In New York City, on 10 October 2017, Dell Technologies unveiled its Internet of Things (IoT) vision and strategy, which comes in the form of a new IoT division as well as new IoT specific products, labs, partner program and consumption models. As revealed by the firm, at the event, Dell Technologies revealed that it is committed to helping its customers realise their digital future by safely navigating the complex and often fragmented IoT landscape.
IoT, a New Distributed Model for Computing
According to the firm, as more and more customers look to digitally transform their business, a new model of computing is emerging. For the last 15 years, the IT industry has seen the rise of Cloud Computing, a highly centralised model for delivering IT services. But in an age where every type of device, from phones to cars to oil rigs to robots to heart monitors are alive and intelligent, there is a requirement for a “distributed core” focused on real-time processing of information. These devices simply cannot wait for a response from centralised cloud infrastructure that may be ‘seconds’ away.
At the event, Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Technologies stated that: “IoT is fundamentally changing how we live, how organisations operate and how the world works.
Michael Dell continued by saying that: “Dell Technologies is leading the way for our customers with a new distributed computing architecture that brings IoT and artificial intelligence together in one, interdependent ecosystem from the edge to the core to the cloud. The implications for our global society will be nothing short of profound.”
As stated by the firm, customers have expressed a growing need for one company to pull together complete IoT solutions that can be deployed within their organisations. Dell Technologies’ approach to IoT is based on leading technology and services and a carefully curated partner ecosystem designed to realise value for customers today and prepare them for the future.
New Dell Technologies IoT Division
As revealed at the event, Dell Technologies’ new IoT Division will be led by VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell, and is chartered with orchestrating the development of IoT products and services across the Dell Technologies family. The IoT Solutions Division will combine internally developed technologies with offerings from the vast Dell Technologies ecosystem to deliver complete solutions for the customer.
“Dell Technologies has long seen the opportunity within the rapidly growing world of IoT, given its rich history in the edge computing market” explained Ray O’Farrell, VMware EVP & CTO, and general manager for Dell Technologies IoT division. “Our new IoT Division will leverage the strength across all of Dell Technologies family of businesses to ensure we deliver the right solution – in combination with our vast partner ecosystem – to meet customer needs and help them deploy integrated IoT systems with greater ease.”
Organic Investments in our IoT Future – Products, Labs, Partner Program
As revealed by the firm, over the next three years, Dell Technologies is investing $1B in new IoT products, solutions, labs, partner program and ecosystem.
Today, Dell Technologies already provides Edge Gateways, which can be secured and managed by VMware Pulse IoT Control Centers. Dell EMC PowerEdge C-Series servers have been enhanced for batch training and machine learning as a part of the distributed core. Dell EMC Isilon and Elastic Cloud Storage provide file and object storage for massive amounts of data and enable analytics through HDFS. Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) and Pivotal Container Service (PKS) provide an ideal platform for developing new cloud-based analytics applications. Virtustream’s PCF Service provides a managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry Service simplifying the deployment and operation of mission-critical cloud architected workloads in Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, while Virtustream Storage Cloud is available for off-premises cloud object storage. Finally, Dell Boomi connects relevant data to enhance cloud-based analytics and deep learning.
At the event, the firm also revealed new product developments, which include:
Dell EMC ‘Project Nautilus’: Software that enables the ingestion and querying of data streams from IoT gateways in real time. Data can subsequently be archived to file or object storage for deeper advanced analytics;
‘Project Fire’: A hyper-converged platform part of the VMware Pulse family of IoT solutions that includes simplified management, local compute, storage and IoT applications such as real-time analytics. ‘Project Fire’ enables businesses to roll-out IoT use cases faster and have consistent infrastructure software from edge to core to cloud;
RSA ‘Project IRIS’: Currently under development in RSA Labs, Iris extends the Security Analytics capability to provide threat visibility and monitoring right out to the edge;
Also revealed by the firm, disruptive technologies like processor accelerators will increase the velocity of analytics closer to the edge. Collaboration firms such as VMware, Intel and NVIDIA and the Dell Technologies Capital investment in Graphcore reflect opportunities to optimise servers for AI, machine learning and deep learning performance.
Project ‘Worldwide Herd’: For performing analytics on geographically dispersed data – increasingly important to enable deep learning on datasets that cannot be moved for reasons of size, privacy and regulatory concern.
Customers can also now visit one of the newly designed Dell Technologies IoT Labs.
At the event, Dell Technologies also revealed new IoT services initiatives which include:
IoT Vision Workshop – Identifies and prioritises high-value business use cases for IoT data – essentially how and where to deploy IoT analytics that drive business.
IoT Technology Advisory – Develops the overall IoT architecture and roadmap for implementation.
In addition, with the core focus on technology and services, Dell Technologies’ strategy is to grow the IoT footprint via a strong partner program and ecosystem.
Dell’s award-winning IoT Solutions Partner Program is a carefully curated, multi-tiered program comprising of more than 90 partners from enterprises like Intel, Microsoft and SAP to start-ups like Action Point, IMS Evolve, FogHorn and Zingbox, who presented at the event.
The program will now support partners across all Dell Technologies businesses, allowing for easier collaboration and implementation of blueprints.
An example of the partner ecosystem at work is the recent announcement that VMware and SAP are collaborating to create an integrated solution for IoT analytics and vertical applications. The solution utilises VMware Pulse IoT Center, SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo and is designed to help customers roll out IoT use cases faster and scale more easily.
Dell Technologies continues the commitment to openness and standardisation in IoT by participation in efforts such as EdgeX Foundry, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the OpenFog Consortium. Seeded by Dell source code, EdgeX Foundry is a vendor-neutral open source project building a common interoperability framework to facilitate an ecosystem for edge computing. Since launching in April 2017, EdgeX Foundry has grown to more than 60 member organisations. Recently the project announced its first major milestone with the ‘Barcelona’ code release, as well as an alliance with the IIC to collaborate on testbeds.
IoT is creating new revenue models for customers and, in turn, Dell Technologies is offering new financing options to support those customers in Africa and globally. In particular, Dell Technologies provides cloud-like payment options through Dell Financial Services flexible consumption models. These payment solutions are available across the Dell Technologies family of business and allow customers flexibility in technology acquisition and consumption.
Investments in IoT Future through Dell Technologies Capital
Dell Technologies Capital, the venture arm of Dell Technologies, is partnering closely with the new IoT division, providing industry insight and relationships to support its strategic agenda. Through its investments in promising startups and founders, Dell Technologies Capital provides a valuable link to the external innovation ecosystem, effectively accelerating the development and deployment of new IoT, AI and ML technologies and solutions. Dell Technologies Capital will be showcasing some of these startups and investments at the company’s New York IQT event, including:
- Edico Genome, creator of world’s first processor designed to analyze next-generation sequencing data
- FogHorn Systems, a leading developer of edge-device intelligence software for IoT solutions
- Graphcore, a developer of next-generation processors optimized to accelerate AI-solutions
- Moogsoft, a market leader in applying Artificial Intelligence to IT Ops (AIOps)
- Zingbox, a developer of IoT security solutions to enable the Internet of Trusted Things