Itential Patents Its Approach to Hybrid Cloud Automation


By: Mary Jander

In a move that reinforces the importance of automation and integration for cloud networking, Itential has been awarded two patents for its cloud-native platform designed for NetDevOps.

The patents relate to specific technologies in the Itential Automation Platform that enable it to create end-to-end network and IT system infrastructure orchestration and automations.

The first patent, U.S. Patent No. 11,665,241 B1, describes a “federated API generation process.” This is the heart of how Itential incorporates a specific system entity into its automation framework. The patent covers the way that Itential creates a “universal format” for the particular proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) associated with servers, routers, switches, edge devices, and other gear. The actual patent filing sums it up this way:

“Network components, such as servers and other devices, transmit and receive electronic communications according to standards and protocols native to those network components. Aspects of the present system detect those native standards and furthermore generate a federated API that allows for the content of the electronic communications to be represented in a universal format.”

The second patent, U.S. Patent No. 11,354,491, relates to how human NetDevOps personnel interact with Itential’s Automation Platform. The patent wording states:

“The system translates the extracted data to a human - readable format for displaying the data to a system user and allowing the user to modify or provide additional parameters.”

While it's true that platforms such as Red Hat's Ansible and HashiCorp Terraform help managers automate infrastructure, Ansible relies largely on a low-level scripting approach and Terraform doesn't have configuration capabilities for networking devices. On the vendor side, many vendors are entrenched and need to be dragged kicking and screaming to expose their APIs because they would rather remain a closed environment -- it's easier to lock people in. Managers need help -- they need better third-party tools.

That's where Itential comes in. Itential has made it a lot easier to manage multivendor networking gear by providing unique networking software that enables practitioners to build, test, and deploy low-code automation and orchestration workflows for managing deployments, network changes, and configuration and compliance across hybrid, multi-cloud network infrastructure.

Itential’s Patent Team

Both of the new patents are credited to Itential CTO and co-founder Chris Wade and VP of product development Michael Wymer. And they represent a core validation of Itential’s “shift left” approach. As Chris Wade said in the press release:

“These patents are critical building blocks of our current portfolio capabilities and future product roadmap. Our vision is to transform network and infrastructure operations, and we are committed to driving innovation in support of a more integrated, programmable, infrastructure-first automation ecosystem. These patents represent an important milestone for Itential, as it advances our efforts in building a robust IP portfolio in support of our value proposition of delivering infrastructure automation at scale.”

One of the key takeaways from the patent awards is the strength of Itential’s innovation in this area. The capability to ingest networking protocol APIs from multiple systems and devices and to then provide IT with the means to orchestrate and manage those entities has helped shape a market that’s only going to increase in importance as hybrid cloud becomes the dominant model for enterprise tech infrastructure.

There is no doubt that networking is growing more complex than ever, with the need to connect disparate IT domains, cloud computing environments, and data services. This type of automated network innovation will only become more important. Manual configuration of networking connectivity is no longer a possibility in the realtime world.

Futuriom Take: Itential’s patents demonstrate real technology applications for NetDevOps, which can be used to programmatically connect traditional enterprise, hybrid cloud, and private clouds.