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Never Underestimate the Value of Convergence – Even at the IoT Edge


Never underestimate the power of “convergence”. That is, putting a lot of functions into one small package. Consider the smart phone. It converges the cell phone, camera, GPS, address book, music player, browser, maps, and whole lot of other functions and apps – all into one single device. Much of the smart phone’s popularity lies in the value of integrating a bunch of things that were in the past carried separately, into one small smart phone.

Never Underestimate the Value of Convergance.jpg

Now let’s impute this convergence idea on the ever-growing network, the Internet of Things (IoT). First, the IoT is expanding at amazing rates and allowing virtually endless connections to take place. The increase of network connectivity has rapidly merged the physical world of machines, devices, people, and the environment, with computer-based IT platforms. The “glue” in this merger is the sensors, data acquisition, and control systems, commonly known as OT (Operational Technology). The “things” are connected to OT, OT’s connected to IT, and that’s what IoT’s all about.

Connected things contain massive volumes of pent up data, when unleased, provide organizations to extract valuable business, engineering, and scientific insights. Last I checked, 6.4 billion connected devices are connected worldwide and now the future estimate is up to 20.8 billion by 2020 (I remember when the estimates were only a few billion). Processing of terabytes and petabytes of information every day is something we must be ready for. And it will be easier with real-time analytics and machine learning right at the edge, right at the point of data capture.

Rather than send all the edge to a cloud or data center, revolutionary new IoT technologies are converging data and things management capabilities, and shifting data center class analytics right to the edge for real time performance. By integrating both OT functions such as data acquisition and control systems, with IT functions such as enterprise class computing, storage, and systems management, organizations are able to seamlessly retrieve and analyze IoT data right where the things are. And, more quickly control and actuate the things. Convergence of these key functions not only improves time-to-action, but it significantly reduces energy, space, and deployment time.  These advancements are redefining what can be done at the edge, driving a massive paradigm shift where speed and accuracy of insight become key to empowering the next generation of data-driven enterprises.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is leveraging the power of convergence to accelerate data-gathering and analysis at the edge. At this year’s HPE Discover event, HPE introduced a new product category called Converged IoT Systems. This category of systems integrate what are separate OT and IT boxes today at the edge – data capture, control, compute, and storage, and systems and device management all in one box. The HPE Edgeline Converged IoT Systems are simple to procure and deploy, and deliver analytics and insight at the edge to help organizations make more informed, data-driven decisions in real-time.

In sum, the benefits of the HPE Edgeline Converged IoT Systems include:
• Reduction of latency as the data need not be sent to the cloud, avoids cloud lock-in
• Smaller footprint, via less cables, and collapsing of multiple functions into one box
• Increased reliability and lower chance of hardware failure, since there’s less to fail
• Turnkey infrastructure with fewer elements to buy and deploy, decreased time-to-value
• Decreased energy/power usage
• Secure network access for IoT devices and things
• Ultimately, things and IoT data that is more accessible, actionable, secure, and reliable

Until HPE Edgeline Converged IoT Systems, technology and solutions management was split between two camps: OT and IT. So it’s only natural for a leader like HPE to step up to integrating and converging the OT and IT worlds, just to make it easier for our customers. Please have a look at not just the new Edgeline systems, but also the brand new product category of Converged IoT Systems.

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter at @TomBradicichPhD.

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About the Author


Dr. Tom Bradicich is VP and GM for Servers and IoT Systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He was named in Computer Reseller News’ (CRN) Top 25 Disruptors of 2016 and the Top 100 IT Executives of 2016. Tom is known for managing the introduction of innovative products and businesses, recently creating a new product category “Converged IoT Systems”, with HPE Edgeline Systems, expressly designed for the IoT edge. Tom's data center server products have received an InfoWorld 2015 Technology of the Year Award, the 2015 ARM TechCon Best of Show Award, a CRN 2015 Product of the Year Award, and swept all six categories of the 2016 IT Brand Pulse Leader Award.

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