Open source is important to RackN.  We participate in and contribute to open communities for a wide range of reasons.  We believe that building open source software requires sustaining commercial models to support the open ecosystems.  The balance of an open core model is central to our strategy.

The open Digital Rebar project, APLv2 licensed, contains all the the critical abstractions for running a basic data center due to our workflow design. The unique Digital Rebar architecture includes layered extension points so that the abstractions can be clearly mapped into actual operational environments. The purpose of our design is to limit specific operational details from being hard coded into the base platform.  Hard coding would make Digital Rebar too opinionated and fragile.

We combined the central infrastructure abstractions with a powerful data center operations platform; however, Digital Rebar is not expected to deliver a zero cost data center operations product.

Running a production data center requires production software. The design goal for Digital Rebar is to provide a way to deliver portable automation and best practices. Those items will be a mix of community, internal and commercial extensions around the platform.

Data center focused open projects need neutral active maintainers. The maintainers fix issues, keep up with changing dependencies, manage the code gates and enforce community behavior. For a compiled and composed project like Digital Rebar, sustaining releases require ongoing build integration and release maintenance.

We apply the following tests to resolve when components are commercial:

  • Supports a SLA or production operations?
  • Interfaces with proprietary systems, software or equipment?
  • The open standard (e.g. IPMI) relies on a vendor specific implementation?
  • Interfaces or integration requires ongoing maintenance outside of the Digital Rebar version cycle?