VMware aims to manage Internet of Things infrastructure

VMware is expanding its data center, mobile, and cloud management footprint to the Internet of Things (IoT). After all, IoT could use some management and security help.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

VMware wants to manage your Internet of Things infrastructure in addition to your IT operations.

The company at Dell EMC World launched an IoT management suite that aims to "enable IT and operational technology teams to have complete control of their IoT infrastructure."

While most IoT implementations have focused on analytics and making use of the data thrown off by devices, VMware is looking more into the management issues. The company outlined VMware Pulse IoT Center, which is currently in private beta with customers in multiple industries such auto, retail banking, manufacturing and health care.

VMware CTO Ray O'Farrell said companies are realizing that they need more management and control since IoT deployments are ramping. "Infrastructure that used to be a data center has now expanded to cloud, mobile and now IoT," said O'Farrell. "The IoT focus has been around analytics, but trust and security are now key areas. Companies have less focus on the analytics and more on the nuts and bolts as the data makes its way back into the cloud and data center. Companies are beginning to realize that IoT analytics needs distributed infrastructure."

O'Farrell's take is on target. There have been numerous IoT security issues that have emerged in the last year. Consider that IoT end points were deployed without a lot of security, botnets like Mirai use those end points and issues are just starting.

For VMware, Pulse IoT Center could give the company a broader market and one that can meld with cloud and hybrid data center management tools. VMware's biggest argument is that IoT deployments struggle as they move from proof of concept to production. Pulse IoT Center is designed for production use cases, monitoring, tracking and securing thousands if not millions of devices.

Pulse IoT Center uses technology from VMware's AirWatch unit to manage devices as well as its vRealize Operations software. Features include:

  • Management tools to on-board, manage, and monitor IoT edge systems and connected devices. VMware also said Pulse IoT Center will interoperate with multiple systems and be able to track updates with a rules engine. The interoperability issue is critical given that many IoT deployments are industry-focused.
  • Real-time tracking of anomalies and analytics to visualize all edge systems.
  • Security tools such as enterprise wipe, firmware updates and patching, and secure tunnels from data point to application.

Here's a screen shot:


In addition, Dell Technologies said it will make VMware's Pulse IoT Center the preferred management tool for its Dell Edge Gateways. VMware also said that it will work with partners such as ATOS, Deloitte, EuroTech, Fujitsu, Harman, ThingWorx, and Viz Explorer on IoT deployments.

VMware said Pulse IoT Center will be available in 2017, but it didn't provide more specifics. O'Farrell said the vague availability date is due to the fact that there are multiple betas in play with customers and VMware wants to iron out issues. Pricing will be announced when Pulse IoT Center is generally available.

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