This section provides Helm learning resources to help you understand and learn the differences between Helm charts and operators, as well as the phases and capabilities of Helm.

Helm Overview

Helm is a tool to help assist with containerized application deployment and management. Think of Helm charts as the controller logic for application deployment. Helm is fairly basic in its capabilities but is still a powerful tool in helping get containerized workloads up and running. If you are interested in Helm technology but are not sure where to begin, navigate through the following resources. The first link is an introductory overview of Helm, the second link goes over the features and general value of using Helm, and the last resource is a course created by IBM that covers Helm fundamentals including Helm commands, Helm chart templates and yaml files, and chart repos and app deployment.

Helm Capabilities

There are several use cases and reasons to cause you to utilize a Helm chart versus a Kubernetes operator. This is going to depend on what level of configuration and management you need for your application. Both technologies are mechanisms to deploy and maintain Kubernetes applications, and both are supported within OpenShift.

A helm chart is for applications with simple state management, They can be deployed by developers or non-administrators, no host-level privileges are needed, and they can handle Day 1 and Day 2 tasks. This is a good option for applications with more simple upgrade steps.

Operators, on the other hand, are for stateful applications with much more complex data needs. They require more expertise and investment. Operators are deployed by a cluster admin, require privileged cluster access, and they automate Day-2 operations.

Utilize the following resources to learn more about the differences in capabilities between Helm charts and operators and how Helm can also complement operator development.

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