The following list of features describes core capabilities build into the Digital Rebar platform.   Looking for something else?  Return to the top level feature page.

Looking for more details?  Download our RackN Key Features and Differentiation white paper.

DRP Service, CLI and Agent

While the core service runs as a single binary for the Digital Rebar API, there are client components that are also distributed with the service.  The CLI and Agent (both are available in the DRPCLI binary) interface with the service to provide workflow and machine management.

Secure Hardware

Allows Machines to use secure components during network boot provisioning process.  This is required to enable signed operating systems to use the trusted platform module (TPM) available in most server platforms.

Note: additional secure components are required for VMware ESXi secure install.

Single Sign On (SSO)

Allows operators to delegate user sign on to an external system, such as Active Directory, instead of using the Digital Rebar integrated authentication system.

Automation Chains / Server Workflow Contexts

Contexts extend Workflows to run from the Digital Rebar Server (or other external service) instead of the Machine.  This extends the automation chaining  capabilities to manage any type of device ranging from a switch, storage or sensor to a complete platform as part of our normal infrastructure as code (IaC) workflows.  One important benefit of Contexts is that they leverage devices’ own APIs or CLIs running safely in containers used without specialized programming.

Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and Multi-Tenant

RBAC security provides fine grained control integrated into the user management API.  Operators are able to define roles with specific restrictions based on component, action and data identifiers. 

Multi-Tenant is an additional control beyond RBAC because it allows operators to partition Machines into resource groups for multiple users.

Pooling / Cloud API

Pooling abstracts Machines into resource groups that can be allocated generically from a single API.  This enables cloud-like behavior because operators can request a Machine based on an attribute map rather before assigning a specific Machine(s).  The Pooling system also provides operator Workflows for allocation and reallocation processes.

Pooling is used to interface with Terraform, ClusterAPI and other clients that expect cloud-like behavior.

Multi-Site Manager / Distributed Control Plane

A distributed management system connects multiple Digital Rebar sites in a federated way.   Each site retains autonomous control over it’s resources while also providing multiple single-pane-of-class management mirrors that get updates and delegate requests.

In addition to view, RackN managers ensure that distributed sites synchronize Infrastructure as Code components based on specialized content catalogs.

See Multi-Site Manager for more information.

High Availability (HA)

Integrated High Availability (HA) clusters enable Digital Rebar endpoints to create a local redundancy grid in the event of a failure.  This includes provisioning, DHCP and workflow state information.  The HA system leverages Digital Rebar internal transaction support so no external data synchronization is required.

Encrypted Parameters

Digital Rebar protects sensitive information by internally encrypting select data to prevent storing of cleartext secrets.  This feature is deeply integrated into the Infrastructure as Code models and can be controlled discreetly per parameter.

Ansible Integration

Digital Rebar supports multiple Ansible integration strategies to protect operators’ investment in Ansible Playbooks.  These integrations include:

  • Using Digital Rebar API as a dynamic inventory source
  • Tasks for running local plays during Digital Rebar workflow
  • Running Ansible Playbooks on the Digital Rebar Server using the context system.

Customers may find that these options completely eliminate the need for Ansible Tower.

Return to the top level feature page.