Microsoft, VMware, Dell team up on IoT offering

Joint Internet of Things offering to combine Azure IoT Edge, VMware Pulse IoT Center, and Dell Edge Gateways.

A trio of industry giants have teamed up for an IoT play targeting vertical customers.

Announced on Wednesday, Microsoft will bring its Azure IoT Edge application to the table, VMware is being tapped for its Pulse IoT Centre to monitor and manage devices, and Dell is offering its dual-core Intel Atom Edge Gateways to the partnership.

"Initially, Pulse will help to deploy the Microsoft Azure IoT Edge to the requisite edge systems so that it can start collecting, analyzing and acting on data in real-time," the companies said in a statement.

"While this joint solution is optimized for Dell Edge Gateways it can continuously manage, monitor and better secure certified combination of gateways/edge systems with the latest patches and updates on an ongoing basis as well as monitor the health of these connected devices."

The offering set to be available for purchasing in the second half of the year, the companies said.

In October, Dell launched its IoT division with a plan to spend more than $1 billion in research over three years.

As a company, Dell is clearly backing the idea that IT is becoming more distributed, as many speakers at Dell Technologies World this week have said, with IoT being one of the main drivers after a period of centralisation thanks to cloud providers. Dell is betting compute power will need to be closer to the edge to analyse the amounts of data needed for artificial intelligence.

"It's kind of interesting to see this boom in edge computing, which I think has really just started," Dell Technologies Chairman and CEO Michael Dell said this week.

"We've had plenty of customers [put AI on the public cloud] and then they go and do that and go: 'Oh wow, the amount of data, the ingress and egress charges, the speed at which they operate, and by the way, cost too.'"

"Also customers are figuring out this data is more valuable, and do we really want to send it all off to somebody else, and then rent it back?"

For its part, Microsoft last month introduced Azure Sphere, which contains custom silicon, a Linux-based embedded OS, and cloud service aimed at securing microcontroller-based devices.

Disclosure: Chris Duckett travelled to Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas as a guest of Dell

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