Red Hat OpenShift Container Engine is a new product offering from Red Hat that lets you use OpenShift Container Platform as a production platform for launching containers. You download and install OpenShift Container Engine in the same way as OpenShift Container Platform, but OpenShift Container Engine offers a subset of the features that OpenShift Container Platform does.

Similarities and differences

You can see the similarities and differences between OpenShift Container Engine and OpenShift Container Platform in the following table:

Table 1. Product comparison for OpenShift Container Engine and OpenShift Container Platform
OpenShift Container Engine OpenShift Container Platform

Core Kubernetes and container orchestration

X

X

Enterprise-ready configurations

X

X

Standard infrastructure services

X

X

Core user experience

X

X

Maintained and curated content

X

X

OpenShift Container Storage compatible

X

X

Red Hat Middleware compatible

X

X

Serverless Cloud Functions compatible

X

X

Quay integration compatible

X

X

Container Native Virtualization for virtual machines compatible

X

X

Advanced cluster management

X

Advanced networking

X

Developer experience

X

Core Kubernetes and container orchestration

OpenShift Container Engine offers full access to an enterprise-ready Kubernetes environment that is easy to install and offers an extensive compatibility test matrix with many of the software elements that you might use in your data center.

OpenShift Container Engine offers the same service level agreements, bug fixes, and common vulnerabilities and errors protection as OpenShift Container Platform. OpenShift Container Engine includes a Red Hat Enterprise Linux Virtual Datacenter and Red Hat CoreOS entitlement that allows you to use an integrated Linux operating system with container runtime from the same provider.

OpenShift Container Engine is compatible with Windows Containers from Microsoft.

Enterprise-ready configurations

OpenShift Container Engine uses the same security options and default settings as the OpenShift Container Platform. Default security context constraints, pod security policies, best practice network and storage settings, service account configuration, SELinux integration, HAproxy edge routing configuration, and all other standard protections that OpenShift Container Platform offers are available in OpenShift Container Engine. OpenShift Container Engine offers full access to the integrated monitoring solution that OpenShift Container Platform uses, which is based on Prometheus and offers deep coverage and alerting for common Kubernetes issues.

OpenShift Container Engine uses the same installation and upgrade automation as OpenShift Container Platform.

Standard infrastructure services

With an OpenShift Container Engine subscription, you receive support for all storage plug-ins that OpenShift Container Platform supports.

In terms of networking, OpenShift Container Engine offers full and supported access to the Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI) and therefore allows you to use any third-party SDN that supports OpenShift Container Platform. It also allows you to use the included Open vSwitch to establish a flat, non-project (Kubernetes namespace) segmented network for the Kubernetes cluster. OpenShift Container Engine allows customers to use a Kubernetes Network Policy to create microsegmentation between deployed application services on the cluster.

You can also use the route API objects that are found in OpenShift Container Platform, including its sophisticated integration with the HAproxy edge routing layer.

Core user experience

OpenShift Container Engine users have full access to Kubernetes Operators, pod deployment strategies, Helm, and OpenShift Container Platform templates. OpenShift Container Engine users can use both the oc and kubectl command line interfaces. OpenShift Container Engine also offers an administrator web-based console that shows all aspects of the deployed container services and offers a container-as-a service experience. OpenShift Container Engine grants access to the Operator Life Cycle Manager that helps you control access to content on the cluster and life cycle operator-enabled services that you use. With an OpenShift Container Engine subscription, you receive access to the Kubernetes namespace, the OpenShift Project API object, and both cluster-level and tenant-level Prometheus monitoring metrics and events.

Maintained and curated content

With an OpenShift Container Engine subscription, you receive access to the OpenShift Container Platform entitled content from the Red Hat Container Catalog and Red Hat Connect ISV marketplace. You can access all maintained and curated content that the OpenShift Container Platform eco-system offers either for free, such as the Red Hat Software Collections, or through additional purchases. The Kubernetes service broker, service catalog, and all OpenShift Container Platform service broker offerings are supported with an OpenShift Container Engine subscription.

OpenShift Container Storage compatible

OpenShift Container Engine is compatible and supported with OpenShift Container Storage.

Red Hat Middleware compatible

OpenShift Container Engine is compatible and supported with Red Hat Middleware product solutions.

Serverless Cloud Functions compatible

OpenShift Container Engine is compatible and supported with future Red Hat Cloud Functions products, such as function based and serverless container services.

Quay Integration compatible

OpenShift Container Engine is compatible and supported with Red Hat Quay.

CNV VM Virtualization Compatible

OpenShift Container Engine is compatible and supported with Red Hat product offerings derived from the kubevirt.io open source project.

Advanced cluster management

A OpenShift Container Engine subscription does not offer a cluster-wide log aggregation solution or support ElasticSearch, Fluentd, Kibana based logging solutions. Similarly the chargeback features found in OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Service Mesh capabilities derived from the open source Istio.io and kiali.io projects that offers OpenTracing observability for containerized services on OpenShift Container Platform are not supported.

Advanced networking

The standard networking solutions in OpenShift Container Platform are not supported with an OpenShift Container Engine subscription. OpenShift Container Platform’s Kubernetes CNI plug-in for automation of multi-tenant network segmentation between OpenShift Container Platform projects is not entitled for use with OpenShift Container Engine. OpenShift Container Platform offers more granular control of the source IP addresses that are used by application services on the cluster. Those egress IP address controls are not entitled for use with OpenShift Container Engine. OpenShift Container Platform offers ingress routing to on cluster services that use non-standard ports when no public cloud provider is in use via the VIP pods found in OpenShift Container Platform. That ingress solution is not supported in OpenShift Container Engine. OpenShift Container Engine users are supported for the Kubernetes ingress control object, which offers integrations with public cloud providers. Red Hat Service Mesh, which is derived from the istio.io open source project, is not supported in OpenShift Container Engine.

Developer experience

With OpenShift Container Engine, the following capabilities are not supported:

  • The developer experience utilities and tools.

  • OpenShift Container Platform’s pipeline feature that integrates a streamlined, Kubernetes-enabled Jenkins experience in the user’s project space.

  • The OpenShift Container Platform’s source-to-image feature, which allows you to easily deploy source code, dockerfiles, or container images across the cluster.

  • Build strategies, builder pods, or imagestreams for end user container deployments.

  • The odo developer command line.

  • The developer persona in the OpenShift Container Platform web console.

Feature summary

The following table is a summary of the feature availability in OpenShift Container Engine and OpenShift Container Platform.

Table 2. Features in OpenShift Container Engine and OpenShift Container Platform
OpenShift Container Engine OpenShift Container Platform

Core Kubernetes and container orchestration

X

X

Enterprise-class Kubernetes

X

X

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters and Red Hat CoreOS

X

X

Windows containers compatible

X

X

Enterprise-ready configurations

X

X

Complete life-cycle automation of platform

X

X

Management, monitoring, alerting, and remedy through Prometheus

X

X

Enterprise-ready security

X

X

Standard infrastructure services

X

X

Edge routing

X

X

Flat networking

X

X

Kubernetes storage plug-ins

X

X

Core user experience

X

X

Application deployments, deployment configuration, templates, and Operators

X

X

Administrator console

X

X

Operator life cycle management

X

X

kubectl command line

X

X

Developer projects

X

X

Prometheus metrics

X

X

Maintained and curated content

X

X

Red Hat Container Catalog access

X

X

Independent Software Vendor and partner Operator access

X

X

Service Catalog and Brokers for cloud content

X

X

Red Hat add-ons

X

OpenShift Container Storage compatible

X

X

Red Hat Middleware compatible

X

X

Serverless Cloud Functions compatible

X

X

Istio runtime launchers compatible

X

Quay integration compatible

X

X

Container Native Virtualization for virtual machines compatible

X

X

Advanced cluster management

X

Logging

X

Chargeback

X

Kiali (Jaeger and OpenTracing)

X

Advanced networking

X

Egress per pod or namespace

X

Ingress for non-standard ports

X

Multi-tenant SDN

X

Red Hat Service Mesh (Istio)

X

Developer experience

X

Integrated CI/CD pipelines

X

Source-to-Image Container factory

X

odo command line

X

Developer console

X

Subscription Limitations

OpenShift Container Engine is a subscription offering that provides OpenShift Container Platform with a limited set of supported features at a lower list price. OpenShift Container Engine and OpenShift Container Platform are the same product and, therefore, all software and features are delivered in both. There is only one download, OpenShift Container Platform. OpenShift Container Engine uses the OpenShift Container Platform documentation and support services and bug errata for this reason.