Rockwell Automation Announcements From Automation Fair at Home

I posted overall thoughts from the opening day of Automation Fair at Home yesterday. It’s not that all is rosy in Milwaukee, but the company keeps making strides forward and yet goes its own way not bothering to emulate any competitors.

Several announcements have accumulated that I thought would fit along with Automation Fair thoughts. We have an acquisition, a partnership, and a new product series.

First, the acquisition. 

Rockwell Automation Acquires Fiix Cloud Software for Maintenance Solutions

Rockwell Automation announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Fiix, a privately held, AI-enabled computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) company. Fiix, founded in 2008, is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Fiix’s cloud-native CMMS creates workflows for the scheduling, organizing, and tracking of equipment maintenance. It connects to business systems and drives data-driven decisions. The company’s revenue grew 70% in 2019 with more than 85% recurring revenue. Fiix has more than 2 million assets under management and creates more than 6 million work orders a year.

“We believe that the future of industrial asset management is performance-based,” said Tessa Myers, vice president, product management, Software & Control, for Rockwell Automation. “With the addition of the Fiix platform and expertise, our customers will benefit from a 360-degree view of integrated data across automation, production, and maintenance, helping them to monitor and improve the performance of their assets and optimize how maintenance work is done.”

James Novak, Fiix CEO, said, “From the beginning, Fiix has been on a mission to connect maintenance and operations teams to the tools, resources, and technology they need to modernize and join the future of maintenance. Joining Rockwell Automation will allow us to help even more companies modernize maintenance and increase asset performance by connecting to industry-leading data, automation, and production systems.”

Fiix will be reported as part of Rockwell Automation’s Software & Control operating segment. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the 2020 calendar year, subject to customary approvals and conditions.

Second, the partnership.

PlantPAx 5.0 Running on ztC Edge by Stratus

Stratus Technologies announced a “Solution in a Box” process control architecture for fast, easy deployment at edge locations that require 2,000 I/O’s or less. The solution runs Rockwell Automation PlantPAx 5.0 software on Stratus ztC Edge. The solution is performance tested, characterized, and validated by Stratus and Rockwell Automation to ensure reliable, rapid deployment by operations teams and systems integrators using a single industrial-grade, panel mounted Edge Computing device.

“Whether it’s control in Water and Wastewater management, Machine Builders innovating for their customers, or managing remote assets in Oil & Gas, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving operational excellence. Enterprises require plant-wide data and control solutions with high availability that can both scale up and scale down based on the use case and location, while being cost effective and easy to implement,” said Dave Rapini, Business Manager for PlantPAx at Rockwell Automation.

The ability to bring mission-critical applications to where they’re needed most via Edge Computing delivers the scale and real-time data acquisition for operational excellence. Stratus’ simple, protected, and automated platform with fault tolerance and zero-touch operation is powering the disaggregation of large process architectures, traditionally deployed at level 3 and 4 of the Purdue model. The combined Stratus and Rockwell Automation “Solution in a Box” architecture provides a flexible approach to scale Industry 4.0 capabilities across a range of environments that was not previously possible.

PlantPAx is a plant wide distributed control system (DCS) that utilizes a common automation platform to integrate both process and discrete control as well as plant-wide information. ztC Edge is an industrial-grade Edge Computing platform that offers built-in redundancy and meets Class 1 Division 2 requirements to operate in hazardous environments. 

Architecture Details

The tested Solution-in-a-Box architecture includes:

  • Rockwell Automation PASS-Consolidated Image 
  • PASS (Process Automation System Server) – FactoryTalk View
  • FactoryTalk AssetCentre
  • FactoryTalk Historian
  • FactoryTalk VantagePoint
  • Rockwell Automation Application Server -OWS – ThinManager remote desktop server (RDS) for remote, mobile, and tablet access 
  • Stratus ztC Edge 110i (single system with a redundant option) – tested in fault tolerant and high availability modes

And thirdly, a new product series.

High-Performance, Scalable Kinetix Integrated Motion Drives

Rockwell Automation’s motion business has expanded its Kinetix line of servo drives with intelligent and scalable solutions.

The new Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5300 servo drive is a fully integrated, CIP Motion solution for global machine builders looking to increase performance and leverage a single-design environment for control and motion. When paired with the new TLP motors, customers get a coordinated platform as they extend the power of the connected enterprise into simple machines, an approach that positions Rockwell Automation to accelerate growth in emerging markets throughout Asia and mature markets in Europe. The new product line, combined with the rest of the Kinetix family, provides a complete range of servo drive offerings from Rockwell Automation for everything from small, standalone machines to large, complex systems. 

The Kinetix 5300 servo drives are designed for diverse machine applications such as electronics assembly, packaging and converting, printing and web (CPW). The new drives also feature capabilities that can help simplify machine design and optimize performance throughout the machine lifecycle. Like other Kinetix integrated motion drives, Kinetix 5300 leverages Studio 5000 as a single design environment. Using a single family of servo drives allows machine builders to program all their drives in this one design environment and reuse code across drives, streamlining the design and commissioning process. Kinetix 5300 native integration with Logix control enables smart tuning capabilities that adjust for changes in inertia and resonances automatically, helping to optimize machine performance and simplify machine maintenance over time. 

“Our expanded portfolio provides machines builders a complete family of scalable servo drives for diverse applications,” said Bill Kegley, director, product management – motion control at Rockwell Automation. “Now with the addition of the Kinetix 5300 to our family of servo drives, we are in a position to deliver truly scalable and intelligent motion solutions that help our customers achieve productivity and sustainability for a wider range of applications.”

[Note: I have been asking for a few years for a working application of CIP Motion at a customer site. If anyone reading this has one, please contact me. If you don’t want mentioned, just say so. In 20 years, I have yet to violate a confidence. But enquiring minds want to know…. Thanks.]

North America Manufacturing Event Announces 2021 Date

Much good has come from virtual conferences replacing manufacturing events, but I’m looking forward to a hybrid of the best of virtual plus meeting with colleagues, making new friends, and asking impromptu questions. When will they begin?

Here is an event scheduling for next August. I hope by then we’ll be back on track. (Disclaimer: I have family in the airline business.)

This advanced manufacturing event – composed of Automation Technology West (ATX), Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing (D&M), PLASTEC West, and WestPack – announced the 2021 edition of the conference and exhibition – historically slated for the February timeframe – will now be held August 10-12, 2021 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.  

Backed by key stakeholders and partners, the decision to schedule the event at a later date follows careful consideration from event organizers, Informa Markets – Engineering, with the community top of mind. The 2021 edition will feature the full comprehensive program including Center Stage, Design Dome, Tech Theater, dynamic panel discussions, live demonstrations, expert speaker presentations, and more.

In the interim, Informa Markets – Engineering will bring the manufacturing community cultivated by brands ATX, D&M, MD&M, PLASTEC, and Quality in November, 2020 for five days in a virtual setting featuring efficient networking, best-in-class education, buyer and seller sourcing, combining the power and reach of regional venues – Anaheim, Minneapolis, Montreal, and New York – the all-new digital event will have an international reach.

Dubbed Virtual Engineering Week this online event features a conference program and expo hall hosting hundreds of virtual exhibitor booths, scheduled to take place November 30 – December 4. It features the latest innovations, one-on-one meetings, live demos, live Q&As covering timely topics from 3D printing and next-gen technologies to packaging trends and sustainability.

“MD&M West is one of the largest shows we exhibit at and features the most qualified roster of attendees across applications; the new business we derive each year is unparalleled,” said Julia Morgenstern Abada, Marketing Communications Manager at Kyocera International. “We are excited to extend the premiere networking and education to the November and August months via the virtual and in-person offerings.”

“The support from our community to hold the 2021 event in August coupled with the excitement surrounding an introduction of a virtual platform this November is phenomenal. We are thrilled to offer another touchpoint for professionals, purchasers, and buyers to meet thousands of suppliers from globally renowned businesses at Virtual Engineering week,” said Hayley Haggarty, Group Event Director, Informa Markets – Engineering. “We understand continuous education is a key component fueling the longevity and sustained innovation of the advanced manufacturing industry and look forward to feeding the industry’s immense appetite in both a virtual and in-person setting this Winter and Fall.”

Virtual Summit To Feature Open Source Networking and Edge

Looking for an opportunity to learn about the leading edge of Open Source community work? Check out the Open Networking & Edge Summit next week.

  • Deep Dive demonstrations on 5G, Edge, IOT, O-RAN, AI, Cloud Native & CNFs covering most important enterprise, cloud and telecom use cases 
  • Expert live sessions on “Why Open Source for Edge?” answered – Over 75% say collaborative market creation and adoption acceleration are top factors for participating in open source 
  • Total value of software created by shared innovation model totals $7.3B (2000+ Devs over 6+ years), according to new COCOMO research, “Estimated Development Value of LFN Software”
  • 5 tracks, 13  keynote presentations, 80+ sessions with thousands of peers attending to collaborate on business value of open networking & edge 

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling innovation through open source, has marked significant progress in the open networking and edge spaces. In advance of the Open Networking and Edge Summit happening September 28-30, Linux Foundation umbrella projects LF Edge and LF Networking demonstrate recent achievements highlighting trends that set the stage for next-generation technology. “We are thrilled to announce a number of milestones across our networking and edge projects, which will be on virtual display at ONES next week,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IOT, at the Linux Foundation. “Indicative of what’s coming next, our communities are laying the groundwork for markets like cloud native, 5G, and edge to explode in terms of open deployments.” Recent Acceleration within Networking & Edge includes:

  • LFN is shepherding the culmination of Cloud Native and 5G (5G Cloud Native demo, OVP, which now includes Cloud Native requirements). 
  • The industry is becoming accustomed to a new way of compliance and verification  out in the open (via OVP) – be it cloud native, 5G, Edge, or otherwise. 
  • SDN + NFV: OPNFV celebrates its sixth birthday as CNTT prepares to issue its Baraque release; meanwhile, OpenDaylight issues Aluminum, its 13th release. 

“We are together in a tough period. Thanks to all developers and contributors of LFN and LF Edge to tirelessly propel various projects to be on the trac,” said Dr. Junlan Feng, chief scientist at China Mobile, general manager of AI and Intelligent Operation R&D Center, and LFN Board chair. “Cloud Native and 5G are also top priorities of China Mobile to strengthen the experience of our customers. For moving forward, we see there is a great opportunity to fuse together network automation and network intelligence through ONAP, Acumos, Edge, etc. EUAG under LFN is conducting a study to collect and analyze the common requirements of 5G and intelligent network in our industry. We as a community will continuously work together. Thanks to Linux Foundation for taking the lead.”

At the edge, unification has happened and projects (e.g., Akraino, EdgeX Foundry, and Fledge) have delivered deployable code. And the new LF Edge Vertical Solutions Group is working to enable easily-customized deployments based on market/vertical requirements. Opportunities exist for end users across verticals – e.g., enterprise, automotive, industrial – to participate in shaping the direction of how open source gets deployed at the edge.

Join the launch event, “Launching the LF Edge End User Community” on October 1, co-located with ONES. “Open source collaboration from edge to network is critical to achieve compatibility and complementarity.  ONES is THE event for communities to come together – learning about the latest trends in projects and determining how to evolve technology across boundaries and borders, ” said Melissa Evers-Hood, governing board chair for LF Edge and vice president, Intel Architecture, Graphics and Software, Software Business Strategy.

Technology in action at Open Networking & Edge Summit

See innovation in action during the virtual ONES event, September 28-30 and immerse yourself in the latest open source innovations across networking and edge with community-driven demos in the LF Networking & LF Edge Pavilion. The demos will be open throughout the event but visit during booth hours to engage with the demo managers and ask questions. Key demonstrations include:

  • OVP Automation DevOps: Agile Adoption in VNF/CNF based Network Service Industry: This demo will leverage ONAP SDC, ONAP VF-C, and OVP VTP projects to build DevOps for OPNFV Verification Program end-to-end VNF and Network service testing which helps to address agility, automation, and testing challenges.
  • Self-Healing Using Streaming Analytics & Observability for Latency Sensitive Kubernetes Workloads: This demo showcases components necessary towards zero touch infrastructure automation using Kubernetes enhancements, streaming analytics, host telemetry, and a viable path to deployment.
  • Real-Time Sensor Fusion for Loss Detection: This demo shows how different sensor devices can use LF Edge’s EdgeX Foundry open-middleware framework to optimize retail operations and detect loss at checkout. 
  • Managing Industrial IoT Data Using LF Edge: LF Edge projects EVE and Fledge will show how they can securely manage, connect, aggregate, process, buffer and forward any sensor, machine or PLC’s data to existing OT systems and any cloud.

The event also features expert keynote speakers, 80+ sessions, and five separate tracks, including: Business Critical & Innovation; Carriers: Core/Edge/Access; Cloud Networking & Edge; Enterprise, Networking & Edge; and Sponsored Tutorials.Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, ONES is being offered virtually for only $50 US. Register today and join the community September 28-30:

Support from Project Technical Steering Committee Chairs

Akraino

“Launched in 2018, and founding project of LF Edge umbrella, Akraino delivers an open source software stack that supports a high-availability cloud stack optimized for edge computing systems and applications. With three successful releases, the community of over 40+ companies engaged worldwide, more than 20 fully integrated edge blueprints, blueprints tested in 15 user labs and a community lab, and a growing list of user deployments across the globe, Akraino truly become the enabler of edge computing use cases across Telco, IoT, Cloud, and Enterprise use cases,” said Kandan Kathirvel, TSC-Chair, AT&T, and Tina Tsou, co-chair, Arm. “This ONES event will be an opportunity to learn more about the edge use cases and Akraino solutions to it.”

EdgeX Foundry

“EdgeX Foundry is in its 4th year of development as a Linux Foundation project.With 6 successful releases, a community of over 180 committers worldwide, more than 7 million container downloads, and a growing list of commercial companies adopting and using EdgeX (like Accenture, HP, ThunderSoft, Tibco, IOTech Systems, and Jiangxing Intelligence), we believe EdgeX has established itself as one of, if not the, premier open source edge solution frameworks,”  said Jim White, TSC Chair, EdgeX Foundry and CTO of IOTech. “We are excited that ‘edge’ has been incorporated into the formerly Open Network Summit, and we are looking forward to our participation in the new “edge” tracks with our fellow LF Edge project members.”

Fledge

“Fledge is an open source framework and community for the industrial edge focused on applications for critical operations, condition-based monitoring, predictive maintenance, quality, situational awareness and safety. Fledge integrates IIoT, sensors, machines, processes and other industrial assets with existing ISQ95 systems and the cloud” said Mark Riddoch, Fledge TSC Chair.  ” Fledge 1.8 is a mature, field-tested solution operating in power generation/transmission/distribution, water and wastewater processing, oil and gas, discrete manufacturing,  pharma and professional auto racing.  We invite manufacturers, equipment suppliers, system integrators, and partners to use Fledge and join our community as we grow THE open source application stack for industrial transformations.”

Open Horizon

“Being a young stage one project, Open Horizon is grateful for the opportunity to meet so many people active in the open source networking and edge computing areas.  Despite not being able to meet face-to-face, the Linux Foundation’s LFN and LF Edge have provided us with a great format that allows us to have personal, in-depth discussions with anyone who is interested from the comfort of home, and without needing to shout over the crowds to be heard.  We hope you’ll come visit us and enjoy our short demo,” said Joe Pearson, TSC chair, Open Horizon and Technology Strategist, and IBM Cloud. 

OPNFV

“This event will be an opportunity to learn about the pivotal changes, new emphasis, and growth in the OPNFV community. OPNFV’s conformance testing and infrastructure projects, led by the contributions of Orange and many other industry leaders, will soon benefit from even more Telco participation as the CNTT task force members merge with OPNFV. Also, we have paid-forward our successes by taking-on many Linux Foundation Networking Interns in OPNFV this year. Join us and hear our stories,”  said Al Morton, OPNFV TSC Chair.

ONAP

Our ONAP Community is actively working on the certification of our 7th Major Release (Guilin) scheduled for the end of this year. This release continues to increase the support for 5G in areas of network slicing and O-RAN integration, ETSI (e.g. SOL007) and 3GPP standards, as well as our E2E CNF Orchestration chain,” said Catherine Lefevre, AVP-Network Cloud and SDN Platform Integration, AT&T, and chair of the ONAP Technical Steering Committee. “The ONES Summit is a great event where enterprises who have embraced ONAP can showcase their latest innovations. Also, do not miss our demo corners, which will illustrate areas such as: Onboarding 5G CNFs with ONAP, Policy-based RAN Management using O-RAN’s Open-Source Non-RealTime-RIC, ONAP Policy Framework Integration with Bell Canada’s Control Loop Use-cases, and much more. We also invite you to our special panel, ‘ONAP & Cloud Native – the Best of the Two Worlds’,  where we will present an overview of our ONAP Cloud Native journey.”

State of the Edge (SOTE)

“As edge computing goes mainstream it will bring forth a wave of technologies that require cooperation across the entire ecosystem to deliver value to end customers,” said Matt Trifiro, CMO of Vapor IO and co-chair of The Linux Foundation’s State of the Edge project. “The Open Networking and Edge Summit creates opportunities for technologists and end users to collaborate around open source for edge and networking that will revolutionize the cloud, robotics, artificial intelligence, healthcare, manufacturing, data centers, mobile devices, smart cities, and autonomous vehicles.”

The Cobot “Virtual” Expo

Organizations and companies have been exploring how to do a virtual trade show for more than 20 years. I can remember the early efforts…and shudder. However, we now have a “witch’s brew” of pandemic, increasing bandwidth, improved interactive graphics, browser advances such as HTML 5 and more which have coalesced into a good user experience. If they could replicate the hallway conversations and chance meetings, perhaps some travel could be eliminated. But I still prefer being there.

Yesterday robot industry veteran Joe Campbell, who is now sr. manager of applications development with Universal Robots, gave me a tour of the UR Cobot Expo. It is officially concluded, but you can still visit everything except for the chat functions for the next 30 days. And the expo is pretty cool. Pandemic restrictions have forced creativity upon marketers and designers, and most of the events I have attended have been well worth the time. Certainly this one is if you have any interest in exploring this technology area at all.

“The Cobot Expo” offers American manufacturers flexible automation solutions with a rich experience with an extensive range of product news and demonstrations, featuring more than 30 different booths, insightful keynotes, interactive QAs, and live chats with automation experts (these latter are not active now).

As I’ve written before, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that resilient businesses—those that can emerge with plans for growth—can react quickly and decisively to protect workers while keeping business running, adapting processes and product lines, with many manufacturers now increasingly using collaborative robots to make those changes efficiently and cost-effectively.

“The crisis has accelerated the need for flexible automation,” says Campbell. “We’re seeing an uptick in interest for collaborative robots due to social distancing requirements, reshoring to avoid long supply chains, and the need for rapid production line change-overs. The Cobot Expo is a timely opportunity to showcase and discuss how cobots can play a pivotal role in helping manufacturers successfully navigate the pandemic.”

The Cobot Expo is free to attend and is open for anyone with an interest in collaborative robotics (on demand only now). Attendees are invited to visit booths that feature new insights and resources on the most common cobot applications such as machine tending, packaging and palletizing, product inspection, assembly, welding, dispensing, and finishing. Joining this lineup is ActiNav, the world’s first autonomous bin picking kit for machine tending launched by Universal Robots this spring.

For expo visitors wondering how to get started with collaborative robots, numerous keynotes with live QAs will offer insights on critical topics such as how to identify good projects, choosing the right cobot model and peripherals, conducting risk assessment, whether to take a DIY approach or go with an integrator, and much more. The agenda also has presentations on cobot maintenance and programming and the many new ways cobots are quickly being deployed to address the COVID-19 crisis, including area disinfection, the manufacturing of test kits, face shields and ventilators, and in the handling of COVID-19 tests, protecting hospital staff from exposure.

The Cobot Expo is also an opportunity to meet the many UR+ partners presenting the industry’s largest and most comprehensive ecosystem of new products certified to integrate seamlessly with the UR cobots. The rapidly expanding UR+ platform now includes over 250 UR+ components and application kits with more than 400 approved commercial developer companies in the UR+ program.

The UR+ partner booths include: ATI Industrial Automation, Energid, Flexibowl, Flexxbotics, Hexagon, Mircopsi/Nvidia, New Scale Robotics, OnRobot, Piab, Robotiq, Schmalz, Schunk, SMC, Vectis, Vention, VersaBuilt, Visumatic, Wiretank, and Zimmer.

Alongside the UR+ partners will be booths hosted by Association for Advancing Automation (A3) and OEM partners showcasing products powered by UR cobots. The OEM partners include: Columbia Okura/Rocketfarm, Computech, Hirebotics, IRIS, Melton Machine, ONExia, and ProCobots/Easy Robotics.

“With tradeshows and conferences cancelled, we are experiencing phenomenal interest from all industry stakeholders in participating in the Cobot Expo,” says Campbell. “This truly is an extraordinary opportunity for an extraordinary time.”

HPE Edge Orchestrator Delivers Low-Latency Cloud Services At the Edge

• Enables telcos to monetize 5G networks and edge infrastructure by delivering new low latency cloud services at the edge via an app catalog

Remember two things if you meet the typical profile of a reader of this blog—it’s all happening at the edge and production/manufacturing are the edge; and data is the gold we’re mining and hype of the cloud is so over, it’s about gathering, analyzing, orchestrating, and sending all the data gathered at the edge to some sort of cloud.

I’ve been watching developments of 5G (and not so much WiFi6, but it’s a partner) for some time. It’s hard to separate the hype from reality—something that always happens at the early stage. Marketers can’t prevent themselves from trying to hype their companies as ahead of the curve, while engineers have been quietly pushing the curve.

So I was able to watch some sessions at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Discover Virtual Experience on this very topic. HPE’s Aruba is a leading supplier of communication products. Following is the lead announcement from last week.

HPE Edge Orchestrator, a SaaS-based offering enables telcos to deploy innovative new edge computing services to customers via IT infrastructure located at the edge of telco networks or on customer premises. With the HPE Edge Orchestrator solution, telcos can extend their offerings to include a catalog of edge computing applications which customers can deploy with a single click, across hundreds of locations. HPE Edge Orchestrator enables telcos to monetize the 5G network and telco cloud while bringing lower latency, increased security and enhanced end-user experiences to their customers.

Analysts expect the next decade to see the rise of edge computing where data intensive workloads such as AI, machine learning (ML), augmented and virtual reality apps will be hosted at the edge. Telcos already have thousands of edge sites powering mobile and fixed networks, so they are uniquely positioned to lead the edge services market. In fact according to a recent IDC study, 40% of enterprises trust their telco to be their main provider of edge solutions. However, until now telcos haven’t had the tools to do this themselves without relying on public cloud providers.

HPE Edge Orchestrator gives the power back to telcos. Now they can offer value-added edge services in their own right and can move from being primarily bandwidth providers to offering innovative edge computing applications, such as AI-powered video analytics, industrial automation and VR retail services. New revenue from these high-value enterprise services will also help to cover the significant cost of deploying new 5G infrastructure.

• Telcos can move from being primarily bandwidth providers to offering innovative edge computing applications

HPE Edge Orchestrator unleashes the deployment and configuration of customer applications, provided as virtual machines or containers, at geographically distributed edge locations owned by telcos, such as existing central offices or on customer premises. Customers can access edge applications via a self-service app catalog for simple management, monitoring and the deployment of an app to an edge device with one-click operation.

HPE Edge Orchestrator enables enterprises to easily combine their applications with network services offered by telcos, thus creating an end-to-end flow across the edge. Today, HPE Edge Orchestrator supports Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) with other network-as-a-service (NaaS) functions being added to the catalog over time. The MEC platform enables applications to run at the edge, while delivering network services that ensure a dynamic routing of edge traffic in 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi environments.

To capitalize on the edge services opportunity, telcos need to bring applications from the cloud out to the edge where the data exists. With HPE Edge Orchestrator, along with HPE Edgeline and ProLiant servers, telcos can position application intelligence at the edge and unlock major business benefits for their customers:

  • Lower latency: When applications can process requests locally instead of routing them to a data center, they can deliver much better performance. This translates to a better user experience for any business application. For the new generation of ultra-low-latency use cases like augmented reality and industrial automation, short round-trip times are absolutely essential.
  • Bandwidth optimization: Positioning application intelligence out at the edge, such as doing number-crunching closer to where the numbers are generated, greatly reduces the wide-area network (WAN) bandwidth the application requires. This translates to lower WAN costs for businesses and less traffic congestion in telco core and metro networks. Applications like video analytics become much more efficient and, as a result, applicable to use cases that might not have been viable in the past.
  • Improved security and privacy: Any time businesses transmit data over a network, they’re potentially exposing it to security threats. For the most sensitive information, some businesses want to keep everything onsite. In regions with strict privacy protections like the European Union, some applications may simply not be viable unless they can process all personally identifiable information (PII) locally.

New edge computing offerings start with compute platforms optimized for deployment at remote operator sites (central offices, radio towers, other point of presence (POP) locations), or even directly at the customer premises. For example, HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Servers, such as the EL4000 and EL8000, have been specifically designed to run at the edge. Platforms like these host all of the components needed to manage the edge computing workloads in containers or VMs.

HPE Edge Orchestrator provides a centralized, comprehensive, hardware agnostic orchestration platform to provision, configure, and perform general management functions for all components of edge computing. HPE Edge Orchestrator is also multi-tenant by design.

Telcos can give diverse enterprise customers their own “private” interfaces to manage their workloads, sites, edge devices, and services, while their own teams manage the entire CSP edge computing portfolio as a single system. HPE Edge Orchestrator can also work in conjunction with the recently announced Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP), enabling enterprises to easily integrate both Wi-Fi-based and telco services.

HPE Emphasizing Software As Part of Pivot to As-a-Service Vision

HPE Discover Virtual Experience wrapped up last week, but I have much to think about and report. The HPE team did an excellent job pulling together a conference where we saw many different living rooms and home offices. Tough job; well done.

The release of a new software portfolio from HPE may sound more to the interest of enterprise architects, but I have already seen demos of where this also aids the coming together of OT and IT in order to bring the production side of an enterprise into more of a value to the enterprise. This is important toward the counteracting of recent enterprise history where production was a “black box” and corporate financial geniuses viewed it as something that could be moved around chasing low cost.

From the blog of Kumar Sreekanti, CTO and head of software at HPE, we learn about the coming together of Ezmeral—brand name for the software portfolio.

Digital transformation is being amplified by an order of magnitude. In fact, many business leaders that I’ve spoken with are now embracing a digital-first strategy—to compete and thrive in the midst of a global pandemic. And the enterprises that use data and artificial intelligence effectively are better equipped to evolve rapidly in this dynamic environment. Now these data-driven transformation initiatives are being accelerated to enable faster time-to-market, increased innovation, and greater responsiveness to the business and their customers.

As CTO and head of software at HPE, my focus is on delivering against our edge-to-cloud strategy and vision of providing everything as a service. Software is a very critical and important component of this strategy. It’s also essential to helping our customers succeed in their data-driven digital transformation journeys, now more than ever.

We’re committed to providing a differentiated portfolio of enterprise software to help modernize your applications, unlock insights from your data, and automate your operations—from edge to cloud. Today, we announced that we’ve unified our software portfolio with a new brand: HPE Ezmeral.

The HPE Ezmeral portfolio allows you to:

  • Run containers and Kubernetes at scale to modernize apps, from edge to cloud
  • Manage your apps, data, and ops – leveraging AI and analytics for faster time-to-insights
  • Ensure control for governance, compliance, and lower costs
  • Provide enterprise-grade security and authentication to reduce risk

Business innovation relies on applications and data. The apps and data running the enterprise now live everywhere—in data centers, in colocation centers, at the edge, and in the cloud. Most of the applications running businesses today are primarily non-cloud-native; and data is everywhere, with more and more data being generated at edge. Our customers are having real issues with non-cloud-native systems that will not or cannot move to the public cloud due to data gravity, latency, application dependency, and regulatory compliance reasons. Data has gravity, so our customers want to bring compute to the data not data to the compute. And because data is exploding, it’s driving the need for AI and machine learning at enterprise-scale—with the ability to harness and leverage petabytes of data.

Our customers want flexibility and openness; they want to eliminate lock-in. They want pay-per-use consumption in an as-a-service model. They want open solutions that give them the best of both worlds—with a modern cloud experience in any location, from edge to cloud. We address these needs by providing HPE GreenLake in the environment of your choice, with a consistent operating model, and with visibility and governance across all enterprise applications and data. Our software provides differentiated IP to deliver these cloud services through HPE GreenLake.

And in today’s news, we announced new cloud services from HPE GreenLake. This includes new HPE GreenLake cloud services for containers and machine learning operations—powered by our HPE Ezmeral Container Platform software to run containerized applications with open source Kubernetes, and HPE Ezmeral ML Ops software to operationalize the machine learning model lifecycle.