At RackN, we think of Physical Ops in Cloud-first terms. DevOps and SRE minded operators services need real APIs, day-2 ops, security and control as primary design requirements. Deep within the Digital Rebar full life-cycle hybrid control was a cutting-edge bare metal provisioning utility. As part of our v3 roadmap, we carved out the DR Provisioner to also work as a stand-alone service.
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10 Critical Features of DR Provisioning:
- Swagger REST API & CLI. Cloud-first means having a great, tested API. Years of provisioning experience went into this 3rd generation design and it shows. That includes a powerful API-driven DHCP.
- Security & Authenticated API. Not an afterthought, we both HTTPS and user authentication for using the API. Our mix of basic and bearer token authentication recognizes that both users and automation will use the API. This brings a new level of security and control to data center provisioning.
- Stand-alone multi-architecture Golang binary. There are no dependencies or prerequisites, plus upgrades are drop in replacements. That allows users to experiment isolated on their laptop and then easily register it as a SystemD service.
- Nested Template Expansion. In DR Provision, Boot Environments are composed of reusable template snippets. These templates can incorporate global, profile or machine specific properties that enable users to set services, users, security or scripting extensions for their environment.
- Configuration at Global, Group/Profile and Node level. Properties for templates can be managed in a wide range of ways that allows operators to manage large groups of servers in consistent ways.
- Multi-mode (but optional) DHCP. Network IP allocation is a key component of any provisioning infrastructure; however, DHCP needs are highly site dependant. DR Provision works as a multi-interface DHCP listener and can also resolve addresses from DHCP forwarders. It can even be disabled if your environment already has a DHCP service that can configure a the “next boot” provider.
- Dynamic Provisioner templates for TFTP and HTTP. For security and scale, DR Provision builds provisioning files dynamically based on the Boot Environment Template system. This means that critical system information is not written to disk and files do not have to be synchronized. Of course, when you need to just serve a file that works too.
- Node Discovery Bootstrapping. Digital Rebar’s long-standing discovery process is enabled in the Provisioner with the included discovery boot environment. That process includes an integrated secure token sequence so that new machines can self-register with the service via the API. This eliminates the need to pre-populate the DR Provision system.
- Multiple Seeding Operating Systems. DR Provision comes with a long list of Boot Environments and Templates including support for many Linux flavors, Windows, ESX and even LinuxKit. Our template design makes it easy to expand and update templates even on existing deployments.
- Two-stage TFTP/HTTP Boot. Our specialized Sledgehammer and Discovery images are designed for speed with optimized install cycles the improve boot speed by switching from PXE TFTP to IPXE HTTP in a two stage process. This ensures maximum hardware compatibility without creating excess network load.
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