Tech Topic

Understanding Kubernetes for enterprises

Red Hat® OpenShift® is supported Kubernetes for cloud-native applications with enterprise security

Download technology detail

Kubernetes is the leading container orchestration framework

Applications are increasingly built as discrete functional parts, each of which can be delivered as a container. That means for every application, there are more parts to manage. To handle this complexity at scale, teams need a policy-driven, automated solution that dictates how and where containers will run. Kubernetes is an open source, extensible container orchestrator designed to handle these challenges.


One of the most popular projects on Github1



1700+ individual and dozens of corporate contributors2


Of enterprises

75% of enterprises cite complexity as a blocker to adopting Kubernetes3

Enterprise Kubernetes

If implemented and maintained correctly, Kubernetes offers everyone - IT operations, developers, and business owners - great benefits:


Kubernetes can run on a local machine or across multiple clusters in widespread availability zones. It horizontally scales your cluster when you need it, and scales it back when you don’t.

Workload portability

Kubernetes runs on-premise in your own datacenter, in a public cloud, or a hybrid cloud configuration, deploying containers the same way, every time.

Separation of concerns

Operations value stability, while developers value speed. Kubernetes resolves this conflict, so businesses can focus on what everyone wants: innovation and growth.

Installing, deploying, and managing Kubernetes is easier said than done. 75% of users cite complexity of implementation and operations as the top blocker to using Kubernetes in production4. Enterprises need to consider security, multi-tenancy, and integration with existing investments when evaluating whether to use Kubernetes.

This offers numerous lifecycle management challenges:


IT must validate hosts with the right settings and Linux operating system during Kubernetes installation.


As Kubernetes is deployed, the right identity and security accesses must be supplied, along with integrations for storage, networking, and container registry solutions.


Once deployed, Kubernetes must be integrated with more solutions, including platform monitoring, security hardening, and logging solutions. Organizations with multiple teams must ensure resources are segmented correctly, and metering and chargeback solutions are properly configured.


When Kubernetes is fully operational, all layers of the stack - the Linux container host, Kubernetes itself, and the services running on top of Kubernetes - need constant patching and updates.

Though Kubernetes is a powerful project and offers businesses many advantages, some assembly is required as it isn’t an out-of-the-box solution. In addition to requiring significant work to set roles, access controls, and multi-tenancy policies, Kubernetes also lacks:

Developer tooling and application services

Kubernetes is not tested or validated middleware, database or performance monitoring solutions. Additional effort is needed to ensure Kubernetes works with specific editors, IDEs, and testing frameworks.

DevOps workflows

Kubernetes does not include a CI/CD workflow or container build and update processes.

Operating system, storage, and networking

These technologies do not come pre-packaged with Kubernetes, though they are needed for running containers in production. Users must bring and integrate their own solutions.

Learn the basics of Kubernetes

Key components, architecture, and how to get started

Download technology detail

An Introduction to Enterprise Kubernetes

New Forrester Wave™ report

The Forrester Wave™: Multicloud Container Development Platforms, Q3 2020. Red Hat named a leader, across 29 criteria and 8 vendors.

See report


Red Hat OpenShift is a hybrid cloud, enterprise Kubernetes platform

Red Hat® OpenShift® is more than just Kubernetes. Each release includes security, performance, and defect fixes, validated and tested integrations for third-party plugins, and enterprise lifecycle support. It runs anywhere Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® is supported, on-premise or in the public cloud, with push-button, cluster-wide updates from the operating system on up*.

From the OpenShift Blog: Enterprise Kubernetes with OpenShift (Part One)

Red Hat OpenShift overview video


Open source container orchestration


Community project behind Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift

Enterprise Kubernetes application platform





Push-button, automated node configuration and cluster updates


Multi-host-container scheduling

Self-Service provisioning

Service discovery

Enterprise operating system



Image registry


Validated storage plugins


Networking and validated plugins




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



Enterprise operations




Built-in operational management



Zero downtime patching and upgrades



Enterprise 24/7 support



9-year support lifestyle



Security response team



* Subject to OpenShift version

Red Hat is open source leadership

Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to Kubernetes3, and has built key features and components of the open source project. Through Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat has years of experience supporting customers running containers in production with Kubernetes.

Get started with OpenShift

Additional Resources

We were very lucky to be joined early on by the very capable OpenShift team which lent significant engineering and real world enterprise expertise to the project. Without their perspective and contributions, I don’t think we would be standing here today5.

Brendan Burns,
Co-founder of
the Kubernetes Project

The Kubernetes Project

1State of the Octoverse 2017
2Kubernetes GitHub repository, July 2018