Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) and Otomi compared

People ask us: “How is Otomi different compared to OpenShift?”. This is why we decided to compare the two. We looked at Azure Red Hat OpenShift and compared it with Otomi Container Platform running on Azure.

Our findings in short

Otomi is a prefab house with pre-designed plumbing, wiring, carpeting, and utilities, while OpenShift is a house frame with an expensive shed full of tools to finish your house. You can (or maybe you can’t) imagine the hidden cost that comes with the latter option. Oh, and let’s not forget that with every new upgrade of Otomi you get free ready-made modules and configurations to upgrade your house with smart meters and apps, better security, and much more. All working out of the box! And all of this for way less money.

About Azure Red Hat OpenShift

Microsoft was the first major public cloud to provide a fully managed OpenShift on Azure service. The Azure Red Hat OpenShift, or ARO, enables you to consume OpenShift as a fully managed service.

About Otomi Container Platform

Otomi Container Platform is a suite of integrated best-of-breed open source tools combined with automation & self-service, all wrapped together and made available as an enterprise-grade and single deployable solution. Otomi can turn any Kubernetes cluster in any cloud into a real multi-cloud container platform.

The outcomes

In the analysis, we have used stars to illustrate how each vendor compares to the
other by category:

  • Three stars (***) show strong capability in that category
  • Two stars (**) illustrate acceptable capability in that category.
    One star (*) shows weak capability in that category
  • No stars indicate the platform has no capability in that category

Based on our analysis, Otomi beats OpenShift with 57 against 43 stars. Download the full report here. The full analysis covers 21 features. In this post, we’ll share a few takeaways.

User experience

OpenShift and Otomi both have a completely different approach here. OpenShift in most cases adds its own abstraction on top of existing open-source solutions. This results in lock-in. Otomi on the other hand integrates these open source solutions as they are and adds user and multi-tenancy awareness to them. Although OpenShift comes with a bunch of tools, it will take some effort to get your first app deployed and exposed with a dns name and certificate. With Otomi deploying and publicly exposing an app becomes just a couple of clicks.

Automation

Although OpenShift comes with a complete set of operations and development tools, most of them need to be installed and configured manually. Take Istio for instance. OpenShift comes with a version of Istio modified by Red Hat to work only within OpenShift. With OpenShift, all of the Istio configuration needs to be done manually. Otomi comes with a fully pre-configured installation. Istio virtual services are automatically generated for team services, tying a generic ingress architecture to service endpoints in a predictable way. On top of Istio Otomi can automatically deploy Knative services (aka serverless or Faas) just by providing the container registry location and the environment variables. This allows teams to utilize Istio capabilities without having to configure Istio themselves.

Otomi comes with more automation features. It automatically creates a project in Harbor and a space in Vault and configures access for development teams. Teams also automatically get access to a dedicated Prometheus and Alert Manager instance and can configure to receive their alerts using Slack or Microsoft teams. This enables fast developer team onboarding and developer self-service.

Pricing

Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides fully managed OpenShift clusters. Master nodes, infrastructure nodes, application nodes run on Azure Virtual Machines, billed at Linux VM pricing. Compute, networking, and storage resources consumed by your cluster are billed according to usage. In addition to the compute and infrastructure costs, application nodes have an additional cost for the OpenShift license component.

Otomi runs as a value-added layer on top of Kubernetes. It can run on AKS or on a custom deployed Kubernetes cluster running on Azure Virtual Machines. This is a big difference compared to ARO. To make an objective pricing comparison we only compared the OpenShift license component.

OpenShift licenses are billed per VM and the instance type for the worker nodes only. An ARO cluster needs to run 3 or more worker nodes. Pricing starts at EUR 105,27 (North Europe / per month) per instance. Otomi licence costs are EUR 499 per cluster, regardless of the number of instances used.

Running an ARO cluster with only 3 worker nodes will probably be not sufficient. When adding more worker nodes, the pricing difference becomes bigger. And the pricing for OpenShift will only increase more when using other instance types. A cluster with 6 D16s v3 instances will result in a monthly cost of EUR 2.526,46 for OpenShift and EUR 499 for Otomi. That’s a difference of EUR 24.329,52 per year!

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