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Edgeline is Vertica-ready

Curt_Hopkins ‎07-12-2016 01:13 PM - edited ‎07-12-2016 02:24 PM

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By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

It is seldom that we announce the creation not of a technology, not of a product, but of a product category. But when a new product category is created it often reflects a change in the way we use technology.

“Converged IoT Systems” was announced during HPE Discover in June. The first products in that line are the HPE Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000.

According to the announcement, these “are the industry’s first converged systems for the IoT – converging compute, storage, data capture, control and enterprise-class systems and device management – built to thrive in hardened environments and handle shock, vibration and extreme temperatures. They are optimized to deliver heavy-duty data analytics and insights, graphically intense data visualization, and real time response at the edge.”

This new category was a response to an increasing desire to leverage edge computing; the result, said Hewlett Packard Labs principal research scientist Martin Arlitt, of the “emergence of many more customers who want to gather data outside the data center.”

There is a lot more data being gathered at remote places, he told Behind the Scenes, and those gathering it “need to store and analyze that data in non-traditional environments.”

Cloud environments can be suboptimal, according to Arlitt. After gathering the data in far flung places, say in mines or on oil rigs, the price to move it to the cloud, crunch the numbers, and communicate it back to where users can act on it, might prove too expensive. Instead, they want to not only store but analyze it in situ.

Proof of the value of this new line was Arlitt’s work at Labs, which demonstrated that Vertica running on an Edgeline system would be a viable platform for performing edge analytics. 

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Back in 2012, the European Union had mandated “smart metering” and utilities were looking to technology vendors for assistance. Vertica at the time was best known for verticals like online gaming, and some were uncomfortable about trying technology from outside their comfort zone. However, Arlitt believed “Vertica could blow our competitors’ systems out of the water!”

“We wanted to leverage our experience with Vertica to demonstrate its capabilities on an Edgeline system,” he said. However, concerns were raised that Vertica might not scale down.

“Based on my experiences in testing Vertica on systems from ProLiant microservers to Superdomes, I was confident that Vertica would work just fine on Edgeline,” said Arlitt. And it did. HPE internal testing of Vertica on EL4000 showed it capable of repairing 5.7 million smart meter readings per second, and load, repair, and analyze a reading every 282 nanoseconds. This success was the fruit of a collaboration between Hewlett Packard Labs, the newly formed Edgeline product team, and engineers from HPE Software's Vertica team.

They have since begun benchmarking it for other uses, increasing both Vertica’s and Edgeline’s utility and contributing to the announcement of the Converged IoT Systems.

“This announcement represents a significant effort by Martin and others in the Vertica and Edgeline team,” said Amip Shah. “It represents our ability to add value on top of the Edgeline systems portfolio in the IoT Systems Business Unit.”

The creation of this product line, based on both customer need and HPE technological robustness, will allow the company to expand its business opportunities radically and will allow everyone from miners in Canada and South America and oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to make data-driven decisions instead of relying on intuition. In the case of energy companies, it could even increase environmental safety at the point of contact.

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About the Author

Curt_Hopkins

Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

Comments
DHeaton
on ‎07-14-2016 07:48 AM

Looks very sharp. If your selling to oil rigs in the gulf and esspecially abroad make sure you mention its vibration and shock performance. Those boys get knocked silly by the waves.

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