Route vs Ingress: Differences Between OKD and Kubernetes

Route vs Ingress: Differences Between OKD and Kubernetes

If you’re involved in container management or developing applications in cloud environments, you’ve likely come across the terms “Route” in OpenShift (often referred to as OKD in its community version) and “Ingress” in Kubernetes. While both mechanisms serve similar functions, that is directing traffic to containerized applications, there are key differences between them. Here are a few:

  1. Origin:
    • Route: This is a concept introduced in OpenShift/OKD. Route allows for exposing services externally out of the cluster.
    • Ingress: This is a native Kubernetes object used for directing HTTP and HTTPS traffic from the outside to internal cluster services.
  2. Controller:
    • Route: OpenShift/OKD provides its own routing controller, which integrates with the HAProxy router that handles all incoming requests.
    • Ingress: For Ingress to function in Kubernetes, you need an Ingress controller, such as the Nginx Ingress Controller, Traefik, among others. The Ingress controller dictates how traffic will be routed to services within the cluster.
  3. Configuration:
    • Route: In OpenShift/OKD, you can use different types of routing, such as passthrough, edge, and reencrypt. These provide different levels of control over SSL/TLS certificates.
    • Ingress: Ingress configuration in Kubernetes is more standardized, but with added flexibility provided by the various Ingress controllers.
  4. Protocol Support:
    • Route: Primarily focused on HTTP/HTTPS traffic, but passthrough allows for other protocols.
    • Ingress: Traditionally limited to HTTP/HTTPS traffic, but some Ingress controllers offer support for other protocols.
  5. Extensions and Plugins:
    • Route: Is more tightly integrated with the OpenShift/OKD platform and makes use of platform-specific features.
    • Ingress: Can be more flexible due to the variety of available Ingress controllers, each with its own feature set and plugins.

In conclusion, both Route in OKD/OpenShift and Ingress in Kubernetes serve to direct traffic to containerized applications but differ in terms of configuration, implementation, and support for various protocols. The choice between them depends on the specific use case, needs, and the platform on which your application is running.

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