It's an exciting time right now for our industry. We’re in an arms race to make devices in critical infrastructure 'smart' and 'cloud-enabled'. Those who already have smart devices in critical infrastructure are busy updating their datasheets with the liberal use of the acronym “IoT.” It makes sense. The concepts behind IoT (Internet of Things) are really exciting, especially from an implementation and customer satisfaction perspective.
Much like “the cloud,” the concept of IoT is beautifully vague. To some, it’s just a marketing vehicle or tool to generate some buzz. But this blog post isn't really about that, this blog post is about how real connectivity and analytics can create a true end-to-end IoT environment. It’s an environment that is going to fundamentally redefine how we deploy technology at the edge.
The need for low latency and business continuity drives compute capabilities much closer to the application end-users. That makes a lot of sense if you consider the explosion in mobile apps usage and introduction of new technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) (case in point: Pokémon GO). However, we need to understand the risks that come with deploying at the edge.
Some edge locations are small branch offices, stores, or warehouses. The local IT expertise is usually minimal, with the store manager acting as the first layer of defense. An outsourced IT tech generally provides the next layer of support, but at a cost. Security is also a significant risk. There’s a real need to control both physical and virtual assets (e.g., lockable closets, video monitoring, access logs, and more).
So, businesses with multiple edge locations look for solutions that provide security, standardize deployment, and focus on redundancy and availability. This is often accomplished through a half dozen “best-of-breed” products that are loosely tied together but rarely truly integrated.
At Vertiv, we've worked hard to distill the complexity into a solution that addresses your desire to secure, standardize, and ensure your systems are optimized. And not just for IT, mind you. We also deliver the ability to remotely monitor and manage the whole of your infrastructure from cooling to power and beyond.
The Vertiv family of Smart Solutions is an excellent example of solutions that help customers standardize equipment, improve availability, and provide remote troubleshooting capabilities.
In the coming months, we will be making our Smart Solutions even smarter! Think a single pane of a glass, a single REST interface that combines all of your edge equipment into a concise and easy to understand dashboard. Intelligent alerting to make sure your staff is always informed about critical events and trends at any of your locations. The ability to remotely access your equipment across multiple locations and troubleshoot with more capability than ever before.
This smart controller is the first product in our upcoming IoT gateway family, and it will change the way that you look at Edge deployments. Think of it as a central nervous system for your edge data center, be it a cabinet, row of racks or a computer room. The gateway will give you the capability to turn your entire edge infrastructure into an integrated unit of compute that is easy to monitor, manage, and maintain.
There is a lot more we are planning for the smart controller and our IoT gateway family, but you can check out a prototype at booth #628 at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF16). Vertiv, Lenovo and OSISoft have created a really cool proof of concept with the Gateway at its heart. We hope you’ll join us and see for yourself how we’re moving IoT beyond the hype.