Dell unveils new edge, telecom solutions

The announcements being made today at this year’s Dell Summit all revolve around the company’s newer edge and telecom businesses.

Dell Latitude 7330 Rugged Extreme

Today, Dell Technologies is announcing a series of significant announcements around their new growth businesses that accelerate  customers’ digital transformation. Today’s announcements are focused around the edge, and around telecom.

Aaron Chaisson, Vice President, Portfolio Marketing at Dell Technologies, explained Dell’s edge strategy.

“We believe that ultimately enterprises have three routes available to procure the technology that they’re going to need to help them execute on their edge strategies,” he said. “You’ve had vendors and integrators, namely companies like us, or even SIs, who can be a  trusted advisor that’s ready to help them provide edge hardware, software and services to be successful in their edge environments. You’ve got cloud providers. They’re looking to extend their services out to the edge. And then communication service providers, or the telecoms out there who are not just moving towards 5g but they’re starting to offer new services such as private mobility, MAC – multi access computing –  and data analytics with the promise of delivering these services in geographical proximity to the enterprise customers, wherever they may be, even in mobile environments.

“For many cases we fully anticipate that most of our customers are actually going to be leveraging more than one of these,” Chaisson added. “In retail for example, they may be looking to work with vendors like Dell to be able to deliver data centre technologies in small environments in their retail stores, while using cloud providers for back office applications or for model training to push better and better models out to those environments, and using telcos to provide compute as well as connectivity, to goods being shipped to retail stores or drop shipped to customers.”

Chaisson said that this really makes Dell’s edge strategy quite simple.

“We want to make sure that we work across all three of these sources so that, no matter which choices that enterprises make, Dell Technologies is the right choice to help our customers succeed at the edge. To realize that strategy, this end-to-end approach and help Dell Technologies capture this edge opportunity we’ve established two business units, the edge systems business and the telecom systems business. The edge business is a sell-to motion creating edge, products, services and partnerships that we can sell directly to enterprise customers. The telecom business, on the other hand, is more of a sell-through motion. We sell products and services to the communication service providers, enable them to then create their own edge products and services, and then partner with them to sell those resulting outcomes into their enterprise customers.”

The edge business announcements start with the  Dell EMC Edge Gateway, designed to help companies securely connect multiple edge devices across OT and IT environments to provide valuable insights.

“It really bridges, the OT and IT environments connecting to OT workloads and IoT environments,” Chaisson said. “It provides a platform for real time analytics against individual data streams but also is able to connect and bridge into the IT environment for correlation analytics, deeper analytics and model training.”

This compact, fanless Edge Gateway has 9th Gen Intel Core processors, and is designed to withstand temperature ranges from minus 4 to 140 degrees.

The Dell EMC Edge Gateway offer is going to be our next generation, and will be launching later this year,” Chaisson said. “It offers the ability to leverage real time actionable insights at the edge through connectivity across IT and OT infrastructure anytime and anywhere in a trusted and secure way. It’s going to help us drive lower latency and lower costs while performing in extreme temperatures and rugged environments, through long cycles, so we’ll be able to run this anywhere our customers need to have them.

Chaisson also noted that this is a modular device, allowing you to have a variety of different configurations, protocols, wireless and wired capabilities, so you can really have a broad set case of use cases where you can apply this in the OT environment.

Chiasson also previewed a new generation of Dell Latitude rugged laptops, the Latitude 7330 Rugged Extreme laptop and the Latitude 5430 Rugged laptop.

“We’ve completely redesigned the 5430 Rugged and 7330 Rugged Extreme, taking into account feedback that we’ve been getting from our customers,” Chaisson said. “They need a PC that handles today’s modern applications, that stays connected, no matter where they are, and doesn’t run out of power easily. It stays functional in a variety of extreme environments, some of the key features and these releases.”

The features start with the 11th generation Intel Core vPro processors.

“It’s also future-proofed from a network connectivity perspective that comes with the WiFi 6e and 5g capability, so it’ll support any of your wireless needs today, but it also provides capabilities for next generation wireless technologies as you roll those out,” Chaisson said

“It’s got improved daylight readable and glove touch capable screens, so 1400 nits brightness allows you to be able to read the screen, even in direct sunlight. It’s got improved battery runtime with dual hot swappable batteries and express charge boost, allowing you to make sure that you’ve always got a charged battery in the system, and is simple to swap out giving you 24×7 field operations.”

Dell EMC VxRail satellite nodes bring VxRail’s operational model and
efficiencies to edge sites with a reduced infrastructure footprint.

Dell EMC VxRail satellite node

“VxRail satellite node solves a real challenge that we’ve been having with our customers, where they love what they get from the VxRrail,but they want to be able to take that capability into further edge environments that might require smaller form factors or smaller starting points,” Chaisson said. “The VxRail satellite node extends the benefits of VxRail that they get today in the core data centres, like simplicity and agility and automation, and addresses more of these edge use cases bringing that single node deployment into these edge environments.”

These nodes are ideal for verticals such as retail, manufacturing and remote branch offices, automating all of the day-to-day operations in the health monitoring lifecycle management from these centralized locations, without the need for local technical support or specialized resources.

“Satellite node is designed as an extension of VxRail environments,” Chaisson said. “You can take what you have today in VxRail, and deploy satellite nodes into the into one or dozens or hundreds of locations, allowing you to have centralized management and control, but still allowing users in these remote environments to be able to directly access the resources in the applications that they need.”

The new Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform optimizes GPUs to ingest streaming video

“The Dell EMC Streaming Data platform allows us to be able to capture and correlate broad sets of data streams at the edge and analyze that in these locations, before moving that data into data lakes or warehouses, where we can do the model, training and other types of deeper analytics,” Chaisson said. “We’ve got a new set of offerings and capabilities that we will be bringing into that.”

The final edge announcement is the Dell Technologies validated design for the manufacturing edge, done with strategic partner Litmus, an OT software provider for the manufacturing industry.

“This is our answer to accelerate smart manufacturing outcomes through the unification of operational technologies in the factory floor with Litmus,” Chaisson said. “This is a fully validated end-to-end solution. It is purpose-built for manufacturing use cases and applications using compute scalability and security from VxRail and from our PowerEdge servers, and the solution also encompasses the Dell EMC streaming data platform.”

The telecom systems business announcements follow up their inaugural announcements in June, when Dell launched their first set of solutions specifically designed for communication service providers to help them overcome challenges in modernizing their networks

“Now they’re at a watershed moment, and we’re looking to present the opportunity to digitally transform and capitalize on 5g to be able to bring new value-added services to their customers on top of these networks,” Chiasson said.

He indicated Dell is looking to do this in two ways, through an open network infrastructure foundation they announced earlier this year, and through a next generation open networking ecosystem. Now, they are making four new telco announcements.

“The Dell Technologies Bare Metal Orchestrator is our first delivery of a product, based on Project Metalweaver, that we talked about earlier this year,” Chaisson said. “It’s designed to solve one really key fundamental challenge to rolling out 5g networks at scale –  address day to day virtual network tasks across their entire network from core to edge to RAN and be able to scale that across highly distributed and highly spread out geographical locations. That’s fundamentally the challenge that we need to help them overcome. We need to give them the ability to not only stand up the servers, but stand up the software stack to all these locations without direct human intervention.

“Bare Metal Orchestrator is our software answer to this,” Chaisson indicated. “It offers the breadth and scale to automate the deployment and the management of hundreds of thousands of servers across geographic locations to support these open RAN and 5g deployments. It gives CSPs the tools to discover inventory, the servers, bring them online, and deploy software, regardless of where they reside on the network.”

This first release only supports VMware, but going forward, Dell will extend this capability to support all of the cloud stacks that they support.

Dell is also announcing a reference architecture for Wind River Studio.

“This gives us the ability to deliver a cloud foundation for our telecom providers, using all the different cloud stacks that are used in the industry,” Chaisson said. “It will help streamline and reduce the cost of deploying a cloud native edge network and improve that network performance on Dell Technologies’ foundational hardware.

Another telco announcement is a validated solution for Mavenir Open vRAN and VMware Telco Cloud Platform, which follows a proof of technology for this announced earlier in the year.

“It integrates a partnership with VMware, with Mavenir, with Dell Technologies and with Intel helping simplify and accelerate the ability to deliver open vRAN deployments with fully validated solutions from these partners,” Chaisson indicated.

The final piece of the telco package is Dell Technologies Respond and Restore Service.

“One of the most critical things is the ability to deliver SLA based support,” Chaisson said. These telecom providers have very strict SLAs that they provide for their customers, so with the Dell Technologies Respond and Restore service, we give them access to our automated consistent support. It’s backed by our SLAs, to give communication service providers the confidence and the agility to effectively operate at scale deploying these solutions and having guarantees from us they’ll be able to meet their SLA requirements for their customers.”

The new Dell Technologies Edge Gateway model will be globally available in early 2022.

Dell Latitude Rugged 5430 and 7730 laptops will be globally available for order on Dec. 9, 2021, shipping with Windows 11.

Dell EMC VxRail satellite nodes are globally available on November 30, 2021.

The Dell Technologies Validated Design for Manufacturing Edge will be globally available on October 26, 2021.

Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform updates will be globally available on October 30, 2021.

Dell Technologies Bare Metal Orchestrator will be available globally in November 2021.

Dell Technologies Validated Solution for Mavenir Open vRAN and VMware Telco Cloud Platform will be globally available in early 2022.

Dell Technologies Reference Architecture for Wind River Studio, and  Dell Technologies Respond and Restore for Telecom are both available globally now.