• United States
by Marc Ferranti

HPE edge offerings merge analytics, applications and IoT systems control

News Analysis
Nov 28, 20185 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsInternet of ThingsNetworking

HPE is uniting information and operational technology in edge-network hardware and software systems.

Credit: HPE

HPE is offering new Edgeline Converged Edge System hardware and software designed to let enterprises not only control machines in their facilities, but also manage and analyze the sea of data generated by devices and sensors at the edge network.

The new software lets enterprise network managers and data-center administrators merge data from a variety of third-party applications and remotely manage as many as thousands of Edgeline hardware systems, which are capable of running unmodified enterprise applications, HPE said at its Discover Conference in Madrid Tuesday.

Citing data from Gartner, HPE noted that within the next four years, 75 percent of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud, up from less than about 10 percent now.

“The big picture is that we are graduating our company from just being a data-center, IT cloud company to an intelligent-edge company – we are aggressively going after a marketplace that is not the data center, and at the edge there is going to be much more data produced as more things are connected and we want to be able to derive value from the data, we want to have our customers act on it,” said Tom Bradicich, general manager and vice president of IoT and converged systems at HPE.

For industrial entrprises, this means HPE is merging traditional IT with operational technology. “With OT, meaning control systems – customers can control, actuate the things out there – we can actuate the robotic arm, we can control the server stacks in a facility because that’s the end goal,” Bradicich said.

hpe_edgeline_ot link_workflow_engine HPE

The HPE Edgeline OT Link Workflow engine lets users orchestrate and connect a variety of applications via a drag-and-drop interface.

HPE’s new EdgeLine OT Link Platform, due out in the first quarter next year, is a workflow engine and application catalogue designed to let users orchestrate components and applications and merge data from various platform via a drag-and-drop user interface.

The OT Link Platform will work with a variety of cloud services including AWS, Google and SAP Cloud, said Bradicich. It will also work with IoT platforms from companies like GE and PTC, he said.

Complementing the OT Link Platform are HPE Edgeline OT Link certified modules , which are adapters that connect to OT systems, enabling bi-direcitonal, time-sensitive control and communication via high-speed digital I/O, CAN (controller area network) bus, Modbus and Profibus protocols, HPE says. The modules are available now with pricing starting at $189.

Other software announced  by HPE at Discover includes:

  • The HPE Edgeline Integrated System Manager, which is embedded into HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems hardware and features one-click provisioning, ongoing system health management, remote updates, and management even in scenarios where there are only intermittent wired or wireless connections.
  • HPE Edgeline Infrastructure Manager, designed to remotely manage as many as thousands of Edgeline Converged Edge System devices. It’s available now with pricing starting at $499.
  • The HPE Edgeline Workload Orchestrator, which hosts a central repository for containerized analytics, AI, business and IoT applications that can be pushed to HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems at the edge. The central repository can reside on one Edgeline system, and containerized applications can be pushed to specific Edgeline devices on an as-needed basis, Bradicich said.

In addition, HPE said it is releasing a new Edgeline system, the EL300 Converged Edge System, that will be bundled with the Infrastructure Manager and targeted at industrial IoT applications. These systems effectively merge OT and IT in industrial IoT scenarios, for enterprise software programs as well as applications that control industrial devices.

“We’re literally talking about control systems and industrial networks in the same box as computing systems, Intel processors, storage and memory and IO – all those functions are in the same box for the first time,” Bradicich said.

The Edgeline systems are designed to run full-fledged enterprise applications when needed even when the Edgeline devices are not connected to a data center or the cloud. “If your factory is in a geographically challenging area the last thing you want to do is to be relying on a network or cloud service that might not be there all the time; this is very particular to the operational technology side of the game,” said Peter Havart-Simkin, research director for IoT for Gartner, in an interview before the Discover conference.

The HPE Edgeline EL300, priced at starting at $2,532, is a fan-less, low-energy system equipped with Intel CoreTM i5 processors, up to 32GB of memory and 3TB of storage. It will also support Intel Movidius Myriad X vision processing units to enable video analytics and AI inference at the edge, HPE said.

This week’s announcements follow on HPE CEO Antonio Neri’s pledge in June to devote $4 billion to advance the development of edge products, services and engineering initiatives throughout the organization, in areas including connectivity, security, automation and AI. Edge-network computing, he said, presents opportunities for enterprises as they decentralize their data-capture and analytics capabilities to capitalize on the flood of information generated by IoT and mobility technology.