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Red Hat OpenShift vs. OKD

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Red Hat named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™

Red Hat was positioned highest for ability to execute and furthest for completeness of vision in the Gartner 2023 Magic Quadrant for Container Management.

Red Hat® OpenShift® is a unified platform for accelerating the development and delivery of cloud-native applications in a consistent way across the hybrid and multicloud, all the way to the edge.

OpenShift is powered by Kubernetes as the container orchestration feature, and includes features from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) open source ecosystem, all tested, packaged, and supported together as a comprehensive application platform by Red Hat. It can be consumed as either a public cloud service from the major cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and IBM, or installed just about anywhere you have servers.

Kubernetes by itself is an open source software that automates deploying, managing, and  scaling of Linux containers. To make it an enterprise-ready platform, organizations need to integrate capabilities such as automation, monitoring, log analytics, service mesh, serverless, security patches, developer productivity tools, and so on.

OKD, previously OpenShift Origin, is a community project of packaged software components needed to run Kubernetes. OKD is the upstream project of Red Hat OpenShift, optimized for continuous application development and deployment. OKD is generally a few releases ahead of OpenShift on features OKD is where community updates happen first, and where they are trialed for enterprise use.

OpenShift is the distribution of Kubernetes focused on the experience of developers who need to build the next generation of cloud-native applications. Unlike OKD, OpenShift comes with the many benefits of subscriptions like technical support, security resources, and a partner ecosystem

In addition to Kubernetes, OKD offers developer- and operations-focused tools that help teams speed up application development, efficiently deploy and scale, and maintain a long-term lifecycle. OKD provides the tools needed to launch Kubernetes on any cloud and helps ensure developer containerized-applications succeed. OKD lets developers create, test, and deploy applications on the cloud, while also supporting several programming languages, including Go, Node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and Java.

The primary difference between OKD and OpenShift is that OpenShift meets enterprise software requirements. OpenShift provides security response teams, long-term support options, validated third party operators, and certified databases and middleware, and meets requirements for large-scale operations. 

Red Hat OpenShiftOKD
Push-button, automated node configuration and tools
Multi-host-container scheduling
Self-service provisioning
Service discovery
Enterprise operation system
Image registry
Validated storage plug-ins
Networking and validated plug-ins
Log aggregation
Metering and chargeback
Developer experience
Cloud service broker
Automated image builds
CI/CD and DevOps workflows
Validated third-party Kubernetes operators
Certified databases
Certified middleware
200+ certified ISV solutions
Serverless applications with Knative
Enterprise operations
Built-in operational management
Zero downtime patching and upgrades
Enterprise 24/7 support
9-year support lifecycle
Security response team

When trying to decide which platform is best for you, know that OKD is a community project whereas OpenShift is a paid, supported product available via a subscription model. If you’re looking for consistent security, built-in monitoring, centralized policy management, and compatibility with Kubernetes container workloads, then consider OpenShift. It is robust, enables self-service provisioning, and integrates with a variety of tools and enterprise systems. At its core, OpenShift is a cloud-based Kubernetes container platform that's considered both a containerization software and a platform-as-a-service (PaaS). It’s also partly built on Docker, another popular containerization platform. OpenShift is more than Kubernetes. It is available both as a commercial product (called the OpenShift Container Platform) and public cloud (called OpenShift Online and OpenShift Dedicated). These include both on-demand and more traditional pricing models. If you’re looking for a self-supporting community, access to a network of open source projects, developer centric tools, and a console for building containerized applications on Kubernetes, then consider OKD. With a focus on community, OKD offers team and user isolation of containers, builds, and network communication.

Red Hat is helping organizations globally and understands enterprise needs. Through our innovative and long-standing approach to open source, to our complementary application and data services portfolio, and our broad partner ecosystem, Red Hat is the experienced partner to help guide your cloud-native, workload agnostic digital transformation. We even have strategic partnerships and integrations with key application and data centric independent software vendors (ISVs), hardware OEMs, and system integrators.

Begin your journey now with OKD or with the global business application environment with OpenShift.

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