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HP scaling out for the Internet of Things


Guest Post: Bobby Patrick, Chief Marketing Officer, HP Helion


We are still in the early days of connecting the analog world to the digital world, but the “Internet of Things” has arrived.


bobby1_slide.pngYou won’t see it everywhere all at once, but the signs are all around you. A car with GPS and real-time traffic updates is just the first step toward connected transportation. Soon cars on the highway will be able to sense and communicate with each other, warning when traffic up ahead slows to a crawl. There are already cars with prototype navigation and sensor systems that have driven themselves safely for more than half a million miles.


Our homes are connecting, with thermostats that you can control with your cell phone and security systems that link trusted neighbors. Our bodies and clothing are connecting, with biometric sensors, watches and “wearables.”


bobby2_slide.pngExpensive devices are leading the way, but in just a few years an Internet connection will be common in affordable items. Inexpensive sensors will allow you to tag and locate everything you care about. (Imaging never losing your keys again.)


Think about the amount of information all of that will require. By 2020, we estimate the people, devices and servers of the world will be exchanging 44 zettabytes. That’s 5,200 gigabytes for every man, woman and child.


Greater expectations


By 2020, an entire generation will have grown up digitally. They will expect a connected world. My grandmother’s expectations were low. She expected her home phone to be connected. Making a long distance call was a big deal. My expectations are higher. I expect my phones, tablets, computers, cars – and now watches – to be connected. I expect to be able to call and text across the country at no extra charge.


The next generation will expect everything around them to be connected. And, of course, they will expect everything to be free. (Or paid for by someone else).


Distributed Mesh Computing


bobby3_slide.pngAlbert Einstein famously stated, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” So at HP we are inventing a new computing architecture that will enable fundamental changes in applications and how we interact with them. We call it Distributed Mesh Computing.


Distributed Mesh Computing will give us new ways to manage massive systems automated across millions of nodes. We will be able to analyze data with new algorithms that operate on the Exabyte scale. And we will have better ways to visualize and interact with data so it is easier to make intuitive business decisions.


The guiding principles for Distributed Mesh Computing are:


  • Distribute compute and storage everywhere for low latency. Keep data and processing close to customers.
  • Move data and analysis as needed. Many cheap devices will have some processing power. Data locality will be important for protection and data sovereignty requirements.
  • Assume intermittent network connectivity. Design always-on systems that survive connection and server failure.
  • Ultra-low power requirements. Be radically ecological. Use less energy. Take up less space.


Putting developers first with IaaS and PaaS


bobby4_slide.pngHP Helion provides the software infrastructure for Distributed Mesh Computing. To make it easier to build applications and connect devices, HP Helion is unifying infrastructure-as-a-service (based on OpenStack® technology) and platform-as-a-service (based on Cloud Foundry®). Our goal is to put developers first. They are the ones who will write the apps that engage consumers on the Internet of Things.


HP Helion gives developers what they want while giving IT Operations what it needs to support both an app and a new connected device that may go viral around the world. HP Helion’s robust architecture will support critical applications, like personal health care services, where lives may depend on it.


HP’s double play: IT + consumer


There are two ways to approach the Internet of Things, from the consumer side and from the industrial side – with IT technology. HP has tremendous assets in place to lead the way in both.


bobby5_slide.pngOn the consumer side, HP printers are pioneering appliances on the Internet of Things, connecting directly to the web. That connection lets HP monitor ink levels for printers that are enrolled in its Instant Ink program. When ink runs low, a fresh cartridge is automatically mailed out. (Imagine never running out of ink again.)  


That kind of connection between consumers, products and the Internet will spawn new value propositions and innovative business models that bring enterprises and their customers closer together.


The future is now


The Internet of Things isn’t “coming.” The Internet of Things is here and now. HP is already making plays and demonstrating leadership that paves the way.


For more insights into HP’s portfolio of hardware, software, global networking and enterprise solutions, including HP Helion, stream my keynote presentation at the Connected Cloud Summit. (Click here for slides.)


To learn more about how HP Helion can help your enterprise prepare for the Internet of Things, visit us at  and follow us on @hphelioncloud.




Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID