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LAS VEGAS — Hewlett Packard Enterprise says it’s extending the data centre out from the back office right to the edge with its new converged systems for the Internet of Things (IoT) unveiled on Wednesday.

With the new systems and services on offer from HPE, the worlds of operational technology and IT are being linked, said Mark Potter, chief technology officer of the enterprise group at HPE. This is the start of an effort by HPE and its partners to automate operations in a new area of industry, delivering new business models along with it.

There could be as much as US$430 billion in savings generated just from productivity gains related to automation, he says, and IoT data is expected to make up 10 per cent of all data being generated by the end of the decade. There lies the opportunity.

“It’s all about how do you take that intelligent device information and connect it?” he says. “Whether it’s by WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G or LTE cellular, the important thing is that HPE has solutions to connect and secure those devices.”

HPE announced two new converged appliances in the Edgeline EL1000 and Edgeline EL4000 at its Discover conference. Describing them as the first converged systems for the Internet of Things (IoT), the systems integrate data capture, control, computer and storage to provide analytics. The units are built for industrial applications — ready to handle shock, vibration, and extreme temperatures – as HP sees the oil and gas sector as one of the likely customers.

“The edge can be harsh, so we have to create technologies that are rugged,” says Tom Bradicich, vice-president and general manager of servers at HPE. “We’re taking a chunk of the data centre and shifting it out to the edge to do deep compute.”

With the Edgeline 1000 being about the size of a poker chips case, it can be mounted just about anywhere – in a vehicle, on the floor of a manufacturing line, or in the case of HPE’s partnership with Irving, Texas-based FlowServe Corp. On the Discover show floor, a Flowserve industrial pump was integrated with an Edgeline 1000 server, resulting in automated error detection, a dashboard displaying metrics in real-time, and an augmented reality application using a tablet to assess the pump’s performance.

HPE FlowServe IoT pump
Flowserve, an industrial equipment provider, is partnering with HP on its IoT systems and services initiative. This pump’s integration with the Edgeline 1000 serves as a proof of concept.

HPE’s Vertica Analytics Platform will run on the Edgeline EL4000 model. It provides analytics from in-database machine learning algorithms at real-time speed. Data being sent back to the data centre is secured with Aruba’s Virtual Intranet Access client, a security solution appropriate for high-security government and commercial applications.

An analytics dashboard shows realtime performance metrics for the connected Flowserve pump.
An analytics dashboard shows realtime performance metrics for the connected Flowserve pump.

Data being sent back to the data centre is secured with Aruba Network’s Virtual Intranet Access client, a security solution appropriate for high-security government and commercial applications. That’s not the only way HPE is capitalizing on its May 2015 acquisition of Aruba Networks here.

The Aruba line is providing IoT security in other avenues as well. HPE says it has enhanced Aruba ClearPass with version 6.6 to help the IT department profile new IoT devices on the network and enforce security policies. Policy status can be exchanged with other systems, such as a mobile device management system.

“It trusts no device and no user until proven otherwise,” says Michael Tennefoss, vice-president of strategic partnerships at Aruba. “Device profiling will identify devices, fingerprint them and determine if they are trustworthy or not. It can give access to the network and impose terms of how a device uses the network.”

HPE is aware that marrying IT with operational technology will be new to its customers, and it’s introducing an IoT Transformation Workshop to address to that through education. The workshop is the first in a full suite of services designed around implementing IoT solutions, HPE says.

Four IoT Innovation Labs will also be opened – at HPE locations in Houston; Grenoble, France; Bangalore; and Singapore.

The vendor is also partnering with GE Digital, National Instruments, and PTC to deliver joint solutions to customers.

The Edgeline 1000 supports between four to 16 CPU cores, and the 4000 model will support up to 64 cores. The 4000 takes a standard 1U form factor so it can be put in a server rack.



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