VMware unveils new edge computing solutions to bolster enterprise IoT efforts

Announced at Mobile World Congress 2018, the solutions will come through industry partnerships and focus on asset management and smart surveillance.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • At MWC, VMware showcased new partner solutions in edge computing that aim to advance IoT in manufacturing, retail, and more.
  • The new IoT solutions will be built using VMware vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software, VMware vSphere, and VMware Pulse IoT Center.

VMware continued its enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) push at Mobile World Congress Wednesday, unveiling a host of new edge computing solutions that address use cases in asset management and surveillance.

The solutions are being developed through industry partnerships with firms such as Axis Communications, Wipro Limited, and more, a press release said. By focusing on edge computing, the VMware solutions could make it easier for business users to securely and effectively harness the data created by IoT deployments.

On the VMware side of things, products such as VMware vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software, VMware vSphere, and VMware Pulse IoT Center will all play a role in the new solutions, the release said. At this point, the solutions will address specific needs in industrial and manufacturing sectors, as well as within certain brick-and-mortar retail stores.

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

"By 2022, as a result of digital business projects, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud, which is an increase from less than today's 10%," according to Gartner data cited in the VMware press release.

IoT deployments, especially those out in the field, often require the kind of on-site analytics that cannot be performed with a traditional data center that may be miles away. So, business and IT leaders must come up with solutions to address analytics locally, while accounting for security and compliance requirements as well.

All in all, three specific solutions were announced. For starters, VMware is working on a way to bring hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to the edge. Using VMware Pulse IoT Center and HCI tools, this solution will offer real-time analytics at the edge from the sensor data collected by IoT devices, the release said. The firm is working with industry partners on providing third-party analytics kits, but didn't mention which companies that entailed.

In partnership with Axis Communications and Dell EMC, VMware is working on an IoT-based smart surveillance product. Axis will provide the hardware (IP cameras, routers) and Dell EMC will handle the compute through either Dell EMC servers or Dell Edge Gateways, the release said. The solution will be managed through VMware Pulse IoT Center.

"Additionally, VMware is working with financial services organizations to develop the modern bank of the future using surveillance to optimize security and the customer experience," the release said.

In conjunction with Wipro Limited, VMware will also release an asset tracking tool for manufacturers. Wipro's Looking Glass asset management platform will integrate with VMware's IoT Edge solutions to provide asset and data tracking, along with predictive failure analytics.

"The benefits of improved efficiency and productivity of machinery and other assets across the shop floor have the potential to contribute significant returns to manufacturers," the release said.

VMware also dedicated some $6 million toward edge computing research alongside the National Science Foundation (NSF) at MWC.

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Image: iStockphoto/wutwhanfoto

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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