HPE Kicks IoT Edge Computing Market Into High Gear With New Edgeline OT Link Platform


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Tuesday pushed the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing technology envelope even further with the launch of a new open software platform designed to bridge the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) solutions.

The new HPE Edgeline OT Link platform -- which was unveiled at HPE Discover in Madrid -- "automates the interplay" between IT and OT applications at the edge with the aim of propelling a new wave of IoT applications that break ground in industries like manufacturing, energy and telecommunications.

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The HPE Edgeline OT Link Platform -- which will be available in the first quarter of 2019 -- is an open workflow engine and application catalogue designed to speed up application delivery with a drag and drop capability for OT and IT applications, component and data.

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The new open platform also includes an Edgeline OTLink Workload Orchestrator -- a central repository for containerized IoT and AI edge applications -- that will also be available in the first quarter next year.

Among the third party applications supported from edge to cloud with the Edgeline OT Link platform are: Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, SAP, PTC and GE.

The open platform -- along with a new HPE Edgeline EL300 Converged Edge Sysetem -- puts HPE and its partners squarely in the growing OT market, said Dr. Tom Bradicich, vice president and general manager servers and IoT systems for HPE,

"HPE is now in the OT software and hardware business," said Bradicich in an interview with CRN. "This is very disruptive. This is a multi-billion business at the edge such as systems that control robotic arms or industrial networks such as CANBUS."

Bradicich compared the HPE entry into the OT market to the equivalent of the introduction of the Apple iPhone which brought together cell phone, music player, pager, portable GPS and other tools into a new product category.

"The iPhone took all the tools that were at the edge of the individual and put them on one device called a smartphone," said Bradicich. "Just like Apple pioneered converged consumer functions into one device, Edgeline is pioneering the convergence of edge functions into one device. We are now building an ecosystem for the edge just like Apple built an ecosystem for its smartphone with the App Store. What Apple did for the consumer we are doing for the edge business and the OT and IT business."

Bringing the OT and IT applications together at the edge is the equivalent of bringing together peanut butter and jelly in a single sandwich, said Bradicich. "OT is jelly, IT is peanut butter and they have been separate in the past, but the Edgeline Converged Edge system is bringing them together in the same box," he said. "We have effectively invented the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the edge. It converges the control systems and industrial networks in the same box as IT functions like high performance computing, expandable storage, manageability and security. Putting OT and IT into the same box is very profound."

HPE said its new Edgeline EL300 Converged Edge System- which features OT Link and HPE Edgeline systems management- is available effective immediately with a list price starting at $2, 532.

The new hardware product provides solution providers with a lower energy single system that can run both OT applications and unmodified data center applications.

HPE's Edgeline computing offensive has created a new market at the edge for partners to deliver compelling hardware and software solutions that combine the OT and IT worlds, said Bradicich. "This is a new TAM (total addressable market) for partners to get a re-return on investment for at the edge using unmodified data center applications at the edge," said Bradicich."The profundity of the Edgeline portfolio is we can run unmodified enterprise class versions of the software."

Dan Molina, chief technology officer at San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners and No. 354 on the CRN SP500, said the new OT IT advancements sets HPE apart as the edge computing and IoT market leader for both the OT and IT markets.

Molina said Bradicich is the kind of "visionary" that is needed to accelerate the IoT revolution and bridge the gap between OT and IT. "HPE is the clear leader that is allowing customers to bridge their operational technology with IT," he said. "A lot of the critical AI and machine learning is going to be collected at the edge. There is no question about that. You need local processing power at the edge device. That is exactly what HPE is offering. HPE is the market leader."

In a blog post kicking off HPE Discover, HPE CEO Antonio Neri said that today 75 percent of the data is created at the edge but 94 percent of that data is untapped or lost. "This data waste is a missed opportunity and lost value. HPE knows the value of data and the insight it can give us, and that’s why have announced our commitment to invest $4 billion in the Intelligent Edge over the next four years," he wrote in the blog posted titled 'The edge centric, cloud enabled, data-driven enterprise of the future.' "This will accelerate our ability to innovate like never before, developing technologies to enable real-time insights, personalized experiences, and instant action. Realtime, real data, real insights, real value."

At HPE Discover this week in Madrid, HPE is demonstrating the power of the HPE edge computing solutions in a simulated factory floor. "The edge is all about using technology and data to redefine the experiences and business outcomes you deliver to your end customers, making them more satisfied and loyal," said Neri. "For your employees, the edge helps them to be more productive and engaged, whether they are in an office, oil rig, or university. These benefits can be created for smart vehicles, as well as huge sports stadiums."