With the advent of distributed infrastructure systems such as cloud computing and edge computing, the management of applications, services, and data has become a major challenge for businesses. Administrators managed applications and data on-premises before the advent of cloud computing. This local control made them easier to monitor and control. However, distributed infrastructure systems have widened the scope of management across hybrid environments, making it challenging for organizations.

This summer RackN earned a new patent: System and method of distributed edge configuration management. It addresses the distributed infrastructure management dilemma.

What is the distributed infrastructure management dilemma?

The distributed infrastructure management dilemma is the problem of managing systems that exist across multiple platforms and multiple clouds, the edge, together with on-premise infrastructure. Traditionally, this problem required a great deal of planning, strategy, and a deep understanding of the distributed infrastructure ecosystem. However, those traditional methods relied on a centralized control platform, and this usual led to drift between sites. It was a doable solution, but  the cost and time spent on the solution was far from ideal.

The newest RackN patent tackles the distributed infrastructure management problem with a solution that goes beyond conventional bounds. RackN Digital Rebar uses this technology and unique architecture to create a truly distributed infrastructure management system. But don’t let the name of the patent fool you, this technology doesn’t only apply to edge sites. The solution is for any organization infrastructure managing multiple locations that want control over their entire distributed system.

The patent acknowledgment that in large infrastructures, not all sites can (or should) be identical. In fact, they often shouldn’t be. This aligns with real-world needs of businesses that operate multiple sites, providing a solution to the challenge of handling different versions and configurations within a distributed infrastructure. This flexibility is critical, and it acknowledges that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for modern businesses.

The mechanics behind Patent 11757697

The heart of the patent is in how RackN leverages unique infrastructure as code (IaC) architecture. The RackN approach doesn’t force an active centralized system or identical sites. Instead, Digital Rebar makes composable and reusable IaC automation that is truly immutable and controllable. Automation as a core part of Digital Rebar. The platform creates infrastructure components for the entire distributed infrastructure.  Digital Rebar then manages, owns, version-controls, and distributes those components. Finally, the system ensures that there is no drift or deviation. Digital Rebar’s flexible, reusable automation capabilities makes it all possible. 

In distributed infrastructures, it’s not enough to have a control plane that spans multiple sites. Instead, it’s important to have a reliable way to identify which components reside at each site without needing to point to a central repository. The beauty of this approach is that administrators can define automation in a version-managed way, allowing each site to have differences while still adhering to a controlled and upgradeable pattern. Central management is not required when using the Digital Rebar method. As a bonus, this also stops inconsistencies from being introduced between sites. 

Framework of patented Digital Rebar distributed infrastructure management solution

Think beyond the patent name

The solutions from the patent aren’t exclusive; they’re applicable to similar challenges across many distributed infrastructure scenarios. This is an invitation to others in the field to learn from our success and apply these principles to their own needs. With Digital Rebar, businesses can build an infrastructure foundation that empowers them to tackle challenges and drive innovation. This patent is just one example of how RackN is shaping the future of infrastructure management. Learn more about other advancements RackN made in this blog post.

Happily, you don’t need to understand the technical magic required to use Digital Rebar. We’re glad to schedule a demo and show you how we’ve made multi-site management practical for all operators.