Living on the Edge – With Edgeline Converged Edge Systems

By Ron Neyland

If you are an IoT enthusiast like me, you know that the term “living on the edge” has taken on a whole new meaning. And recent developments make it possible for us to generate even more excitement and achieve even better results out there on the edge. Let me explain.

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Until recently, there was a rudimentary view of compute solutions for the IoT and edge IT, i.e., that which is not in the data center or cloud. It fundamentally involved low-powered devices with very limited compute capability. These devices were primarily used to acquire data from sensors and send it off to a distant cloud or datacenter for analysis. As end users began to look at edge compute, they found this approach to be lacking for many use cases. This customer feedback has caused a number of the leading IoT software providers to rethink their “send it all to the cloud” approach. The result is that end users, software vendors, and HPE are designing architecting systems that employ enterprise-class, high-performance compute right at the edge, right where the data is captured.

HPE identified this need for high performance compute at the edge early on. We designed our Edgeline Converged Edge Systems specifically to fulfill this need. These systems deliver the performance required for performing compute intensive tasks in a package that is designed for harsher, non-datacenter environments. Not only does the Edgeline family bring high-performance compute to the edge, it also pioneers the first “convergence” of IT systems --- compute, storage, and (iLO) systems management, with OT (Operational Technology) such data capture and control systems. No other vendor offers this integration of IT and OT, making the HPE Converged Edge Systems a truly unique tool for IoT and edge IT deployments.

Why is high performance computing needed at the edge? To produce secure, real-time, actionable insights without the delays, bandwidth constraints, and vulnerabilities of sending all the data to the cloud. Why is a convergence of OT and IT systems in one box needed? The same reason why you don’t carry around a separate camera, GPS, address book, music player, and cellphone. Today, all of these devices are integrated in one smartphone. It’s just more convenient and delivers higher reliability in less space with much lower costs and energy consumption.

As we work with customers, we see some of the early business value in the Industrial IoT, such as:

  • Predictive analytics to provide pre-failure warnings and enable predictive maintenance
  • Integration of legacy systems with new data acquisition devices to enable in depth analysis of operations data
  • High-speed data acquisition and control at manufacturing and production sites

Since IoT use cases typically require very specialized technological capabilities and go beyond the expertise and resources of a single vendor, solutions partners are crucial. By working with a select set of partners to pioneer new use cases and solutions, HPE is able to extend our market opportunities. This of course, enables us to move broader and faster than we can on our own, and affords our customers the best in class solutions elements.

To this end, we are announcing several new solutions use cases, which include:

Legacy Manufacturing Integration for Predictive Maintenance - HPE’s new Edgeline Converged Edge Systems and Aruba Networking are being positioned to be the platforms of choice for the emerging intelligent edge in manufacturing plants. This solution enables seamless OT & IT linkage in a manufacturing plant to transform existing infrastructure to gain maximum cost-efficiency. The benefits include reduction in waste, improved employee productivity, enhanced collaboration among the support staff, superior process and machinery monitoring in the factory, and a more secure production and supply chain environment.

Real Time Monitoring and Control - As the amount of data generated from smart connected “things” grows and the frequency at which it is collected increases, so will the need for systems that can acquire and analyze the data in real-time. Real-time analysis is enabled through edge computing and the close convergence of data capture and control systems in the same box. HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems converge real-time analog data acquisition with data center level computing and manageability, all within the same ruggedized open standards chassis. Benefits include higher performance, lower energy, reduced space, and faster deployment times.

Data Management at the Edge - One of the most important and challenging tasks facing a company’s business and operations teams is how to get the most efficiency and productivity from the product creation and delivery process. Whether a company builds cars, produces food and beverages or explores for and delivers energy products, there is a need optimize the business operations at each step of the delivery process. One of the key ways to accomplish this is by collecting and analyzing data from the operations process. This solution employs OSIsoft’s PI System with HPE’s Edgeline Systems for managing and processing data at the edge, enable the deeper insights that customers need to improve their business.

The links below will lead you to information on other Edgeline Converged Edge Systems solutions we’ve developed through collaborations with companies in our Edgeline Ecosystem:

Looking to the future, I see many more emerging use cases and solutions. These include deeper the adoption of control and device actuation as part of the Converged Edge Systems value proposition, the continued shift of cloud based capabilities, out to the edge to meet customer real-time response demands, and reduce bandwidth costs, and a move toward open industry standards and software defined data acquisition and control devices. Living on the edge is exciting, and we hope to see you out there!

Ron Neyland
Director, Edge Infrastructure SW and Solutions

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