HPE Hones Its Edge Computing Offerings

At the company's Discover event in Spain, HPE officials introduce a new system, new management software and greater automation capabilities.


At Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Discover show in June, President and CEO Antonio Neri announced the company would invest $4 billion over four years to develop technologies and services aimed at the increasingly competitive edge computing space, saying that “the edge is everywhere technology gets put into action and I believe the edge is the next big opportunity for all of us.”

The investment bolstered what has been an aggressive rollout by HPE over the past couple of years of products and services designed for the edge, an initiative that is continuing this week at the company’s Discover 2018 Madrid show in Spain. HPE officials are announcing new Edgeline converged edge solutions that include new systems, management offerings and a platform to automatically mesh IT edge applications and operational technologies (OT) to drive autonomous decision making at the edge.

“As digital transformation continues to disrupt every industry in every corner of the globe, the next phase of this evolution is upon us,” Neri wrote in a blog post. “Now data creation happens more at the edge, the retention of data is more important than ever before, less data is wasted, and the pace of innovation increases in all industries, from healthcare to agriculture.”

The focus of much of the industry is shifting away from core data centers and out to the network edge and the cloud, driven in large part by such changes as the tens of billions of intelligent connected devices that make up the internet of things (IoT), greater mobility, big data and analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). In an increasingly data-centric world, it’s getting important to push more processing, storage, networking, analytics and management capabilities out to the edge and closer to the devices and sensors that are generating massive amounts of data, and to more quickly analyze and act on that data.

Gartner analysts are predicting that by 2022, 50 percent of enterprise data will be created and processed outside of traditional data centers or the cloud, a rapid increase over the 10 percent last year. In addition, a broad array of hardware, component and software makers are growing portfolios aimed at the edge.

At the Discover show in Las Vegas earlier this year, HPE unveiled tested and validated system architectures running a variety of software stacks from vendors such as Microsoft, PTC’s ThingWorx, Citrix and GE Digital’s Predix IoT platform on Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 systems, with the goal of enabling organizations to run the same unmodified applications at the edge as they do in core data centers and the cloud.

Just weeks later, HPE rolled out the SimpliVity 2600, a dense hyperconverged system designed for space-constrained environments like those at the edge. The company has incorporated technologies from a number of acquisitions into its edge and hyperconverged computing efforts, including SimpliVity, Aruba Networks and, more recently, Plexxi, which HPE bought in May.

At the Discover show in Spain, HPE officials introduced the Edgeline EL300 Converged System, which features the company’s new OT Link and systems management software. The system is powered by Intel Core i5 chips and has up to 32GB of memory and 3TB of storage. It also comes with Intel’s Movidis Myriad X vision processing units for video analytics and AI inference at the edge. It can withstand shocks, vibrations, humidity and dust, enabling it to be used as an embedded system in such environments as building infrastructures.

The system will be added to the company’s Greenlake Flex Capacity, a hybrid cloud-as-a-service platform announced in June. Through Greenlake, systems can offer customers a consumption-based model with usage-based payment, capacity metering and tailored support to create a cloud-like experience at the edge. The Edgeline EL300 is available now starting at $2,532.

The Edgeline OT Link Platform streamlines the process of setting up an IoT or similar system. Tasks include custom coding for orchestrating OT networks and control systems via drivers, middleware and applications running on IT systems, they said. The open workflow engine and application catalog provides a graphical drag-and-drop user interface and integrates an array of third-party applications for the edge and cloud, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, SAP, PTC and GE.

In addition, the company is offering HPE-developed adapters that connect to a variety of OT systems, as well as APIs and software development kits (SDKs) for the adapters. OT Link also will integrate field-programmable gate array (FPGA) modules for greater flexibility in connecting to industrial I/O devices.

HPE’s Edgeline Integrated System Manager is embedded into the company’s Edgeline Converged Edge systems to simplify the provisioning and management of edge systems and applications. It includes one-click provisioning, system health management capabilities, remote updates and management, even when wireless and wired connections are not consistent. The software also supports advanced security functions like system boot file changes and remote system disablement when a security issue arises.

With the Edgeline Infrastructure Manager software, organizations can remotely manage thousands of Edgeline Converged systems. In addition, the Edgeline Workload Orchestrator includes a central repository for containerized analytics, AI, business and IoT applications that can be pushed out to the Edgeline systems at the edge.

HPE also is offering Edgeline Field Application Services through its Pointnext services arm to help organizations design, build and run IoT and edge systems.

The Integrated System Manager software is available now and is included in the EL300, while Edgeline Infrastructure Manager is available now starting at $499. Also available immediately are the OT Link certified modules, starting at $189, and Field Applications Services. The OT Link Platform and OT Link Workload Orchestrator will be available in the first quarter of 2019.