Dell Places $1 Billion Bet on Internet of Things

Dell Places $1 Billion Bet on Internet of Things

While at the Dell IQT kick off event in New York last month, I learned more about the breadth of Dell’s thinking about the Internet of Things.

It began with morphing embedded computer as a gateway (with memory and processing power and multiple connections).,

Added partnerships.

Added platform (EdgeX Foundry).

But that hardly seemed like something that warranted Michael Dell’s time during his past three Dell World / Dell EMC World keynotes.

Revealing the coming together of the various divisions of Dell Technologies, I learned about VMware Pulse IoT Center, an enterprise-grade Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure management solution that will enable IT and operational technology (OT) teams to have complete control of their IoT infrastructure and things.

Interestingly, the Internet of Things group has been promoted to division stature led by the VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell.

Here are a few details on the Pulse Center.

Solving the problems

Customers have challenges scaling from IoT proof-of-concept to production.
• on-board and manage of thousands to hundreds of thousands of connected devices;
• make sure those devices are working as they are supposed to; and
• keep the devices and data secure.

Dell cites core strengths of device and application management, infrastructure analytics, and security give us the IP and expertise to address these issues with an easy to use, single-pane-of-glass solution to help customers to more efficiently manage, operate, scale and protect their IoT projects from the edge to the cloud.

VMware Pulse IoT Key Features

• Edge Device Management – Support for heterogeneous things and gateways with different hardware, operating systems, and communication protocols
• Real-Time Infrastructure Analytics – Ability to identify anomalies with real-time monitoring and infrastructure analytics
• Sophisticated & Flexible Rules Engine- Ability to granularly define what, where and when things are updated
• Single point console- A single point of monitoring and management for the IoT infrastructure (across private networks comprising of edge systems and connected devices) for both IT and OT users
• OTA updates – Ability to provide over-the-air, real-time updates to all things/gateways no matter how remote the location
• Smart Data Orchestration- Delivery of relevant data where and when it is needed across the edge and in the cloud by integrating into enterprise systems
• Security Across IoT Value Chain- Provides security at thing, network and user level with software updates and NSX and VMware Identity Manager integration
• Visualize thing – gateway relationships- Provides pictorial representation of the topology of the IoT infrastructure – 2 tier or 3 tier – in a parent child relationship diagram
• Highly scalable – Supports hundreds of thousands of edge systems and IoT connected devices such as sensors and actuators.
• On Prem support– Offered as an on-prem solution for deployment flexibility and security. Future versions will also be offered as cloud-hosted.
• Enterprise Integrations- Quick and easy integration with existing server systems through a comprehensive API abstraction layer

Chief Customer Officer

I also met with Jim Ganthier, a Vice President who works in the office of the Chief Customer Officer. OK, there are lots of “Chiefs” running around corporations today. Since I am most interested in technologies and their uses in manufacturing and industrial, I didn’t have lots of questions. It was interesting to see that there is a “voice of the customer” at the executive level of a major corporation. We talked a lot about whether it was difficult for a global technology company to meet the varying privacy requirements found from nation to nation. He assured us that they had the technology to comply.

Chief Marketing Officer

A comment stood out in our conversation with Jeremy Burton, the corporation Chief Marketing Officer. “The last 20 years has seen technology used for efficiency. Now technology is a differentiator.”

Hmm, sounds like what I heard at Emerson. Maybe it’s a meme.

Disclaimer: Dell pays my expenses to its events and an occasional fee for posts. The views are always mine, and they never review before publication.

Internet of Things At Dell EMC World

Internet of Things At Dell EMC World

Enterprise begins to meet operations from the enterprise side of technology at Dell World—now Dell EMC World following the mammoth acquisition of EMC by Dell last year–via the Internet of Things. That followed Michael Dell leading the company into privately owned territory.

Michael Dell himself prominently mentioned manufacturing and Internet of Things (IoT) during his keynotes of 2015 and 2016. Perhaps not as much this year at the first totally combined conferences held May 8-11 in Las Vegas. But there was so much enterprise product news and so little time.

Dell also stressed the success of combining the companies as well as making clear the new organization structure of Dell Technologies—the company name—consisting of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware.

Digital Transformation formed the theme message of the week. This conversation consists of business transformation and applications changes rapidly taking place now. Part of the transformation is formed by IT Transformation requiring adoption and assimilation of a new generation of servers, applications, and technologies. Millennials’ expectations (and maybe also some of us “old” guys) fire the Workforce Transformation now building. One study found that 82% of millennials would quit or not hire in initially based upon the level of technology tools offered. Finally all this digital infrastructure, the cloud, and communications are fueling the Security Transformation.

Of course, Dell Technologies is positioned to lead in all of these. Michael Dell pointed out that the company is the leader in 15 Gartner Magic Quadrants.

Internet of Things

But we are really here to discuss the point of intersection of all this IT stuff with Operations Technology—the Internet of Things. Dell EMC IoT leader Andy Rhodes received prominent positioning during the Day Two Keynotes. As an aside, the Day Three technology keynotes blew away any really cool tech keynotes I’ve seen in the past. Must be nice to have marketing dollars.

By the way, at 5’10” I think of myself of at least average height. Talking with some of the IoT team leaders made me feel like a refugee from the Island of Lilliput. Andy Rhodes, Jason Shepherd, and Keven Terwilliger are 6’5”, 6’’7”, and 6’8” (if memory serves).

News Summary:
• New VMware Pulse IoT Center, Dell EMC IoT Technology Advisory Services simplify IoT deployments
• New IoT partnerships with Atos, Bosch and more
• Dell EMC and VMware, founding members of new EdgeX Foundry Linux Foundation project, join 50 other companies to build open framework for edge computing

New IoT Products and Services

Simplified “Things” Management – The new VMware Pulse IoT Center is a secure IoT infrastructure management solution that will enable customers to have complete control of their connected things. VMware Pulse IoT Center will help customers to more efficiently manage, operate, scale and protect their IoT projects from the edge to the cloud. Dell will be offering VMware Pulse IoT Center as the preferred enterprise management and monitoring solution for Dell Edge Gateways. By plugging Pulse IoT Center into the new EdgeX Foundry, VMware will be able to offer system and device management for the EdgeX ecosystem.

IoT Advisory Services – IoT Technology Advisory Service is a new consulting offer from Dell EMC Services to help organizations determine the key capabilities and architecture required to leverage IoT data (e.g., sensors, beacons, gateways, mobile phones, wearables, connected devices). This information can be used for initiatives such as optimizing key operational processes, reducing compliance and security risks, uncovering new revenue opportunities and creating more compelling customer engagements.

Open Source Framework for Interoperable Edge Computing – The Linux Foundation recently launched EdgeX Foundry, an open source software project chartered to build a common framework and surrounding reference platform for edge computing. It will drive interoperability between proprietary value-added applications and existing connectivity standards. It was started by a community of more than 50 companies such as AMD, Analog Devices, Dell EMC, Foghorn and VMware to enable an ecosystem of plug-and-play components that can be combined to quickly create secure and scalable IoT solutions. Dell contributed more than a dozen microservices and over 125,000 lines of source code under Apache 2.0 to seed the project, additional contributions are already underway from other members. EdgeX Foundry is architected to operate on any hardware, on any operating system and with microservices developed in any application environment for maximum scale.

I have previously written about the Open Source EdgeX Foundry. This, I feel is the most significant of the news. The VMware announcement shows the coming together of the various parts of the Dell Technologies portfolio. People studying IoT for implementation in their companies are considering whether going with a consultant is the wise thing to do. Dell EMC now offers that alternative.

Curated Partnerships

Dell has carefully curated a group of IoT software and services partners through the Dell IoT Solutions Partner and Dell EMC Partner Programs. Many partners have deep, proven expertise in industry-specific IoT challenges, and can help with everything from managing multiprotocol data sources to security to analytics. New partners recently added to the program include Atos, Bosch, GreatBay Software, ForgeRock, IOTech, Mocana and Modius.

Today’s key IoT partner news includes:
• Dell and Bosch have jointly developed an Industry 4.0 jump start kit to help customers implement IoT projects quickly to realize faster ROI. The kit consists of multiple Bosch XDK sensors, a Dell Edge Gateway, ready-to-go use-cases, cloud integration and software, all preconfigured.
• Atos and Dell EMC are working together to build an IoT service management framework, Atos Codex IoT Services, to allow customers to be assured that all users can continuously create value from their connected devices.

[DISCLAIMER: Dell Technologies provides some compensation to support my work. It does not edit what I do.]

Dell Celebrates One Year In IoT

Dell Celebrates One Year In IoT

I first learned about Dell entering the Internet of Things (IoT) market last October at Dell World. It introduced its first product—Edge Gateway 5000—and partnership with Microsoft. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the founding of the division. It has come a long way in a year.

The division not only has a couple of Edge Gateway devices, it also has released its first embedded computers. The significant partnerships have extended to Intel and, with the one-year press release announcement, VMware.

Dell Embedded PC

It also held a successful Think Tank session at Hannover Messe that showed off the commitment of several partners and the potential benefits to customers.

Dell Intel IoT Think Tank

Dell not only has aggressively signed on technology partners, it also has enlisted a number of OEM and integrator partners. Considering only a year passed since the division started, there were enough applications implemented that Dell and Intel hosted a “Connect What Matters”  IoT Contest from October 2015 to March 2016 to encourage businesses large and small to submit interesting, practical, data-driven ideas. There were many submissions leading to announcement of 16 winners with $600,000 in total prizes.

VMware, Nokia, Eurotech and others joined the program, while DGLogik , Exara, and FogHorn were promoted from Registered to Associate tier.

“We’re  proud of the progress that we’ve  made this past year,”  said Andy Rhodes, executive director, Commercial IoT Solutions, Dell. “With the launch of the Edge Gateway and Embedded Box PCs, our quickly growing partnership program and now our successful IoT Gateway Contest, our efforts underscore Dell’s  deep commitment to driving IoT adoption for real world use.”

IoT Contest Winners

The platinum winner is V5 Systems , a provider of portable, solar-powered security and Industrial IoT solutions. This technology can be deployed without being tied to power or data cables for applications from law enforcement to agriculture to other outdoor uses. The portable units contain analytics, multiple sensors (including video, acoustic and chemical detection), power, computing and Wi-Fi and cellular communications. V5 evolved its intelligent security platform to support more use cases and technologies by working with Dell OEM Services to provide intelligent gateways for use at the edge of networks expanding Industrial IoT applications.

Gold winners include:

  • Eigen Innovations  who built a video analytics solution that leverages thermal imaging cameras and PLC/sensor data for real-time process and quality control
  • Iamus  leveraged its IoT platform and facilities management expertise to build a unique smart streetlamp solution for various applications in smart city project.
  •  applied its unique technology to turn a manually-dependent, subjective farming operation into a highly-instrumented and autonomous example of precision agriculture
  • RiptideIO  created a packaged software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution designed to scale in small retail building spaces
  • Software AG  built a predictive maintenance solution that includes in memory edge analytics for acting on collected machine data in real-time

Silver winners include AZLOGICA , Blue Pillar , Calibr8 Systems Inc, Daliworks , ELM Energy , Independent Automation , Onstream , PixController, Inc, , PV Hardware  and We Monitor Concrete.

IoT Partner Program

Dell’s continued expansion of its IoT Partner Program , which now consists of almost 50 companies, is designed to offer customers a broad spectrum of industry-specific expertise in conjunction with Dell’s reputation as a global leader in computing technology.

Additionally, VMware has qualified its new Liota (Little IoT Agent)  open-source software development kit (SDK) with Dell’s IoT hardware, providing customers with further choice for IoT gateway management and the ability to build apps on Dell’s gateway. LIOTA also acts as a bridge to VMware’s  AirWatch and VMware vRealize Operations  to allow customers to configure, monitor and deploy millions of things from one console, view device health and act on anomalies as they arise. With Liota open-source SDK, developers can write applications that interact with any data center component, over any transport, for any IoT gateway.

In the spirit of the program, three partners that have demonstrated differentiation have been promoted from the Registered to Associate tier. DGLogik  offers an end-to-end platform for Industrial IoT and Building Automation applications with a particular focus on enabling the rapid creation of rich data visualizations with its DGLux offering. Exara  is collaborating with Dell and Intel to deliver digital oil and gas production optimization solutions that leverage software-based edge data management technology. Exara’s software delivers machine data at any fidelity, any view and always on -demand to enterprise customers and applications without compromising existing industrial control system security or service levels. FogHorn’s  platform is purpose-built to enable edge intelligence and analytics for gateways in Industrial IoT use cases, hosting high performance processing, analytics, and heterogeneous applications closer to control systems and physical sensors. Also joining the program as new Associate partners are KMC Controls, Eurotech, Nokia, and V5 Systems.

“Working with Dell h as allowed us the opportunity to expand our product offering and our product vision with the Industrial IoT as our primary focus,” said Mazin Bedwan, Co -Founder and President, V5 Systems. “We have integrated the Dell IoT gateway into our technology offering taking edge computing and Industrial IoT to the outdoors; where it belongs.”

“Working together with our customers and partners, including gateway vendors such as Dell, VMware is paving a way for IoT innovation across industries,” said BaskIyer, chief  information officer, VMware. “Our Liota  open source SDK provides the libraries to develop apps that connect and orchestrate data and control flows across things, gateways and the cloud.”

“As IoT moves from hype to reality, the diversity of applications an d use cases among the IoT Innovation contest winners clearly demonstrates the value developers and customers can capture by implementing real IoT solutions.” said Jonathan Ballon, vice president in the Internet of Things Group  (IOTG) and general manager of the Markets and Channels Acceleration Division from Intel. “Through our partnership, Dell and Intel are able to provide re-usable building blocks that will help these applications scale in the future.”

Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.