HPE Leads The Charge In IoT With New Software-Defined Operational Technology

HPE on Tuesday unveiled its HPE Edgeline Services Platform to help partners better manage and control industrial connected systems and networks, including Internet of Things devices, at the edge.

The goal for the customers in the industrial segment, said Dr. Tom Bradicich, vice president and general manager of HPE's servers, converged edge and IoT systems, is to integrate IT into traditionally closed and proprietary operational technology control systems and industrial networks.

"We've kicked [our IoT platform] up a notch," said Bradicich. "We're taking devices in the operational technology world, and we're software defining them on our open, x86 Edgeline systems. We're setting the trend and staying ahead."

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The HPE Edgeline Services Platform is a software foundation that enables partners to deliver applications and services at the edge for connected operational technology devices – which include industrial control systems like programmable logic controls or SCADA systems.

HPE's efforts with OT convergence helps customers buy, deploy and manage fewer items, use lower energy, and increase their system reliability by bringing data to the edge, said Bradicich.

As part of its platform, HPE is offering an array of application services to help customers aggregate the data where other services can be plugged in.

The HPE Edgeline data aggregation app is an operational technology software app that combines data from multiple operational technology devices, and aggregates it together in a single data collection.

Meanwhile, HPE is also offering the Edgeline Address Translation app, which converges the task of network addresses translations from a larger network to more specific subset networks. This app uses software-defined configuration so that customers can easily and remotely manage their IT.

"If you look at IoT as an extension of networking and connectivity, by [HPE] getting into the market, they’ll now have more control of networks and interfaces for their customers," said Tony Balistrieri, VP of enterprise sales for the Southwest region at Zones, an Auburn, Wash.-based HPE partner. "HPE will have greater visibility into what the customers' environment will look like, so IoT provides a nice new revenue stream. IoT is a good fit for them."

HPE first focused on bringing data in the industrial world to the edge with the introduction of its Edgeline Converged Edge systems in June 2016. These Intel Xeon-based systems, which include the EL 1000 and EL 4000, bring high-performance standard x86 computing power to the edge of the network with data capture and control as well as management technology.

"In the world of converging OT we focused on two dimensions – first was the convergence of hardware with industrial networks and data acquisition. We put that hardware into the same box as our proven servers for remote system management," said Bradicich. "Now we've taken it to the next level with our Edgeline branded software."

HPE also stepped up its game around collaborations with other vendors and partners through the introduction of the HPE EdgeLine Innovation Network, a formalized network for ISVs, customers and partners to combine their offerings into an Edgeline Converged systems solutions.

"The hardware and software is available for companies like GE to add their Predix software or Microsoft to add their Azure IoT software," said Bradicich. "The other value we offer is free engineering development services to help develop appliances. We also have our IoT innovation labs that partners can come use, and understand how connected solutions work."