Red Hat has several resources to help you get started with OpenShift. This is my first article on Red Hat OpenShift. This article will cover the free test drive for the OpenShift Container Platform.

The Red Hat® OpenShift® Container Platform test drive provides system administrators with no-cost hands-on lab experience. In a fully functional environment hosted in the cloud, you’ll learn how easy it is to install and configure the Red Hat solution. You will explore the features of the platform and learn about standard operational and administrative processes. You only need an SSH client and a web browser to complete the test drive exercises. The test environment will remain at your disposal for 8 hours.

In this self-paced, hands-on lab environment, you’ll learn:

  • How to install and configure Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, including log and metrics aggregation and external authentication.
  • How to install and configure container-native storage featuring Red Hat Gluster® Storage inside Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
  • How to perform basic administrative and maintenance operations.
  • Basic application life cycle with health and readiness monitoring.


When I completed the registration form in Step 2 below, I was surprised to see an email from Qwiklabs. I am a big fan of Qwiklabs for Google Cloud and AWS. This is very good news. I will update this article once my account is approved. It appears that you need a new account for

Update: Qwiklabs credits were added to my new Qwiklabs account the next morning.

Step 1 – Red Hat OpenShift Trial Page

Go to the OpenShift trial page here. Select the rightmost offering titled “Administrators – Test drive for free”. Click Get started.

Step 2 – Register

Complete the registration page with your information.

Once you complete the registration, you will receive two emails. One from Red Hat and the second from Qwiklabs.

Step 3 – Qwiklabs

The following morning I received an email from Red Hat titled Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage Test Drive. The Qwilabs OpenShift lab is here.

Contents of the lab

  1. Exploring a ready-to-run OpenShift deployment
  2. Application Management Basics
  3. Project Template, Quota and Limit Settings
  4. External Authentication with LDAP
  5. Infrastructure Management Basics
  6. OpenShift Container Storage

This lab looks very good. Completing the lab typically takes two to three hours according to Qwiklabs. Red Hat provides 40 credits. The lab costs 10 credits. The lab runs (is available) for 8 hours which is the longest lab that I have seen on Qwiklabs. I plan to take this lab several times. The lab requires 15 to 20 minutes to provision the lab resources.

Once the lab provisioning completes, open the Lab Guide. This is important so I am emphasizing this step. Also, notice the timer which shows how much time is left before the lab stops and tears down the resources.

I will not be covering this lab step-by-step. I am concerned with copyright issues. I will highlight concepts with more information links that I feel are important for someone just getting started with Red Hat OpenShift.

Important Concepts

Master Components

  • API/Authentication
  • Data Store
  • Scheduler
  • Health/Scaling


The Kubernetes API server validates and configures the resources that make up a Kubernetes cluster.

Common things that interact with the Kubernetes API server are:

  • OpenShift Web Console
  • OpenShift oc command line tool
  • OpenShift Node
  • Kubernetes Controllers

All interactions with the API server are secured using TLS. In addition, all API calls must be authenticated (the user is who they say they are) and authorized (the user has rights to make the requested API calls).

Data Store

The OpenShift Data Store (etcd) stores the persistent master state while other components watch etcd for changes to bring themselves into the desired state. etcd can be optionally configured for high availability, typically deployed with 2n+1 peer services.


The pod scheduler is responsible for determining the placement of new pods onto nodes within the cluster.

The scheduler is very flexible and can take the physical topology of the cluster into account (racks, datacenters, etc).


Each pod can register both liveness and readiness probes.

Liveness probes tell the system if the pod is healthy or not. If the pod is not healthy, it can be restarted automatically.

Readiness probes tell the system when the pod is ready to take traffic. This, for example, can be used by the cluster to know when to put a pod into the load balancer.

For more information on the OpenShift Master’s areas of responsibility, please refer to the infrastructure components section of the product documentation.

Basic OpenShift CLI Commands

The primary CLI command in OpenShift is oc. This command is a superset of kubectl. For example, you can list the pods with the command oc get pods just like the Kubernetes command kubectl get pods. If you are comfortable with kubectl you will quickly learn oc.

Create a Project

OpenShift organizes resources into projects. Projects may have multiple users who can access them and users can access multiple projects.

  • oc new-project project_name

Deploy an Application

Applications can be deployed from the web console GUI or from the CLI. The application can be a container image or a Git repository.

  • oc new-app

Expose an Application

Applications are not exposed by default. Applications (service) can be exposed with a route.

  • oc expose svc/service_name

List Nodes

  • oc get nodes

Example output:

List Pods

Pods are one or more containers deployed together on a host.

  • oc get pods

Example output:

Describe a Pod

  • oc describe pod pod_name

Example output:

List Services

  • oc get services

Example output:

Service IP addresses are dynamically assigned on creation and are immutable. The IP of a service will never change, and the IP is reserved until we delete the service.

Describe a Service

  • oc describe service service_name

Example output:

Services, Deployment Configurations, and Replication Controllers


Services (SVC) provide routing and load balancing for Pods. Pods are ephemeral and can be created and destroyed.

Deployment Configuration

A Deployment Configuration (DC) defines how something is deployed on OpenShift.

Replication Controllers

Replication Controllers (RC) are used to specify and ensure the desired number of Pods (replicas) are in existence. Without a Replication Controller, Pods that are killed or die/exit are not automatically restarted. Replication Controllers provide self healing.

Normally, your application will consist of the Pod, Service, Replication Controller and Deployment Configuration.


Services provide an internal abstraction and load balancing within OpenShift. To access an application outside of OpenShift requires a Route.

The default OpenShift router (HAProxy) uses the HTTP header of the incoming request to determine where to proxy the connection. You can optionally define security, such as TLS, for the Route. If you want your Services (and by extension, your Pods) to be accessible to the outside world, then you need to create a Route.

The OpenShift Router lives in the project default.

  • oc describe dc router -n default

Create a Route

  • oc expose service service_name

Example output:

Display a Route

  • oc get route

Example output:


To be continued while I progress through the lab.


I write free articles about technology. Recently, I learned about which provides free images. The image in this article is courtesy of Diego Madrigal at Pexels.