Red Hat OpenShift or Red Hat OpenStack Platform: When to use What and Why?

Our original article about the differences between Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform still gets a lot of Web traffic, despite it being seven years old. We thought it was time to revisit the topic of differences between OpenShift and OpenStack. To start, let’s look at the advantages that VMs offered over traditional, legacy hardware solutions.

The Virtualization Revolution

When virtualization came onto the scene, the ability to add new applications to existing hardware took the familiar concept of an operating system running an application and made it more manageable, more scalable and therefore more efficient. By deploying an IaaS platform, such as Red Hat OpenStack Platform, VMs can be run natively, to meet the hyperscale-demands of massive network providers, and can even provide Bare Metal as a Service for high performance applications – without the usual management complexity. Natively, Red Hat OpenStack Platform runs VMs and bare metal, but when paired with Red Hat OpenShift, it can also handle containers – more on that later. Consider this platform the most prevalent model, powering the majority of workloads.

The Container Evolution

Containers are self “contained,” meaning they don’t each need their own operating system and therefore are much more agile, easier to maintain and iterate upon and therefore, easier to bring-to-market. Because of this simplicity, containers can be deployed almost anywhere – from low-powered edge devices, to cloud service providers to core data centers. Because of this simplicity, the underlying infrastructure is less relevant because containers are designed to be resilient at the application layer instead of relying on infrastructure for high availability.

A container platform like Red Hat OpenShift, lets these containerized applications run on the infrastructure they are best suited for while maintaining portability. If data locality or compliance are important, containers can be run on-prem. If you don’t have a data center, you can run them in a public cloud. Combined with their agility, the flexibility of containers opens many doors for IT. Red Hat OpenShift offers a consistent user experience, regardless of the infrastructure, making it easier to deploy containers anywhere natively.

What can Red Hat do to help?

Red Hat OpenStack Platform can handle today’s virtual machines and bare metal systems at scale, and with a single management interface. Red Hat OpenShift Platform offers container-based systems management which can be layered on top of Red Hat OpenStack, VMware vSphere or your cloud services provider’s infrastructure. This is the hybrid model to make the transition from VMs to containers a reality – one that will be gradual as more applications arrive as containers . As more layers of abstraction are added which grant greater flexibility and resilience, the importance of the underlying infrastructure continues to decline, allowing IT to focus more on applications, updates and driving business – not maintenance and management. 

Where is Red Hat going?

Containers are the future. No more guest OSes, no more system configuration drift, no more divergent environments – we are going where you are going. Back in 2012 when we first spoke of the differences between OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform, this transition was only just beginning. Today, the migration from virtual machines to containers is a large part of the often discussed Digital Transformation enterprises are so excited about. Using Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform together enables that transition to take place on your own schedule, at your own pace. Red Hat is here to help you choose the right speed for that change – whether you want to go full bore with a full stack, or focus on an application-based approach, making the move one virtual machine at a time.

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OpenShift Container Platform, OpenStack Platform
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