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OpenShift vs Docker

Last Updated : 30 Mar, 2023
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As OpenShift is PaaS (Platform as a service) which can be used over an existing cloud service, deployed on the Docker Enterprise platform, that is further deployed as CaaS (Container as a service) which further decreases the setup cost and increases the efficiency and the productivity of the existing application workflow. Both are open-source technologies that ensure scalability if used together. Though they can be used simultaneously they are different platforms and differs in various categories. Let us take a look at what aspects they differ from each other.

What is OpenShift?

OpenShift is a cloud development Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) developed by open-source provider Red Hat in 2011. Virtualization is the main concept behind OpenShift. It is written in Go, Ruby, and Angular JS and has support for Node.js, Python, Ruby, Perl, Go, and Java-based applications. Basically, it helps the user to develop, deploy, and manage container-based applications.

Features of OpenShift

  1. It provides quite a flexibility in managing the services running on-premises or with any cloud provider.
  2. It has automatic installation and upgrade features.
  3. It provides the environment of Multicluster management.

Benefits of OpenShift

  1. It deals with tracking dependencies.
  2. It accelerates the development of an application.
  3. It provides a friendly user interface that helps the user to build, deploy, scale, monitor and implement the task, both as an administrator and developer.

Drawbacks of OpenShift

  1. Monitoring the network traffic across the components is difficult.
  2. OpenShift is not compatible with AUFS.
  3. It is relatively hard-to-understand logs and is not quite flexible in its nature.

What is Docker?

Docker is deployed as Container as a Service (CaaS). It is described as a platform for enterprise applications that require rapid innovation velocity. It was developed in 2013 by Docker Inc with Go as its programming language. It encourages the concept of DevOps methodology through Continuous Integration. Basically, it is a platform that allows the user to build, test, and deploy applications quickly.

Features of Docker

  1. Codes can be deployed in less time and with less effort. 
  2. It helps in increasing productivity by rapidly deploying applications.
  3. It results in lower costs as they allow data center operators to cram more workload into less hardware which basically means sharing of hardware.

Benefits of Docker

  1. Many containers can be placed in a single host, so it is highly scalable.
  2. It is very easy to move and maintain the applications.
  3. It has a flexible resource-sharing system.

Drawbacks of Docker

  1. It is quite challenging to manage unused images.
  2. It lacks supporting enterprise-level applications.
  3. The retention policy is not developer friendly.

Difference between OpenShift and Docker




Deployed It is deployed as PaaS (Platform as a Service). It is deployed as CaaS (Container as a Service).
What does it use? It uses runtime containers along with REST API, web APIs, and coordinator interfaces. It only uses runtime containers.
AUFS It is not compatible with AUFS. It is compatible with AUFS.
Container orchestrating platform For the container orchestrating platform, it uses Kubernetes. For the container orchestrating platform, it uses Docker Swarms.
Functional Units It models functional units with cartridges. It models functional units with docker images.
Recommended for OpenShift is recommended for its plans which are quite friendly. Docker is recommended for its rapid integration and build-up.
Documentation It is very well maintained and well documented. The documentation in Docker is not always in sync.
Companies Some of the companies using OpenShift are Hazeroid, Vungle, and Accenture. Some of the companies using Docker are Twitter, Spotify, and Pinterest.


Both tools are open-source and can be used simultaneously or independently. Both technologies are widely used across the globe by various large organizations. Basically, the main distinction is the cloud service on which they are deployed as OpenShift is deployed as Platform-as-a-Service, and Docker is deployed as Container-as-a-Service. Both have their own features, benefits, and work. It is all up to the choice of organization to choose the tools according to their requirements.

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