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README.md

README.md

Openshift and OpenRiskNet

OpenRiskNet is planning on basing its deployment around Red Hat's OpenShift. This section of the GitHub repository aims to help people on the OpenRiskNet project and others to quickly get up to speed.

What is OpenShift

OpenShift is Red Hat's container orchestration platform. It is based on Kubernetes which is a project led by Google that is putting together an Open Source container orchestration platform based on their many years of experience with running containers at high scale, using the systems they refer to as Borg. Kubernetes can be thought of as the next generate of Borg, and OpenShift as Red Hat's distribution of Kubernetes. It adds additional developer related services and security features. OpenShift Origin (which is what OpenRiskNet is using for development) is RedHat's upstream project from their OpenShift Enterprise commercial version for which you can get paid support, similar to the way the Red Hat Enterperise Linux (RHEL) is their commercially supported version of Linux which is based on Fedora. This ability to optionally get commercial support for both the underlying RHEL and OpenShift Enterpise should make the Virtual Research Environments that OpenRiskNet will make available attractive to commercial customers like Biotechs and Pharmaceutical companies.

What OpenShift will provide for OpenRiskNet

So what is a "container orchestration platform"? Well, if you think of Linux (or Windows) as your computer's operating system, then you can think of Kubernetes as a distributed operating system. It allows jobs and processes to be run transparently on a cluster of computers without having to worry about how this happens. A key part of how it does this is by deploying things as containers. The container is created from an image that defines the containers contents in a way that is transparent to the host that is executing the container (TODO - link to the section that describes Docker and containers once that is ready). The container is effectively a black box that executes something, and the host allows the container to be executed in a secure and isolated way so that it cannot impact other components running on the host. Kubernetes provides a complete infrastructure for defining how these containers run, how they can be connected together, how they can be scaled, how they can be exposed for external access and much much more.

So if Kubernetes provides the distributed operating system for containers, what does OpenShift provide in addition? Well, if we think of Kubernetes as your distributed operating system then OpenShift is Red Hat's distribution of Kubernetes that comes already loaded with the software you want to use as well as strong vetting and handling of security making it highly suitable as the platform that OpenRiskNet can provide to customers and users, allowing them to easily set up their own Virtual Research Environment (VRE) and load whatever chemical safety assessment (and other) software that they might want into it. OpenShift provides the environment where we can not only build and test these tools, but also deploy and run them at scale. The customer, or user, might not want to build these themselves (but rather use Docker images we have already built) but they will want to deploy them to their own environment, which would be their laptop, their in house servers or anywhere on the cloud. OpenShift's flexible way of deployment means all this is possible, and we are not locked in to any particular cloud platform.

The OpenShift Interactive Learning Portal has a number of self-paced scenarios that use an online pre-configured OpenShift instance. It's an excellent introduction and allows you to experiment with and learn about OpenShift.

For more information take a look at these links:

And these movies:

If you find other useful links then please add them.

Take a look at these OpenRiskNet examples that are also in this repository:

  • recipes - training and educational examples
  • environments - concrete examples of creating different types of OpenShift environments
  • deployments - concrete examples of deploying infrastructure and application components to OpenShift