HPE debuts first IoT devices

Antonio Neri, executive vice president of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Antonio Neri, executive vice president of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

LONDON — Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) just announced a new Internet of Things-focused business unit last month, and it’s working to go from strategy to reality with the launch of its first IoT devices.

At its first Discover event as an independent company, HPE introduced new networking devices for IoT, as well as a new sensor management system out of its Aruba acquisition, and hinted at future IoT devices based on its Moonshot micro-server architecture.

The company’s first products out of its IoT partnership with Intel will aim to put more computing outside the data centre and nearer the edge of the network, part of the edge or fog computing model that aims to reduce bandwidth requirements and increase speed to crunch relevant data.

The HPE Edgeline IoT Systems will initially come in two flavours, the EL 10 for more price sensitive customers, and the top-of-the-(current)-line EL 20. The company is targeting verticals including healthcare, manufacturing, and oil and gas with the first Edgeline offerings.

While the new products are likely interesting to partners with customers in those spaces who are building out their IoT strategy, the announcements here at Discover in some ways serve as a “watch this space” for many partners, as Antonio Neri, executive vice president at HPE, said there’s a lot more to come. The current offerings, he said, are the junior members of what will be the Edgeline family eventually.

“You’ll see more edge computing using HPE Moonshot technology, using traditional low-consumption chipsets in different chassis, with solutions for different workloads,” Neri told press at HPE Discover here.

Those more senior members of the family aren’t too far off, either. Neri said to expect the offerings in “a handful of months,” and that getting the Moonshot-based products to market is “just a matter of finalizing the stack.”

The Edgeline family will come in a variety of form factors, including ruggedized, rack-mount and mobile formats.

HPE also announced the IoT Aruba Sensor AS-100, a system from its wireless networking acquisition Aruba that aims to offer centralized control of a number of the company’s Aruba Beacon devices, commonly used in location-based services by customers in retail and other fields. The overall Beacon solution includes the beacons themselves at the point, the Sensor for centralized management of beacons, and Aruba’s Meridian cloud-based service to create the connections between the beacons and business analytics applications with which they will exchange data.

The idea of centrally controlling beacons and feeding them or feeding back into analytics systems is not new, but with the Aruba solution, HPE says it’s making it easier for customers to set up and manage such a system using existing wireless networking infrastructure. While the solution requires Aruba’s beacons and sensors, those devices can be managed using any WiFi network, the company said.

“This is the first cloud-based beacon management solution that supports a multi-vendor WiFi network,” Neri said.