As the internet of things (IoT) continues to expand with devices and new use cases, HPE is working to make it easier for customers to manage their growing IoT device inventories through the introduction of its HPE Edgeline Services Platform and two related apps.
Unveiled by HPE at its Discover 2017 conference in Las Vegas on June 6, the Edgeline Services Platform, the Edgeline Data Aggregation App and the Edgeline Address Translation App are all aimed at allowing customers to more easily bring together their IT systems and their Operational Technology (OT) functions, such as data capture systems and industrial networks.
The company launched its Edgeline Converged Edge systems a year ago, which brought together IT and OT in combined systems from one vendor with smaller footprints and promising simpler management and deployment, lower energy consumption and increased reliability. The new Edgeline Services Platform and the two new apps, which HPE is calling Software Defined OT, are intended to help customers built on that momentum, giving them more opportunities to find additional value from their investments and their rich stores of corporate data.
By combining traditional IT data with new sources of OT data, such as information from control systems, direct wired data acquisition systems and industrial networks being used as part of the IoT, businesses will be able to optimize operations using the latest HPE offerings.
The new HPE Edgeline Services Platform will run IoT applications and services for customers outside traditional data centers or the cloud, instead allowing customers to operate IoT functions where the equipment is located, such as in factories, refineries, on moving vehicles or spread throughout a city, according to HPE.
The HPE Edgeline Data Aggregation App and the HPE Edgeline Address Translation App will help deepen those capabilities. The Data Aggregation App is an OT app which ingests and combines data from a wide range of existing or new OT devices such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, aggregating them into a single data collection. The Address Translation App, meanwhile, gathers network addresses translations from a larger network, such as inside a factory, and delivers them to one or more subset networks, such as a specific manufacturing line inside a factory. The Address Translation App uses software defined configuration to control its activities, allowing customers to manage and run it remotely, according to HPE.
Mike Krell, a senior IoT analyst with research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, told ITPro that HPE's Software Defined OT and Edgeline Converged systems approaches are being offered to customers amid a crowded field of competition from other vendors, each of which is touting its ideas to solve customer technology problems.
"The biggest issue for customers trying to develop IoT solutions today is that it's like taking a crash course in a foreign language," said Krell. "There are so many new technologies and variables that making the right call is very difficult – especially when you don't speak the language."
To battle those customer concerns, HPE is "taking the approach of providing a full solution to the problem from a single trusted vendor – relieving OT customers from having to get familiar with a number of new vendors and technologies," said Krell. "And that's of great value."