Dell EMC Pushes Computing to the IoT Edge

    There’s a battle under way for control over Internet of Things (IoT) gateways that will soon be employing processors as powerful as a server in a data center. Dell EMC OEM Solutions has unveiled an instance of an IoT gateway based on the 14th Generation PowerEdge servers the company just started delivering.

    Tracy Troyer, vice president of OEM custom solutions for Dell EMC, says the ruggedized PowerEdge XR2 is designed from the ground up to support, for example, analytics applications running at the edge of the network, also known as fog computing.

    Given the limited network bandwidth most IoT gateways will have access to, Troyer says there will be a need to run compute-intensive applications at the edge because transferring massive amounts of data back to a central data center is both costly and technically infeasible.

    “It makes more sense to run the application at the edge,” says Troyer.

    Most IT organizations are just getting started when it comes to pushing compute to the edge. Many of them, however, are likely to underestimate how much compute power will be required at the edge to run IoT applications that will first need to analyze massive amounts of data before they can automate a specific process.

    Troyer says Dell EMC already has 4,000 customers making use of its systems on some form of an OEM basis. In total, Troyer says Dell EMC expects IoT to become a $50 billion. That may account for why Dell Technologies, the parent company of Dell EMC, plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years crafting a distributed IoT environment using hardware from Dell EMC and software from VMware.

    Whatever the ultimate size of the IoT market, it is certainly going to equal and perhaps one day surpass traditional IT. The next big issue will be figuring out just who in any organization is going to manage those projects. In addition to IT organizations, most organizations have operational technology (OT) staff managing a wide variety of systems embedded in any number of processes. How those IT and OT groups come together in the months ahead might do more to determine how big IoT ultimately becomes than almost any other factor.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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