Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Understanding Edge Computing

Dell's new IoT surveillance solution prepping for 'holy grail' of edge computing

The first release of its computer vision play, the surveillance appliance is the beginning of Dell Technologies' push for an open approach to IoT and edge computing.

Dell Technologies has announced new solutions and bundles on Tuesday aimed at simplifying edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) deployment, with the idea to build an open foundation that scales to meet the demand of a connected world.

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The first release under the banner of a computer vision foundation is surveillance.

Also: Where's the 'edge' in edge computing? Why it matters, and how we use it

"The reason for surveillance is that it's an important use case ... cameras are the best sensors around, very rich information," Dell Technologies CTO of IoT solutions Jason Shepherd said.

"It's really the first stop on the vision train ... computer vision, more broadly speaking, is surveillance, but let me take a different type of camera and a different type of analytics and put it on a manufacturing line and watch for parts that fly by regarding quality issues."

Speaking with ZDNet while at VMworld in Las Vegas, Shepherd said the new offering is laying the foundation that allows for the plugging in of "best-in-class ingredients" by others.

Building on EdgeX, which is a common open framework for IoT edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components, Shepherd said the future is open, and proclaimed that gone are the days of vendors locking a customer in.

"In this market, where there is all this new innovation, it's about pace of innovation, that's how you stay ahead -- you have to float all boats for scale, just make sure your boat's the fastest and the best, that's how it works," he explained.

"You think PCs would have scaled if it cost $1,000 to connect a keyboard? It's about the outcome, it's about analytics, it's about who has the best algorithm and the infrastructure below.

"We build the guts so our partners can build the glory."

Must read: Top 5: Ways to create secure IoT devices TechRepublic

According to Shepherd, the way vendors are currently building out solutions won't ever work.

"The holy grail of digital transformation is selling data, services, and resources to people that you don't know. And the only way you can do that is open frameworks, interoperability, and throw in some distributed ledger blockchain for good measure -- make sure my buzz-count is really high," he said.

"Edge computing day one and two ... is just really flexible and it doesn't lock you in because what's happening in the market today is number one it doesn't scale, so if I have 100 platforms for 100 use cases -- try managing that at scale.

"The clouds are all trying to lock customers in, this is not the '80s early PC days, it won't work.

"We're building a foundation that scales, we're not just trying to hack stuff together ... we're in the AOL stage of IoT; we're just getting things online."

Also: From cloud to edge: The next IT transformation (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Dell also announced IoT Connected Bundles, which makes available sensors and licensed software from partners tailored for specific customer use cases, together with various combinations of Dell Technologies infrastructure spanning edge gateway, embedded PC, and server hardware in addition to complementary software like VMware Pulse IoT Center for securing, managing, and monitoring these solutions at scale.

Shepherd said it's about helping the channel and people that provide solutions on top of Dell's infrastructure that creates value for customers.

Also: How to create a security strategy for IoT

"Floating all boats so we can get to the real value," he added.

The IoT Connected Bundles include: Compliance-aaS for HVAC, refrigeration, and power systems; self-contained and powered surveillance for safety and security in outdoor spaces; energy savings for grocery retailers while improving food quality and safety; advanced Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM); video surveillance tailored for the requirements of K-12 Education; efficient remote monitoring of field assets in oil and gas operations; predictive maintenance in mid-market manufacturing; and digital manufacturing intelligence suite for larger-scale operations.

The reference architecture for Dell Technologies IoT Solution for Surveillance is available today, and the engineered solution will be available in October 2018; while the IoT Connected Bundles for channel partners will be available in September 2018.

Disclosure: Asha McLean travelled as a guest of VMware to VMworld in Las Vegas

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