RackN sells physical layer data center automation software. The core of that software, Digital Rebar, is maintained in the open under the Apache Public License v2. Many operators will find Digital Rebar more than sufficient to replace Cobbler and Foreman; however, Digital Rebar is a framework, it is not intended as a complete data center operations platform.

RackN extends the Digital Rebar core into a complete infrastructure automation solution. The following table shows the difference between Digital Rebar with and without the RackN extensions. We do not maintain multiple versions of Digital Rebar: all value added pieces leverage project extension points around the same core technology.

Digital Rebar + RackN for Production Data Centers

Functional Area Digital Rebar Digital Rebar + RackN
Provisioning O/S Netboot Open Source Linux Image Deploy Process, Proprietary O/S, Special Functionality
Architecture Support Basic AMD & ARM Vendor Specific Firmware
Power Mgmt Soft Power Controls IPMI, Redfish, etc
Security Integrated Token Auth Multi-Tenant & LDAP / OAuth
Multi-Tenant Key Locked in Open Open + Extensions
Machine Types Servers Switch, Storage, Container
Metal Cloud / Pooling No Yes via Plugin
Multi-Site Management No Yes via Plugin
Upgrade / Patch Manual Yes via Plugin
Support No – Best Effort, Master Only Yes – SLA based
Web UX No (& RackN up to 20) Yes
HA Configurations No Yes
Platforms Open w/o Support (K8s) Proprietary (VMware), Open w/ Support
Cloud Provision No Yes via Plugin