Sites and Racks

Sites

How you choose to employ sites when modeling your network may vary depending on the nature of your organization, but generally a site will equate to a building or campus. For example, a chain of banks might create a site to represent each of its branches, a site for its corporate headquarters, and two additional sites for its presence in two colocation facilities.

Each site must be assigned a unique name and may optionally be assigned to a region and/or tenant. The following operational statuses are available:

  • Planned

  • Staging

  • Active

  • Decommissioning

  • Retired

The site model also provides a facility ID field which can be used to annotate a facility ID (such as a datacenter name) associated with the site. Each site may also have an autonomous system (AS) number and time zone associated with it. (Time zones are provided by the pytz package.)

The site model also includes several fields for storing contact and address information as well as geolocation data (GPS coordinates).

Regions

Sites can be arranged geographically using regions. A region might represent a continent, country, city, campus, or other area depending on your use case. Regions can be nested recursively to construct a hierarchy. For example, you might define several country regions, and within each of those several state or city regions to which sites are assigned.


Racks

The rack model represents a physical two- or four-post equipment rack in which devices can be installed. Each rack must be assigned to a site, and may optionally be assigned to a rack group and/or tenant. Racks can also be organized by user-defined functional roles.

Rack height is measured in rack units (U); racks are commonly between 42U and 48U tall, but NetBox allows you to define racks of arbitrary height. A toggle is provided to indicate whether rack units are in ascending (from the ground up) or descending order.

Each rack is assigned a name and (optionally) a separate facility ID. This is helpful when leasing space in a data center your organization does not own: The facility will often assign a seemingly arbitrary ID to a rack (for example, "M204.313") whereas internally you refer to is simply as "R113." A unique serial number and asset tag may also be associated with each rack.

A rack must be designated as one of the following types:

  • 2-post frame

  • 4-post frame

  • 4-post cabinet

  • Wall-mounted frame

  • Wall-mounted cabinet

Similarly, each rack must be assigned an operational status, which is one of the following:

  • Reserved

  • Available

  • Planned

  • Active

  • Deprecated

Each rack has two faces (front and rear) on which devices can be mounted. Rail-to-rail width may be 10, 19, 21, or 23 inches. The outer width and depth of a rack or cabinet can also be annotated in millimeters or inches.

Rack Groups

Racks can be organized into groups, which can be nested into themselves similar to regions. As with sites, how you choose to designate rack groups will depend on the nature of your organization. For example, if each site represents a campus, each group might represent a building within a campus. If each site represents a building, each rack group might equate to a floor or room.

Each rack group must be assigned to a parent site, and rack groups may optionally be nested within a site to model a multi-level hierarchy. For example, you might have a tier of rooms beneath a tier of floors, all belonging to the same parent building (site).

The name and facility ID of each rack within a group must be unique. (Racks not assigned to the same rack group may have identical names and/or facility IDs.)

Rack Roles

Each rack can optionally be assigned a user-defined functional role. For example, you might designate a rack for compute or storage resources, or to house colocated customer devices. Rack roles are fully customizable and may be color-coded.

Rack Reservations

Users can reserve specific units within a rack for future use. An arbitrary set of units within a rack can be associated with a single reservation, but reservations cannot span multiple racks. A description is required for each reservation, reservations may optionally be associated with a specific tenant.