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.

Industrial Automation Network Security Initiative

Industrial Automation Network Security Initiative

Industrial automation networkingI wrote yesterday that there exist companies in our industry that exhibit the stability of leadership of National Instruments. Rockwell Automation is one of those. Rockwell additionally is attempting to move from an old-fashioned product-oriented company to one that seeks to express itself as an industry thought leader.

Keith Nosbusch, Rockwell CEO, has been personally involved with national discussions of manufacturing leadership. He has expressed his passion for the topic several times to me in personal interviews.

The next step is for the marketing and PR teams to learn how to promote the company as a thought leader in manufacturing. Rockwell has positioned itself firmly in the Ethernet camp for manufacturing networking infrastructure. Users of technology have deep concern for network security. Hence, a new initiative from Rockwell.

Network Security Initiative

Rockwell Automation announced an initiative on Aug. 5, 2013 to help manufacturers reduce security risks to control systems in response to growing cyber-security threats. The initiative will help automation and IT professionals more effectively secure their industrial processes with a combination of control system design and best practices, contemporary technologies and professional services from Rockwell Automation and its strategic partnerships, including Cisco.

“The rapidly evolving nature of the industrial security landscape makes it critical that today’s manufacturers view security as an ongoing business imperative, rather than a one-time investment event,” said Sujeet Chand, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Rockwell Automation. “A more secure network infrastructure will allow manufacturers to deploy contemporary technologies and emerging solutions, like mobility, virtualization and cloud computing, while still performing mission-critical automation functions. Rockwell Automation is dedicated to providing the technologies and resources that will help facilitate the design and management of a secure connected enterprise.”

Three-pronged Initiative

Defense-in-Depth Methodology: Addressing both internal and external threats by forming multiple layers of defense which help mitigate various types of risks. The Rockwell Automation defense-in-depth approach employed in an industrial control system design and operation helps manufacturers by establishing processes and policies that identify and contain evolving threats in industrial systems.

Secure Automation Architecture: The industrial control system represents the heart of production, and the security of information used for control, configuration and monitoring is critical. Rockwell Automation is committed to providing an evolving set of products and services that help to reduce risks, and better protect and enhance the security of your production assets. From active consulting engagements to specific product offerings, such as managed switches, secure communications, user authentication and access control, and end-point capabilities for tamper proofing and tamper evidence, Rockwell Automation is continuing to make investments to bring security practices and products to its customers.

Enterprise-Ready Industrial Security Solutions:

By teaming with Cisco and other industry leaders in physical network designs and software applications, Rockwell Automation is addressing both IT and industrial automation security challenges. Leveraging open-standard technology, Rockwell Automation and Cisco are helping manufacturers build a unified, secure environment from the enterprise to the end device on the plant floor. Together, the companies advocate for a common network architecture approach that helps decrease inconsistencies in network protocols, security practices and training. In the future, Rockwell Automation and Cisco will offer guidance on topics, such as resilient network design, access control, contextual identity management and protection of assets, through a portfolio of jointly developed industrial products and industrial control system security resources.

“Rockwell Automation and Cisco are leading the way in helping manufacturers recognize that information security spans from the plant floor through the enterprise,” said Guido Jouret, vice president and general manager of the Internet of Things business unit for Cisco. “It’s important to take what we’ve learned in the IT space and educate manufactures on the business value associated with taking a consistent and seamless approach to security. Together we’re delivering expertise and solutions to help secure their important physical and intellectual assets in a world with dynamic security threats.”

The industrial security initiative from Rockwell Automation is based on a multilayer network design approach that combines resiliency in the infrastructure with security-enabled, end-point devices to help manufacturers establish a sustainable security culture, conduct comprehensive security assessments, and deploy a robust security infrastructure across both automation and industrial IT assets. Core to the initiative is implementation of a secure network infrastructure based on the use of the standard Internet Protocol (IP).

Here are a few resources the company has offered:

Rockwell Automation Industrial Security products and technologies.

Rockwell Automation Security Services.

Rockwell Automation Reference Architectures for Manufacturing.

Design Considerations for Securing Industrial Automation and Control System Networks white paper.