for Docker; and integration with Google Cloud Platform products like Logging and Monitoring (Stackdriver) and Stackdriver Monitoring Console.
|AKS runs on Azure's Linux distribution.
|OpenShift is more expensive as you pay for the license irrespective of your deployment, you will be paying for the infrastructure cost too.
|EKS charges $0.10/hr for each cluster created and AWS resources used to run worker nodes (e.g,. EC2 and EBS).
|Autopilot and Standard Mode charges a flat fee of $0.10/hour for each cluster after the free tier, plus the CPU, memory and ephemeral storage resources that are requested by scheduled Pods in Autopilot mode.
|AKS is a free container service as you pay only for the VMs and associated storage and networking resources
Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) is a fully managed service that makes it easy to run Kubernetes on AWS. You can use Amazon EKS to provision and manage the servers that host your Kubernetes containers and the load balancing and auto-scaling capabilities required to handle your application's traffic.
Amazon EKS provides native integrations with AWS services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), enabling you to create highly available clusters on the AWS cloud.
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Amazon EKS ensures your cluster stays up-to-date with the latest Kubernetes version. You don't have to worry about upgrading your cluster or operating system — the EKS service does that work for you.
Amazon EKS supports the use of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to isolate traffic within a single region or across multiple regions. You can also use AWS Shield and network access control lists (ACLs) to further restrict access to your cluster resources.
Amazon ELB load balancers and Auto Scaling Groups (ASGs) help EKS deliver high availability and fault tolerance.
ElastiCache provides high availability for Redis, Memcached, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB databases used by applications running inside containers in your clusters.
Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a managed service that makes it easy to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications on the Google Cloud Platform. With GKE, you can use open-source tools like Docker and Kubernetes to build and manage your applications, whether they're based on Linux or Windows Server.
Google Kubernetes Engine is available in three different environments: Standard, which offers the most common features; Premium, which adds enterprise features such as enhanced networking, support for high availability clusters, and more; and Custom, which gives you complete control over your cluster configuration and pricing at the expense of being less feature-rich than the other two environments.
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GKE runs your containers in a managed environment with minimal configuration. Additionally, GKE provides automated health checks, auto-scaling, load balancing, and application-level metrics so you don’t have to worry about managing infrastructure manually.
GKE offers flexible networking options so that you can build applications that are easily portable across on-premises and public cloud environments.
GKE supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Node.js, Python, PHP, and Ruby on Rails. Additionally, the platform supports popular open-source frameworks such as SpringBoot, Dropwizard, Play Framework, and Grails.
Simple deployment processes allow you to scale your applications up or down as needed with no downtime.
Automatic load balancing across nodes in your cluster, so you can run multiple containers per node and spread traffic across them.
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Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a managed version of Kubernetes Microsoft has built on Azure. AKS consists of a set of worker nodes in a cluster and a master node. The worker nodes are virtual machines that host your containers, while the master node runs the Kubernetes control plane. The master node controls all aspects of the worker nodes and acts as a central point for deploying applications.
The major difference between the two platforms is that OpenShift is an open-source platform that can be run on any infrastructure, while AKS is a proprietary service that runs on Microsoft's Azure Cloud. You can also run custom workloads on AKS if you need more advanced functionality than what's available through the project templates provided by Microsoft.
You can deploy AKS in Standard or Premium mode and choose between cloud-hosted virtual machines or on-premises private virtual machines based on your requirements.
The AKS dashboard shows detailed information about your cluster's performance, including CPU and memory usage, the number of pods running, and more. If needed, you can also use different monitoring tools like Application Insights or Azure Monitor.
AKS takes care of all the infrastructure management details — such as patching OS components, managing storage, or configuring networking parameters — so that you don't need to worry about them yourself.
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OpenShift is a great option for running containerized applications. It is known for its efficiency and flexibility as compared to other applications, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for container management. In some cases, an OpenShift alternative is a better fit.
When looking for options, it is important to understand your business requirements. Some may need one thing while others may need another. Cost, performance, features, and administrative complexity all matter.
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