Set it and Forget it Infrastructure: Introducing Universal Workflow

RackN Digital Rebar v4.6 is our most significant release milestone to date (read the launch announcement here). Universal Workflow is a new Digital Rebar feature that enables organizations to apply consistent, repeatable automation pipelines across every type of infrastructure in their global footprint. 

Universal Workflow brings integrated automation pipelines that facilitate ever-increasing scale and standardization demands of modern infrastructures. Additionally, Digital Rebar delivers this remarkable process standardization without restricting choice of hardware, OEM, or operating system vendor. 

What can Universal Workflow do for you?

Using Universal Workflow is simple. Initially operators assign a deployment objective for a machine.  After that, a machine or user action triggers the workflow. Then, the process automatically evaluates and starts the appropriate stages required to reach that deployment objective.  Stages include discovery, inventory, burn-in, maintenance, upgrade, patch, and even decommissioning actions. Stages can be executed across the catalog to infrastructures supported by Digital Rebar. 

Organizations using Universal Workflow enjoy the immediate benefit of a comprehensive automation pipeline. However, the overall process remains site-customizable.  Some operators choose to disable parts of this process until later. This gives them a method to start from a comprehensive process rather than having to start from scratch. 

Universal Workflow is the Provisioning Set it and Forget It Feature

Universal Workflow provides a standard, dependable baseline process. Specifically, it reliably delivers machines from discovery, to maintenance, to upgrade and patching, and decommissioning as a multi-vendor, distributed standard. 

Universal Workflow combines all of the existing Digital Rebar workflows into a dynamic chain. This chain detects the hardware type automatically, runs all the typical processes and applies the final application target.

It integrates the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) features of Digital Rebar out of the box. Operators don’t have to pick and choose components.  Digital Rebar dynamically detects and selects the right RackN and customer catalog components for the deployment objective. Then it applies them as a standard deployment pipeline.  

This is essential for scale operations that need consistent, repeatable processes for automation even when the underlying systems are different. Basically, this feature is the ultimate “set and forget” feature for provisioning.

IT Ops Stays in Control

No company should struggle trying to figure out how to make bare metal or operating system deployments work. This work can be delegated to the cloud, so these are not value added activities. The new goal is to operationalize challenging chores.

Above all, Universal Workflow never takes control out of the operators’ hands. Operators can install and operate Digital Rebar themselves. They can use the platform to provision, update, patch, and manage the infrastructure of their choice. They don’t need to keep up with the ever-changing nuances of that infrastructure! This relieves teams of figuring out the security in the BIOS patching or operating system installations. These processes will continue to included in ongoing Digital Rebar support and maintenance. 

Real Talk

The significance of Digital Rebar v4.6 is not in the scale that we’ve delivered, the ease of use enhancements that we’ve made, or the high availability that we baked into the core of the platform. 

We built a platform to ensure that our customers will never again have to worry about how to patch, how to upgrade, or how to coordinate operations across their infrastructure. Digital Rebar has now baked these chores into its codebase. And that is the significant component of integrative operational software from RackN.

Try it out for yourself, or read more about this release:

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