We are entering an edge-centric world – are you ready?

JANUARY 18, 2019 • BLOG POST • PHIL DAVIS, PRESIDENT OF HYBRID IT & CHIEF SALES OFFICER

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IN THIS ARTICLE

  • HPE is creating a world where everything computes, a world that’s hyper-connected, where everyone and everything share data
  • At HPE, we are committed to help our customers connect all of their data, across all their edges and all their clouds
  • The IoT Innovation Labs are where customers, partners, and HPE experts collaborate to envision, design, and create unexplored areas of innovation

Phil Davis shares his thoughts from the grand opening of the IoT Innovation Lab in Geneva

One of the world’s largest cloud providers offers a service which literally employs trucks to transfer data. It’s not a joke - physical storage containers are sent to the edge to suck up data, then transport it to the cloud data center to discharge it.

It takes a week to ship the data vacuum back and forth, and that’s faster than transferring terabytes or petabytes of data via the network. When actual trucks are required to shuttle data between locations, it is time to explore fundamental alternatives.

We’re entering a new era of decentralized IT

We’re creating a world where everything computes, a world that’s hyper-connected, where everyone and everything share data. The possibility to turn all of that data into action and value – to create new experiences, new products and services and drive efficiencies – is what’s driving us to a faster, more intelligent world. We want to help customers connect all of their data, across all their edges and all their clouds.

The pendulous world of IT has swung between centralization and decentralization since its very beginning. From extremely centralized mainframe architectures, then decentralized client-server computing, then back to centralized cloud and mobile computing, each wave has brought with it significant changes – changes not only for IT, but also industry structures, market leaders and ultimately changes to the way we live and work. Now it’s time for the next wave to begin: the intelligent edge. And it’s shifting us to a whole new speed of business – one measured in microseconds.

The edge is where enterprises interact with their customers; where products are manufactured; where employees work each day; where everyday people interact, purchase, explore; where technology gets put into action – it’s where action happens and where we live. The edge employs AI, machine learning and automation to continuously learn, predict and adapt to changes, needs and threats in real-time. It enables us to act locally, in the moment, in context – creating new possibilities in every industry.

Connecting these new insights from edge to cloud across the enterprise and then integrating the data with existing business systems (ERP, CRM and more) are what’s driving value and growth.

We’re at the forefront of developing technologies for the edge, and enabling real-time insights, personalized experiences and the ability to take action instantaneously.

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Process data at the edge instead of moving it with trucks

As sensors are increasingly embedded into vehicles, machines, plants, venues and devices of all kinds, we see an exponential growth of data at the edge. This unprecedented volume of data is paired with a higher demand on speed and accuracy, as data analysis is driving ever-increasing important decisions. From autonomous vehicles to health record analysis, the need to process edge data, then act upon it in real-time, anywhere, can be a matter of life and death. The only way we can deal with the combined challenge of exponential data growth at the edge and high demands on speed and accuracy, is to process edge data right where it’s created, directly at the edge, eliminating the detour via remote data centers. This requires the deployment of ruggedized high-performance IT infrastructure and intelligent, secure wireless networks. It also requires a new systems category that converges the technology of operational technology (OT) and of IT to enable a seamless, bi-directional and deterministic communication and control of devices and machines at the edge.

The edge-centric world is dawning, but that doesn’t mean the sun in setting on the cloud. To capture the value of the data that’s created everywhere, we need edge-to-cloud architectures that do the majority of processing at the edge – instead of just moving data with trucks. The deployment of such architectures is a highly complex technology transformation that involves a shift in how we manage business, processes, skills, and company culture.

Like many of our customers, at HPE, we have gone through our own transformation to be uniquely positioned to help our customers thrive in this ever-changing IT world. We are not selling IT infrastructure, but rather an outcome of IT infrastructure. These outcomes must be offered with consumption-based pricing, scalability up and down, speed and simplicity, regardless of where the technology runs: at one of the many edges, in a corporate data center, or in the data center of a service provider. The cloud is not a destination, but an experience. It’s this experience we provide to drive innovation and growth in an edge-centric world. That experience can start in one of our IoT Innovation Labs.

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HPE IoT Innovation Labs: collaborative environments to drive innovation

Our global IoT Innovation Labs are key tools we invest in to help our customers drive the transformation of technology, people, and economics – collaborative environments in which we work with our customers and partners to conceptualize, develop and test IoT and edge solutions that drive material business outcomes.


Considering the huge opportunity ahead of us in this new edge-centric, data-driven and cloud-enabled world, I was thrilled to be in Geneva, Switzerland for the opening of our fourth IoT Innovation Lab. Similar to the ones in Houston, Singapore, and Bangalore, the new lab offers immersive Edge Experience Zones that enable customers to digitally interact with “things” in their natural settings, featuring practical IoT use cases for industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, retail, smart city, and more. But our Geneva lab is more than a demo and test environment. It’s a place where customers, partners and HPE experts collaborate to envision, design and create unexplored areas of innovation. We look at ways of developing products and services, managing operations, supply chain, creating new customer experiences and generating new revenue streams – all based on innovative ways of deploying the next generation of IoT and intelligent-edge solutions. I look forward to meeting your there!

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