This page explains what’s open and what is not in the v4 Digital Rebar Platform.  In the August 2019 v4 release, RackN simplified the license model.

Open source is important to RackN as an enabler of collaboration.  We participate in and contribute to open communities for a wide range of reasons.  We believe that offering open source software encourages collaboration within our operator community to improve data center operations together.  

The fourth generation Digital Rebar platform provides both an open API for operating a data center and an open catalog that automates everything from firmware patching, out-of-band management and operating system installation to deploying platforms like Kubernetes and vCenter.  RackN builds the API and components in the open with input from our community.

While the platform API and content catalog is open, RackN does not maintain our Digital Rebar implementation as a free data center operations platform.  A commercial support model with production scale operators is required to sustain the platform.

To provide commercial support, the implementation behind the Digital Rebar API is maintained as a licensed product by RackN with a free tier.  This allows us to extend the platform for scale, multi-site, security and enterprise use cases. In addition, RackN also strongly curates Digital Rebar foundational content (mainly hardware focused items) to ensure its reliability for production operations.  We follow this model to ensure that the Digital Rebar platform can be trusted for production operations.

Our vision is for operators to openly collaborate around best practices while ensuring they have a trustworthy platform to build upon.  Our balance of open and commercial license approach reflects that goal.

Generation 4 clarifies the boundary between open and proprietary
Layer Component Generation 3 Generation 4
Content Platforms, Apps, Etc Mixed Digital Rebar APLv2
Ops Best Practices RackN Digital Rebar APLv2
O/S Image Deployer RackN Digital Rebar APLv2
OOB & Firmware RackN Digital Rebar APLv2
Utility Workflows RackN Digital Rebar APLv2
O/S Install Templates Mixed Digital Rebar APLv2
Platform Agents (Runner) Digital Rebar APLv2 Digital Rebar APLv2
CLI Digital Rebar APLv2 Digital Rebar APLv2
Sledgehammer Digital Rebar APLv2 Digital Rebar APLv2
API Digital Rebar APLv2 Digital Rebar APLv2
Enterprise Extensions (Multi-Site, SSO, RBAC) RackN RackN
Web UX RackN RackN
API Implementation Digital Rebar APLv2 RackN
Commercial Support RackN RackN