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Kubernetes distributions comparison

The Kubernetes landscape is vast and complex. If you are looking to compare different enterprise Kubernetes distributions, have a look at the table below. Kubernetes by Canonical stands out because it delivers multi-cloud operations, enterprise-grade security and optimal price-performance.

Get in touch Learn more in the Kubernetes comparison whitepaper ›
Kubernetes Certified Service Provider

Some categories are rated out of 5 for easy comparison

  Canonical Kubernetes Red Hat Openshift Rancher
CNCF Conformant Yes Yes Yes
High availability Yes Yes Yes
Automated updates & patches Yes
Automated upgrades between versions Yes Yes
Edge support
5 out of 5


4 out of 5


5 out of 5


Single-node edition Yes Yes Yes
Managed Kubernetes offering Yes Yes
Container runtime and registries
5 out of 5

ContainerD, Docker, Kata

Private registries, DockerHub, rocks, public cloud registries

3 out of 5

CRI-O, Kata

Private registries, DockerHub, public cloud registries

4 out of 5

ContainerD, Docker

Private registries, DockerHub, public cloud registries

5 out of 5

Flannel, Calico, Cilium, Kube-OVN, Canal, TIgera EE, Multus, SR-IOV, Juniper Contrail

4 out of 5

OpenShift SDN, Flannel, Nuage, Kuryr, OvS, Multus, SR-IOV

3 out of 5

Canal, Calico, Flannel, Weave

5 out of 5

Ceph, NFS, Cloud Storage, NetApp, vSphere, FlexVolume, PureStorage

4.5 out of 5

Ceph/Rook, GlusterFS, NFS, Cinder, Flexvolume, vSphere

4.5 out of 5

GlusterFS, NFS, vSphere, Longhorn

Monitoring and Operations Management Yes Yes Yes
Multi-cloud deployments
5 out of 5

Juju, Cluster API

3 out of 5


4 out of 5

Terraform, Helm

Native AWS/GCP/Azure integration Yes Yes Yes
Native OpenStack/VMware integration Yes Yes Yes
GPU support for accelerated workloads Yes Yes Yes
Bare metal deployment Yes Yes Yes
Architectures supported X86, POWER, ARM, Z, s390x X86, POWER, Z X86
Pricing $$ $$$$$ $$$
Kubernetes cloud

Multi-cloud deployments & operations

Model-driven Kubernetes Operators. Supported or fully managed from public cloud to on-prem.

Charmed Operators streamline your Kubernetes deployments and operations across all clouds. Get started with our K8s Architecture Design and Deployment Workshop and our Cloud-native Migration Services. Enjoy peace of mind with Managed Kubernetes from Canonical.

Secure Kubernetes

Hardened platform. Immutable containers. Security patching.

Canonical Kubernetes runs in immutable containers to provide for better security out of the box. Integration with K8s RBAC, Active Directory and LDAP, CIS hardening by default, encryption at rest and automatic security patching ensure you get the most secure Kubernetes in the market.

Security shields

Canonical Kubernetes pricing

Predictable pricing model. No licence fees. Enterprise support.

Canonical's support services for Kubernetes follow a per host pricing model to bring you the best price-performance. Just count the number of physical or virtual machines you want support for and get coverage through Ubuntu Pro, without any additional licence or support fees.

Kubernetes resources

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Need help with K8s?

Let our expert cloud team help with:

  • Project evaluation
  • Requirements and feature parity
  • Pricing and TCO assessment

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