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In-depth interview: IT industry experts delve into the what, why, and how of enterprise edge

Data is increasingly captured, processed, and analyzed near where it is created. In this interview with theCube, experts assess that prodigious data growth, and explore the speed, efficiency, and simplicity of hyperconverged infrastructure in edge environments. 

Ah, the edge. That mythical place where data is created and put to use in any number of ways and environments. So, what exactly, is edge computing?  A Google search offers up more than a few interpretations:

“Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to improve response times and save bandwidth.” (Wikipedia)

“Edge computing refers to the engagement and analysis of data at its point of origin with available computing and storage capabilities.” (SAS)

 “IT at the edge is about the consumption of IT resources in increasingly ‘smart’ edge locations……. where we all work, play, and live….” (IDC)

Three fairly similar viewpoints and, at the end of the day, they all boil down to one simple definition: it’s the practice of capturing, processing, and analyzing data near where it is created. 

Driving 3X quicker results at the edge

The Red Bull Racing Honda IT team provides a glimpse into what’s happening in these outer reaches. Recently, CIO Matt Cadieux sat down with Omer Asad, VP and GM of Primary Storage and Data Management Services at HPE, and theCube’s Dave Vellante to discuss ‘the edge’ – what it is, why it’s important, the enormous amount of data and opportunity it creates, and how to power and protect it.

HPE-SimpliVity-RedBullRacingHonda.jpgAs the winner of eight Formula One world championships since 2020, Red Bull Racing Honda knows how to win in the automotive race circuit. Their edge infrastructure helps to keep them competitive

The team has HPE on board as an innovation partner and relies on HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to support the team’s activities at the edge – and in this case it’s the racetrack. The dynamics of top-level automotive competition require that a race car be finely tuned for each contest and the different tracks where it runs.

“We need to tear the car apart and rebuild it for a unique configuration for every individual race,” said Cadieux. To win, “we need to optimize [the car] for any given racetrack. We’re also improving our tools, methods and software that we use to design, make, and race the car.”

HPE SimpliVity’s solution at both edge and core has allowed the racing team to use Citrix Systems Inc. virtual machines and provide engineers access to tools and data remotely.

“We want applications to absolutely fly, get to actionable results quicker, and get answers from our simulations quicker,” Cadieux said. “We saw a 3x speed-up for a lot of our applications. Being able to spin up resources and provision things without being a bottleneck is a big challenge, and SimpliVity gives us the means of doing that.”

Powering and protecting edge data

GettyImages-636452252_v2_1200_RGB.jpgIt’s evident that edge can accelerate and speed access to and analysis of data, but what do you do about the volume?

For decades we’ve been talking about data explosion, but with 50% of enterprise data estimated to be generated outside the core data center by 20232 (up from just 10% in 20181), we haven’t seen anything like what’s to come in the next few years.

“For that,” Asad says, “[companies] need a lot more distributed processing.” And as massive amounts of data continue to be generated, they’ll more and more be looking for infrastructure that can make it easier for them to store and access it whenever needed.

“A lot of our customers are generating a lot of data at the edge,” said Asad. “New data generated at the edge needs to be stored. It needs to be processed. Data which is not required needs to be thrown away or classified as not important. And then it needs to be moved for DR purposes either to a central data center or to another site. The right architecture needs to be simple to deploy, with storage, compute, and networking out towards the edge in a hyperconverged environment.”

HPE SimpliVity is a perfect solution for these environments because it provides the enterprise features necessary to run what is essentially a small data center at each edge site.

According to Asad, “HPE SimpliVity is exploding like crazy as distributed enterprises adopt it as standardizes edge architecture. It's an HCI box, with storage, compute, and networking all in one, that can deploy applications from your standard vCenter interface from a data center, and has the ability to back up to the cloud right from the edge or core data center.”

HPE-SimpliVity-6-Reasons-Edge.png

The efficiency, scalability, and availability of HPE SimpliVity address many of the unique challenges customers face at the edge. It’s simple to deploy and manage, and you can start small and grow. Right-sized for tight spaces, the all-in-one intelligent HCI solution offers:

  • Compact footprint. High availability with as few as 2 nodes keeps the solution compact and costs low.
  • Radically simple management. Centralized management means no on-site administration is required at edge locations. 
  • Built-in data protection. Near-instant recovery capabilities, simple and efficient direct-to-cloud backup service, and cost-effective, centralized backup for compliance and long-term retention all add up to data that is always online and recoverable.
  • Automated disaster recovery. Multi-site, offsite HPE SimpliVity RapidDR reduces risk and downtime in case of disruption or disaster.
  • Intelligent AI operations. VM visibility, predictive analytics, and support automation save time and reduce firefighting. 
  • Choices for on-prem or as-a-service HCI. On-prem solutions provide compact, cost-effective on-site infrastructure. As-a-service, consumption-based options are available with HPE GreenLake to pay as you go, scale on demand, and eliminate over-provisioning. 
  • Guaranteed data efficiency. IT organizations can realize massive cost savings, especially when multiplied across hundreds of edge sites – with guaranteed 10:1 data efficiency results.  

Want to learn more about the right infrastructure for the edge?

  • See Omer Asad’s full video here.
  • See Matt Cadieux’s full interview here
  • Read about SimpliVity’s latest edge features here.

1https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/what-edge-computing-means-for-infrastructure-and-operations-leaders/

22021 Strategic Roadmap for Edge Computing, Gartner, Published 3 November 2020 - ID G00723410 

 

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Jodie Jordanger is a Storage Product Marketing Manager at HPE focused on HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. You can follow her on Twitter @jodie_jordanger

 

 

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