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Automating the Edge: The MANTLE Difference

Insight from Rich Gallant, NTS Director of Software Sales  

IT Automation is a broad category in the world of technology, and a common question we’ve received recently is, where does MANTLE fit amongst other automation tools out there? 

In the IT world today, computing continues to move closer to where the data is generated. Whether that is networking, systems, or IoT as a catch-all category, the number of devices being fielded at the edge is growing exponentially. The edge is a complex and ever-changing environment with unique requirements, and edge automation has made significant strides in automating operations to reduce the complexity that comes along with extending infrastructure. MANTLE addresses those challenges as an automation tool purpose-built for the edge. However, where MANTLE fits amongst other tools out there and the critical need it’s solving, is what we call Day 0 infrastructure and only infrastructure.  

What we mean by this is that MANTLE focuses on the need to automate the initial stand-up and configuration of infrastructure that needs to be fielded. The network for connectivity, the virtual environment to host applications and services, and other IoT devices needed for operations. Initial configuration, particularly bare metal, is where MANTLE shines. There are powerful tools that exist for enterprise and cloud automation, but where they struggle to perform is during the initial Day 0 infrastructure builds. We see this, especially in DoD environments. It takes a lot of development and niche capabilities to support those efforts, including dealing with hardware that can be antiquated or next-gen, specific policies for security and stigs, as well as a complex series of steps for configuration that are required by some programs.

Cloud Native Edge Dominant – something MANTLE firmly believes in. To be cloud-native, you must have an immutable infrastructure with a cloud-native foundation. That is something that MANTLE provides to the edge, an immutable infrastructure that can automatically be built, configured, and then torn down and rebuilt as needed.

MANTLE is not a silver bullet. Automation is a large concept that will always require multiple tools to achieve a complete Infrastructure as Code solution. Our goal with MANTLE was to solve a critical problem that we did not see addressed in the market today: to take infrastructure and automate the build-out of those edge devices for Day 0 deployment. When it comes to deploying applications and services, and what we consider Day 1 deployment, there are other tools out there for that, tools that MANTLE integrates with as a full-scale solution.

Where does MANTLE Fit – this is a brief representation of where we see MANTLE fitting in the marketplace of automation tools. Every tool on here is powerful in its own right, but they tend to focus more on the applications and services side for automation. If they do get into infrastructure, it is very much cloud focused with a spin on managing services and applications, which is needed. MANTLE is built solely for infrastructure required for Day 0 operations.

Automation is a difficult task, and getting to a state of easy can be very hard. MANTLE was designed to take a complicated chunk out of the process by automating Day 0 infrastructure.   

This is where MANTLE fits in the world of automation. A cog, albeit a critical one, in a larger wheel to get to full Infrastructure as Code deployments. If you cannot automate your Day 0 infrastructure, then automation for Day 1 is still dependent on manual intervention, something MANTLE can remediate.

Putting it all together – This is a brief representation of what a more holistic approach can look like, with integration with tools that some may be more familiar with. Things like RedHat, Hashi Corp, Network to Code, and Gitlab. All tools used for their individual tasks within automation. MANTLE is a cog in that wheel and truly the enabler for edge infrastructure operations when it comes to automation.

To learn more about MANTLE’s capabilities and how you simplify operations at scale and gain control of your edge operations, click here


NexTech Solutions is focused on systems and network engineering to support cloud, hybrid, and edge solutions. We devote our time to truly understanding the unique mission requirements of our Federal clientele by building mission-driven solutions that meet today’s and tomorrow’s demands. Offering a diverse and customizable set of classified and unclassified capabilities focused on mission support.