Dell, Intel Look To Fuel IoT Innovation With New Silicon Valley Lab

Dell on Tuesday officially opened the doors to a new Internet of Things (IoT) Lab, providing its customers with a dedicated facility for testing and deploying new IoT solutions.

The lab, located in the Dell Silicon Valley Solution Center in Santa Clara, Calif., is being funded by Dell's OEM Solutions arm and its go-to IoT partner Intel.

Dell said the IoT lab will be open to Dell and Intel customers who are looking to build, modify and architect new IoT solutions that leverage Dell hardware or software. These customers, who Dell said will span different industries, can also use the lab to test large workloads, connectivity and data modeling and extraction processes on Dell products including its PowerEdge servers.

[Related: Google I/O: Looks Like Android Is Getting Ready For The Internet Of Things]

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The aim of the lab, according to Dell, is to accelerate the development of new IoT solutions from Dell OEM customers.

"We are excited to partner with our customers to offer a place where they can come and build new Internet of Things solutions," said Joyce Mullen, vice president and general manager, Dell OEM Solutions, in a statement. "This lab will be staffed with highly skilled engineers and technicians and is designed to be an active space where our customers can validate and test their solutions on Dell hardware and software systems."

The Internet of Things -- or a growing network of everyday objects that use an Internet connection to communicate with each another and the people around them -- has become the talk of the tech world in 2014. Much of that conversation has been driven by networking giant Cisco, who projected this year that there will be 50 billion Internet-connected devices by 2020.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Cisco CEO John Chambers also pegged this emerging network of "things" as a potential $19 trillion opportunity between the public and private sectors combined.

Cisco has rolled out a number of IoT-focused technologies, including new ruggedized routers and a platform called IOx that uses what Cisco calls "fog computing" to deliver compute capabilities to the network edge.

Dell, for its part, has also stepped up its efforts around IoT. And, in many of those cases, has joined forces with Intel. Earlier this year, the two companies said they would collaborate on IoT solutions to enable "smart" or highly connected buildings. Additionally, Intel and Dell in July introduced a home automaton alliance called the Open Interconnect Consortium that creates open-source standards for machine-to-machine communications.

Solution providers, for the most part, told CRN that the IoT market is still in its early stages, but they expect big opportunities to come, especially in vertical markets like healthcare and transportation.

"We aren't hearing much about the IoT yet from our customers, however, there is certainly a buzz in the industry as giants such as [Dell and Intel] join hands in seeking opportunity," Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Ontario-based solution provider Xylotek Solutions, said in an email to CRN.

"I think the biggest bang for the buck will end up in healthcare and the automotive industry, at least out of the gate, followed closely by the wearables industry both associated with healthcare and with entertainment," Grosfield continued. "As to the opportunity as a partner of both [Intel and Dell], we will be communicating closely with our partners to identify and take advantage of emerging trends in this exciting space."