NetBox is an infrastructure resource modeling (IRM) tool for network automation. It was initially developed at DigitalOcean to address the needs of network and infrastructure engineers.

It addresses aspects of network management, such as IP address management, equipment racks, types of devices and where they are installed, connections among devices, virtual machines and clusters, long-haul communications circuits and providers, and secrets. 

It was defined with three key tenets in mind:

  1. Replicate the real world
  2. Serve as a “source of truth” 
  3. Keep it simple

According to the documentation, the scope of its feature set is limited in order to ensure that development is focused on the right areas and to prevent scope creep. Examples of functionality that NetBox doesn’t provide include network monitoring, DNS server, RADIUS server, configuration management, or facilities management. However, NetBox can be used to populate external tools that perform those functions. 

NetBox was built on the Django Python framework and it uses a PostgreSQL database. It runs as a WSGI service on an HTTP server.