Head-to-Head Comparison of Openstack & Openshift

Written by Afsa Ashraf

Content Writer

When selecting an open-source platform for your organization, you must thoroughly understand its capabilities and options. OpenStack and OpenShift are both extremely powerful tools that are used by a variety of organizations, but they focus on different aspects. OpenShift focuses on various features, whereas OpenStack provides various components for various services. Openshift, for example, has a web console, command-line tools, IDE support, application templates, continuous integration, and so on, whereas OpenStack has various components such as Cinder for block storage service, Horizon for dashboard service, Nova for provisioning resources such as VM, and Neutron for enabling networking APIs. Let’s take a look at the comparison of these two tools, OpenStack and OpenShift.

OpenShift and OpenStack are used to build scalable cloud platforms. When combined, the systems cover the entire range – from provisioning virtualized hardware to developing and operating containerized applications. OpenShift and OpenStack are popular with large, global organizations to implement hybrid cloud strategies.

Historically, OpenStack has been around longer than OpenShift. The evolution of the two projects is representative of the transition from virtual machines to application containers. Container virtualization has become the dominant virtualization technology over the past decade.


OpenShift is a Kubernetes platform for application deployment. You can use OpenShift to run containerized applications and workloads powered by Kubernetes. OpenShift comes in a variety of options and is backed by Red Hat support. It includes CLI and web interface dashboards to assist developers in developing application code and the operations team in managing and monitoring the Kubernetes cluster.

You don't need to learn Kubernetes in its entirety, and you don't need to be concerned about the nuances of the Kubernetes environment, because RedHat solves those issues by abstracting out the entire container orchestration beneath the platform. You can still deploy Docker containers within OpenShift, but you don't have to handcraft every component of the Kubernetes cluster image. OpenShift is a fully managed platform as a service for container deployment.

Benefits of OpenShift

  • Builds and deployments that are more agile and confident.
  • Simple to use on-premises (bare metal) or with any cloud provider (virtual hardware).
  • Simple integration with a variety of DevOps tools.
  • Implements and enforces policies on Red Hat using a unified console.
  • Easily monitors the cluster with built-in tools such as Prometheus and Grafana.
  • Ensures that builds are secure throughout the application's lifecycle.


OpenStack is basically a collection of software tools for creating and managing cloud computing platforms, both public and private. This is also known as infrastructure as a service because it provides an infrastructure on top of whatever applications and operating systems you want to deploy. OpenStack is a cross-platform software that runs on both Linux and Windows. Previously, it only supported Linux platforms, but contributors and developers collaborated to create OpenStack for Windows.

It's a free, open-source cloud computing platform. The modules can be tested and deployed in your production environment. It is well suited to commodity hardware, so the infrastructure is not prohibitively expensive.

OpenStack's fundamental components are compute modules, network modules, and storage modules. These modules contain a specific set of files that are integrated with the infrastructure to make the cloud possible. OpenStack provides a web interface that can be used as a dashboard. It is a stateless GUI model that allows you to create a front-end. The command line is the most adaptable way to interact with OpenStack. It is more robust, allowing you greater flexibility in tool configuration and management.

Benefits of OpenStack

  • IT resources can be deployed more quickly.
  • Faster and more efficient access to IT resources.
  • Improves resource utilization and scalability.
  • With no lock-in period, this is a very cost-effective option.
  • Read/write access that is highly scalable.
  • User accounts, containers, and object copies have high availability.
  • Can scale both vertically and horizontally.

The key differences between OpenShift and OpenStack?

OpenShift and OpenStack are open-source projects that were created around 2010/2011. Both are used to build scalable systems in hybrid cloud environments. They are predominantly employed by large, global organizations and can be operated on a wide range of underlying computing infrastructures. Both platforms could be seen as a type of “cloud operating system”. OpenShift is used to develop and operate containerized applications. Users can provide, operate, and monitor applications and services themselves, and focus on optimized development and DevOps workflows.

OpenStack, on the other hand, comes with a deeper level of abstraction. The platform is used to build a virtualized cloud infrastructure on the basis of distributed hardware. Virtual machines with CPU cores and RAM, as well as virtual networks and distributed mass storage are provisioned.

Cloud Service Model

The primary distinction between OpenStack and OpenShift is their cloud service model. OpenStack is infrastructure-based because it is used as infrastructure as a service (IaaS). OpenShift, on the other hand, is used as a Platform as a Service (PaaS). It provides you with a working platform.

Because of cost or security concerns, the organization manages servers and their services on their own private data center in OpenStack. For example, an organization like Ericsson has their own data centers that use OpenStack. You don't need to think about servers or their configuration in OpenShift; all you need is the platform. For example, in Google App Engine, developers create and test their app before containerizing it.

Container usagel

Containers are supported by OpenStack, but they are used infrequently. It is more focused on virtual machines known as hypervisors, such as VMWare, KVM, and XEN. Containers can still be run on these virtual machines.

OpenShift, on the other hand, has a container-centric model, so you must understand the fundamental concepts of Docker and Kubernetes. These containers can be run on a virtual machine or even on bare metal. Docker, the most popular container-based technology, is frequently used by OpenShift.

Environment that is Distributed

Open stack is a centralized platform that can manage distributed data centers. It can support distributed storage via third-party storage components such as Ceph and Glusterfs, but it does not rely entirely on them. When compared to Kubernetes, OpenStack is incapable of managing the data centers in a global cluster.

OpenShift, on the other hand, is a distributed system that is very similar to Kubernetes. It employs a master-slave architecture, with the controller node serving as the master node and worker nodes serving as slave nodes controlled by the master node. There is a network layer encapsulated between the master and slave nodes for communication.


In terms of security, OpenShift and Red Hat attempt to fill gaps that the open-source community may not have filled. Working with real enterprise customers has shown them that by developing best security practices from the ground up, they can address some of the issues that customers require in order to use Kubernetes.

When you create a project in OpenShift, all you have to do is add the users, & it will handle things such as Kubernetes namespaces and creating different security policies based on best practices, which you can get from scratch. There is, however, a minor trade-off. For eg, in Kubernetes, you can pretty much take any image from Docker Hub and expect it to run as expected, whereas in OpenShift, there are restricted permissions that prevent containers from running as root. As a result, images do not always run as expected.

OpenStack, on the other hand, employs dm-crypt to protect your files and resources from hackers and malware. It is a transparent disc encryption subsystem in the Linux operating system that contains codes to protect your sensitive business data.


Both are open source, run on the Linux platform, and are used by a large number of customers around the world. They both compete with other cloud-based platforms like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google cloud platforms. You can also use both OpenStack and OpenShift concurrently. For example, your private cloud services can be built on OpenStack, and your public cloud services can be run on various cloud providers using OpenShift. Begin using open shift and open stack today and investigate their features.

Royal Cyber can assist you with OpenShift Consulting Services to help you evaluate, deploy, and integrate OpenShift into your environment. We are a professional services firm that provides tailored solutions as per the client's requirements. If you would like to know more as well as learn more about the same or are looking for a partner who can get you the most out of the Platform, reach out to us at [email protected] or visit https://www.royalcyber.com/.

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