HPE has beefed up their edge IoT devices with more storage capacity, and announced validation of the ability of these devices to run high capacity solutions at the edge, by software vendors ranging from industry titans to high-flying startups
LAS VEGAS – The edge has been the focus of this year’s HPE Discover customer event. On the first day, CEO Antonio Neri emphasized HPE’s commitment to what the company is terming the Intelligent Edge in his keynote, with new funding commitments, as well as new edge -focused products like the first Aruba SD-WAN branch solution, and the new Pointnext GreenLake Hybrid Cloud. Today, HPE has followed those announcements with new edge commitments around their Internet of Things [IoT] devices, the Edgeline Converged IoT systems.
“At the edge, many times it’s better to have everything with you, as opposed to connectivity that may be marginal and not give the full effect,” said Dr. Tom Bradicich, Vice President and General Manager, IoT and Converged Edge Systems, HPE. “So we are looking at how to help enterprises deal with not only the cloud, but the new relevance of the edge. What’s new today at HPE is the way that we treat the edge, which sets us apart from others in the industry.”
Bradicich provided a simple but clear HPE definition of the edge.
“The edge is not the data centre or cloud – it’s everything else,” he said. “That includes manufacturing forums, oil rigs, wind farms, smart grids, self driving cars and much more.”
HPE introduced these original converged IoT systems – the Edgeline EL1000 and Edgeline EL4000 – two years ago at HPE Discover. At that point, they represented an entirely new category of product.
“We created the Edgeline converged systems brand with the twofold premise of value,” Bradicich said. “We took integrated systems already at the edge, and put them in the same box, and we also brought unmodified enterprise class data centre enterprise cloud technologies out to the edge. They aren’t compromised versions. They aren’t junior, edge versions. It’s the same high-performance technology.”
That much is not new. There are, however, two net news elements to the announcement. First, HPE is announcing that multiple and major software applications have now been validated for the Edgeline devices.
“We can announce these validations ourselves, but it doesn’t mean much unless the vendor says it,” Bradicich said. “These cloud-level applications like PTC Thingworx – unmodified – not a light version – is now coming out of the cloud, unleashed and delivered at the edge. We now have the Microsoft SQL server database running at the edge – the presence and power of he full software stack. Citrix XenServer can run at the edge. That’s extremely game changing. With competitors, pared-down systems have to be run.” Other validating vendors include VMware, Red Hat, SparkCognition, National Instruments and FogHorn.
“These software vendors support this idea because they now have a third place – the edge as well as the cloud and the data centre – where apps can be run identically to lower the cost of the software because the SLAs can now be leveraged in 3 places. For these vendor, it means customers aren’t disqualified from enjoying the benefits of their software at the edge. It expands their TAM.”
The second new component of the announcement is the addition of the HPE Edgeline Extended Storage Adapter option kit, which adds up to 48 terabytes of software-defined storage, up from 15 TB previously. Bradicich said HPE plans to extend this further, to 96 TB, by the end of the year.
“There are some applications that do require this extra storage capacity to run,” he said. This includes storage-intensive use cases like artificial intelligence, video analytics and databases at the edge.
Bradicich compared this increase in storage capacity to Apple introducing the smartphone in terms of its capability to rethink customer use cases for a device.
“We ask what applications people WANT to run at the edge, not what they do there now,” he said. “That means that we do for the edge what the smartphone has done for the consumer. It’s no-compromise IT.”
Bradicich also said that much bigger things are coming at the fall HPE Discover in Europe, including more powerful family members and new integrations with other HPE software designed to further empower edge devices.
“We are enhancing the manageability with HPE ILO to extend manageability on the edge, and you will see that on our new systems in the fall,” he said.