PaaS reviews

PaaS shoot-out: Cloud Foundry vs. OpenShift

Cloud Foundry shines with broad application support and stellar ease of use, but OpenShift has the edge in management and automation

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The biggest pluses I see currently for Cloud Foundry -- specifically Pivotal CF -- are its integrations with Pivotal's big data and mobile services suites. These two very large feature areas raise Pivotal CF's Breadth of Support score to 9. OpenShift's lack of these integrations lower its Breadth of Support score to 8. You may or may not care about either of these integrations, depending on your plans for deployments.

Which PaaS should you choose? It depends on a lot of factors, and your IT department should do a careful evaluation. If application density is a driving factor for your installation, I would expect your team to wind up favoring OpenShift. Similarly, if your developers use Git heavily, they may favor OpenShift. On the other hand, if integrating your PaaS with big data and mobile services is high on your priority list and you don't already have other solutions for your big data and mobile services needs, then your team may favor Pivotal CF.

For more in-depth looks at Cloud Foundry and OpenShift, read the complete reviews:

Cloud Foundry vs. OpenShift at a glance

  Cloud Foundry OpenShift
  • Wide assortment of languages, Web frameworks, and databases available and supported
  • Easy and fast self-service deployment for developers and cloud operators
  • Application container, service, and node health are all monitored, and automatically restarted if not in the expected state
  • Big data and mobile services are supported in the PaaS
  • Can deploy from the command line, Eclipse, Spring Tools Suite, Maven, and Gradle
  • Wide assortment of languages, Web frameworks, databases, and application stacks available and supported
  • Easy and fast self-service deployment for developers and cloud operators
  • Automatic application scaling
  • Git integration at the source code level, with automatic deployment triggered by a git push
  • Gear idling allows OpenShift to support a very high density of applications
  • Runs on any hardware or cloud or virtual machine that supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Automatic horizontal scaling is still in beta, but scheduled for Q3 release in Pivotal CF; another PaaS based on Cloud Foundry, ActiveState's Stackato, already has it
  • No downloadable "micro" VM for Cloud Foundry v2 as yet, but you can download Stackato Micro or use one of two Cloud Foundry installers to install Cloud Foundry in a local VM
  • Limited to applications that run on Ubuntu Linux, unless you use the Uhuru Windows version of Cloud Foundry, which we have not reviewed
  • Largely limited to applications and services that run on Red Hat Linux, unless you use the Uhuru OpenShift.Net product, which we have not reviewed
PlatformsPivotal CF: VMware vSphere, OpenStack, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform OpenShift Enterprise: Red Hat Enterprise Linux. OpenShift Origin: KVM, VirtualBox, VMware Fusion/Player
CostCloud Foundry, free open source; Pivotal Web Services, 3 cents per gigabyte per hour after two-month free trial with up to 2GB of app memory and 10 free Marketplace services; Pivotal CF, priced by number of application instances running and number of Operations Manager instances running, with a 90-day evaluation license available for free

OpenShift Origin: free open source. OpenShift Online: first three gears and first gigabyte storage free, then a per-hour, per-gear charge for usage (ranging from 2 to 10 cents), plus a $1-per-gigabyte, per-month charge for additional storage; to use more than 16 gears online, there's an additional $20 per month service charge. OpenShift Enterprise: pricing starts at $4,000 per year depending on configuration (core/VM or socket pair).

This article, "PaaS shoot-out: Cloud Foundry vs. OpenShift," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in application development, cloud computing, and open source at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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