Dell Does IoT… Totally!

Soon to be the only end-to-end enterprise vendor, is now strutting its stuff in the market with a new set of gateways — available now, starting at $479 — that it says complete its portfolio. The company said the were the missing pieces to its lineup that now allows customers the choice to balance analytics across edge, datacenter and cloud models.

Gateways are small, wireless or connected devices that collect, help secure and process sensor data at the edge of a network, aka Cisco and IBM’s fog computing. Equipped with processing power, they provide customers with flexibility to perform analytics at the edge, reducing latency for data-based decisions, such as managing energy consumption or triggering a call for proactive equipment maintenance.This reduces the time and cost associated with transferring data to the cloud or data center.

Current IoT solutions offer lengthy implementations, overly ambitious scoping and complex proprietary designs that raise risks and costs, said Andy Rhodes, Executive Director IoT Solutions, Dell. We are helping customers build out their solutions pragmatically with a broad portfolio of IoT-enabling offerings including security, manageability, services, analytics, infrastructure, and endpoints.

In a phone briefing with IT Trends & Analysis, Rhodes said IoT is like like cloud: CIOs are asking why aren’t we doing it? A lot of customers have been doing machine to machine, but not calling it IoT.

“We at Dell have been in the IoT business for a long, long time.” However, customers have been coming to the company saying having all of the data aggregated in the cloud and for making the decisions is not how they work. In certain cases, data is useless 99% of the time, and in others, all the data must go to the datacenter. He believes the useless data is around 95%, so customers came looking for an edge solution that was priced right (i.e. not Cisco). It had to be the right price point, said Rhodes.

Cisco and IBM may be calling this fog computing, but customers quickly get past the jargon, he said. It’s about where do you put the right level of analytics.

“Every use case, every project is somewhat of a snowflake. IoT isn’t one thing, it’s multiple different things.”

The timing would appear to be right for Dell. The rapidly approaching IoT explosion — up to 50 billion things by 2020, worth $7.1 trillion — is expected to be a major driver of technology investments over the next decade. According to IDC, installed service provider datacenter capacity consumed by IoT workloads will increase nearly 750% between 2014 and 2019.

“Equal, or even greater, investments in the IoT platform services residing in the datacenter will be instrumental in delivering the IoT promise of anytime, anywhere, anyhow connectivity and context,” said Rick Villars, Vice President, Datacenter and Cloud. “Given the number of devices connected and the amount of data generated, businesses must focus on their IoT service platform requirements at the level of the datacenter itself, not just the individual servers or storage devices.”

Gartner’s numbers are more conservative — 25 billion Internet “connected things by 2020 — but it will produce close to $2 trillion of economic benefit globally, according to Jim Tully, VP and Distinguished Analyst. ‘IoT will have a great impact on the economy by transforming many enterprises into digital businesses and facilitating new business models, improving efficiency and new forms of revenue.’

Dell partnered with Samsung, Intel and Broadcom last August to launch the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), an organization that will set standards for connecting billions of household gadgets and appliances. A month later it opened its Internet of Things Lab in Silicon Valley. Jointly funded by Intel and Dell OEM Solutions, it allows customers to build, modify and architect new IoT solutions on active bench space within the lab.

Rhodes believes its still early days for IoT: “a lot of customers are still kicking their tires and figuring out the TOCs…”. The company plans to release many more gateways, starting over the next six months, he said. “One size doesn’t fit all.”

Author: Steve Wexler

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