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Industrial IoT starts with a smarter edge

JeffJames

 

tripp-partain.jpgBy Tripp Partain, Global CTO, Top Accounts at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

No one goes into the Internet of Things (IoT) alone. A new partnership between Hewlett Packard Enterprise and General Electric is poised to help the industrial sector enter the next generation of IoT connectivity and data analytics. Two new hybrid cloud technologies deliver processing power to the edge where data originates, and install the flexibility of the cloud within onsite data centers.

The industrial sector typically includes lots of “things”—machines, sensors, supply chains, etc. Collecting and analyzing data from these individual components can provide valuable insights that allow industrial organizations to adapt faster to changing conditions, which can decrease waste, increase safety, promote cost savings, and support higher revenue.

Industrial environments present unique challenges

While IoT is perhaps the most useful and immediately applicable to the industrial sector, the industrial sector has specific characteristics that can make a full IoT implementation challenging—or in some cases impossible.

For example, traditional network connectivity might be limited or non-existent in remote areas, such as on an oil derrick ten miles off the coast. A network based on satellite connections might be feasible, but prohibitively expensive for companies where supply and demand create thin margins that don’t allow for heavy operations redevelopment. 

In other cases, the right technology doesn’t exist to provide a needed function. Airplanes, for instance, generate about a terabyte of data during a transcontinental flight. But there is no way to download that information in the amount of time the plane waits between flights at the airport; the hard drive must be manually swapped with a new one.

Finally, you might have limits on transfer or use of data due to sovereignty issues, such as geo-fencing or government contracts that limit the use of certain types of data.

HPE and GE are addressing the unique needs of industrial environments with two technology strategies:

  • Bringing computing to the edge
  • Bringing the power of cloud compute to onsite data centers

By combining HPE’s hybrid IT capabilities and broad services footprint with GE’s Predix, a Platform-as-a-Service for the Industrial Internet, this partnership is bringing the power of IoT to life in ways never before possible.

 

Creating the Intelligent Edge

Basic IoT functionality relies on collecting data from the edge, where the “things” are, and transmitting that data to a cloud environment where it’s processed and stored. Gateway devices, typically in the form of small servers (or “boxes”), capture the data and send it elsewhere.

In many industrial environments, however, you need to do more than just collect and send the data, based on the challenges listed above. HPE and GE’s solution is to deliver more compute power to the edge so that you can process, interrogate, and act on the data right then and there.

HPE and GE are creating an edge hybrid device that includes a subset of Predix as well as other applications that allows data processing to happen in real time, without the dependency of network connectivity.

Containing the cloud onsite

The amount of data that IoT creates relies on the capacity and flexibility of cloud computing. However, the compute and processing power required for a full cloud implementation can be immense, and often beyond the bounds of traditional data centers that still rely on legacy equipment. For industrial organizations that must contain their data onsite, a cloud-based IoT implementation may be out of reach.

To make IoT technology accessible for these use cases, HPE can deliver a fully contained private cloud deployment of the GE Predix stack within a single rack, or set of racks depending on how much throughput, power, and capacity is needed. This powerful cloud hardware is complemented by HPE’s extensive consulting and support experience to make sure the technology will meet the unique needs of each industrial customer and that implementation with their existing infrastructure is seamless.

A partnership based in productivity

The HPE/GE partnership is grounded on GE’s Predix IoT platform, which was designed to enable industrial-scale analytics for asset-performance management and operations optimization. Coupled with HPE’s Edgeline technology and support expertise, the partnership is making IoT solutions available to a broader set of industrial use cases.

To learn more about how HPE and GE are bringing IoT to life for industrial organizations, visit www.hpe.com/partners/gedigital.

About Tripp:

Tripp Partain is Global CTO, Top Accounts at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Related links

Follow @HPE_IoT on Twitter

Blog: Taming the IoT data tsunami with edge computing

Blog: Partnerships bring breakthrough progress in industrial IoT

Blog: Widening the analytics lens with edge computing

Blog: 5 challenges of Industrial IoT

Blog: Bringing OT and IoT together through HPE partnerships

Whitepaper: Coming Soon

 

 

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About the Author

JeffJames

Jeff James is a Content Marketing Strategy Manager for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, focusing on HPE Technology Services. He is the former Editorial Director for the Petri IT Knowledgebase, and also was the Editor-in-Chief of both Windows IT Pro and Microsoft Technet Magazine. Jeff also served as an editorial director at the LEGO Company, and has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning technology writer, journalist, and digital content producer. Jeff started writing technology articles for AmigaWorld, Computer Gaming World, and other tech publications and websites in the early 1990's.

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