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Dell Intros Enterprise IoT Bundles For Resellers To Target Food, Gas, Manufacturing

Dell Technologies will release a number of pre-integrated and pre-tested computer-vision and machine-intelligence bundles for its resellers to more easily cater to certain edge-computing and internet-of-things use cases.

The bundles, billed as secure and scalable, offer storage, security, network and data management, and orchestration. They bring together Dell’s own hardware solutions, including networking gear, switches, gateways, embedded PCs and server hardware, along with components from its own RSA security business, and solutions from its partners.

Notably, its partners on the project include Intel, providing the brains of the system, with computer vision functions from imaging sensors, and machine intelligence via structured telemetry from sensors and control systems.

VMware is providing the data management and cloud integration, with the latest version of its Pulse IoT Centre.

This pre-engineered starter-pack for resellers works as the core “engine” for a variety of technology bundles, said Dell. Its first solution, called IoT Solution for Surveillance, provides a modular, scalable solution for video surveillance, for deployment by city administrations, public institutions, and private enterprises.

Video surveillance

Dell described the surveillance module, available as a reference architecture today, and as a commercial bundle from October, as “hyper-converged and software-defined.”

Further bundles (see below) will be released through 2018, including for refrigeration systems and quality monitoring in the food industry, for remote monitoring in the oil and gas sectors, and for predictive maintenance “digital intelligence” in mid-market and large-scale manufacturing, respectively.

Dell is promising enterprises a rapid deployment, quick returns, reduced risk, higher security, increased flexibility, and greater reliability.

Pre-packed security includes micro-segmentation (NSX-T) and the ability to push over-the-air (OTA) updates and security patches in real time to all surveillance devices from camera to cloud.

It also will include holistic management capabilities across IT and operational technology concerns through VMware’s Pulse IoT Center and Software Defined Data Center.

Tech Data will handle distribution of the new IoT bundles among Dell’s reseller community in North America, Europe and beyond.

Joyce Mullen, channel president for OEM and IoT solutions at Dell Technologies, commented: Workloads and use cases for computer vision and machine intelligence require different combinations of tools, but the computing infrastructure elements are the same.

“Dell provides a scalable, secure, manageable and open infrastructure – spanning edge to cloud – so customers and partners can realise value today and build a foundation to support these workloads and case studies in the future.”

Market dynamics

Ken Mills, general manager for surveillance and security at Dell, noted surveillance technology in general is advancing, with 4k and 10k cameras often accepted as minimum resolutions for video monitoring, and certain markets requiring full high-definition by law.

The combination of high-end camera hardware with new sensor technology, advanced analytics techniques and spiralling demand for storage is placing higher demand on new IT infrastructure, and strain on public and private resources.

“We’re not just seeing this in government implementations, but in higher education campuses, healthcare, safe cities, stadiums, airports, and [in the application of] digital evidence. Every vertical and customer segment is dealing with this transition from point solutions in the surveillance market to enterprise-class data-centre ready solutions,” he said.

Mills described four transformations around video surveillance, as a consequence of the advancement of technology and expectations: IT transformation, where the “architectural requirements a system had yesterday will not work today”; digital transformation, around analytical techniques like computer vision and artificial intelligence; workforce transformation, with the swap-out of “low-end PC desktops” for “high-performing endpoints” to render and manage digital intelligence; and security transformation, from the edge, through the core network and the cloud.

Mike McDonough, development leader for Dell’s IoT solutions division: commented: “We are trying to drive simplicity. Before this, there were some great solutions in the ecosystem, but no single company could offer all of the components… This is more than just a bundling of software.

“We have had to work in the labs for many months, to get this software and hardware aligned. There have been times where we have had to stop, and re-think. It’s not been easy. With that, we have come to market with a fully resilient, highly flexible architecture, that can scale up and out, not just on the hardware side, but on the software side too.”

Pulse Center

Meanwhile, VMware said its new Pulse IoT Center 2.0 management software now supports up to 500 million connected devices.

“There is no other solution in market that can say this. This is what will help us innovate with OEMs, and customers, and help to connect industries, like the automotive industry and smart cities,” commented Mimi Spier, vice president of VMware’s IoT and edge business.

The Pulse 2.0 solution also brings greater simplicity. The system will automatically provision Dell gateways for sundry IoT cloud platforms. Microsoft’s Azure, PTC’s Thingworx, and SAP’s Lenoardo were given as examples by Spier.

She also said the Pulse 2.0 system enables docker container management, down to gateway level. “This is how Microsoft will scale out its solution; it can’t do it without Pulse. We will do this for a lot of these platforms, so they can be scale out across any device.”

VMware has made further enhancements around alerts, actions, and security, with greater visibility of the live statuses of systems devices, and new provisions for role based access, multi-tenancy, and risk access. – Enterprise IoT Insights

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