Hewlett Packard Enterprise Wednesday took a big leap forward in powering the intelligent edge with the ability to run unmodified enterprise applications from the likes of Microsoft and SAP on HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems.
Microsoft's Azure Stack cloud and SAP's in memory HANA ERP software are among the enterprise applications that can now run at the edge, opening the door for customers to drive real-time insights and actions from the vast amount of data in mission critical edge environments like oil rigs, energy grids and factories.
The other applications that HPE said can now run unmodified at the edge are: PTC's ThingWorx industrial IoT platform, Citrix's XenApp virtualization software and SparkCognition's SparkPredict cognitive machine for predictive analytics.
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Dr. Tom Bradicich, vice president and general manager, IoT and converged edge systems for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said the ability to bring "enterprise class" applications to the edge and combine them with industrial systems is a massive opportunity for partners.
"We are bringing the capability to run unmodified data class applications at the edge... no one has done that before," said Bradicich. "This is not low power processing cores, not low performance gateways, not routers and switches that try to run apps. We are bringing enterprise class, cloud class, data center grade technology to the edge. We are unleashing the power of data center software to the edge. This is extremely profound. This opens up a new total addressable market for partners."
Many customers, in fact, are demanding the ability to run enterprise class applications at the edge.
Bradicich pointed to the case of an oil and industrial company that up until now was unable to run a critical enterprise class application at the edge. "The customer didn't want a cloud connection because of security issues and bandwidth costs," he said. "Because of the Edgeline converged edge system the customer can now run that software at the edge."
For software vendors, the Edgeline systems are taking enterprise class applications that have been "trapped" in the cloud or data center and allowing them to run at the edge. "This is a re-return on investment for software providers and solution providers," said Bradicich. "Solution providers that have been selling software in the data center and in the cloud can now sell those enterprise applications on the edge.We have created a third place where enterprise-grade software can run."
HPE also announced the HPE Edgeline Extended Storage Adapter option kit, adding up to 48 terabytes of software-defined storage to HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems. That provides the horsepower to run artificial intelligence (AI), video analytics or databases at the edge.
HPE has worked with Microsoft, SAP, Citrix, PTC and SparkCognition to certify their enterprise software for the Edgeline systems. "We have opened up a new market for software vendors," Bradicich said. "It used to be just the data center and the cloud. Now we have opened up a new place for them to sell their software."
Customers are demanding the ability to run enterprise software at the edge because of the much faster response times required for sophisticated applications, said Bradicich. "How soon do you want to know that your turbine is about to catch on fire or your autonomous vehichle is about to hit an object?" asked Bradicich."Wouldn't you like to know that quickly?"
Some customers have so much data at the edge they do not have the bandwidth to go to the cloud, said Bradicich.
Security issues are also driving more customers to run applications at the edge, said Bradicich. "When you send all the data from the edge to the cloud, be it an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico or a crop field in Ohio, it is vulnerable to hostile breaches," he said. "If you keep it at the edge, it is safer. Don't you think it is impossible for me to get hit by a car if I never leave my home? If the data doesn't leave the edge it is inherently less vulnerable to attacks across the network."
Rich Baldwin, chief strategy officer at San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners, No. 354 on the CRN SP500, said the Edgeline solutions are a big leap forward in the HPE intelligent edge sales offensive.
"HPE is far ahead of competitors at the edge," he said. "HPE has had the Edgeline systems on the market for a a number of years and they are refining it. The move to the edge is inevitable. There is so much data at the edge and you need to be able to quickly compute it. By putting the compute power at the edge, HPE is powering real-time analytics so customers can quickly make decisions."
Dan Molina, chief technology officer at Nth Generation Computing, said HPE is driving actionable insights on the massive amount of data at the edge -- that up until now has gone untapped. "HPE is bringing AI and machine learning to the edge to help organizations make decisions a lot faster than before," he said.