March 13, 2018. Technical Edge and IoT Author: Jon Laycock

IoT – Dell’s Internet of Things

Like most, I’d seen Michael Dell’s fourth quarter 2017 announcement about a new Dell Technologies IoT division – and like most, I wasn’t sure what it really meant.

Then I was invited to Dell’s IoT Solution Centre in Limerick to be shown the vision.

Firstly, it was good to appreciate that the team at Dell Technologies (DT) do not see themselves as having the answer to IoT, it is a partnership. 

Partnership is key – there’s no single IoT solution.

There are sensors – thousands of different types, there’s appliances, networking, gateways, management tools, analytics, dashboards and much, much more. 

DT does not have everything in its toolbox – in reality, no one solution provider has everything today.

Indeed, Michael Dell used the example of a deer running in front of a self-driving car in his recent IoT announcement - there are sensors to sense the deer, compute to recognise it is a deer, algorithms to discern there is a danger, and decision making to redirect the car and avoid a collision. 

Whilst all the time the car continues to monitor its systems and send telemetry data back to the manufacturer. This can be complex IT.


Driverless Car


Any IoT division needs to embrace technology, partner with others and be open. 

VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell has been appointed General Manager, a very interesting move.

Dell, prior to the EMC takeover was best known for PCs, laptops and servers with a little networking and storage thrown in. 

The EMC acquisition has added much more, mostly storage, but also several analytics and big data-based gems of IP. 

When an organisation can bring together virtualisation and management (VMware) and hardware platforms and various analytics/big data pieces (Dell EMC), cloud (Virtustream), security (RSA), cloud app development platform (Pivotal) – this is starting to look like fantastic bedrock to build from, but there are still many pieces of the jigsaw missing. 


IoT Abstract


Partnerships are key to building a complete IoT solution, and this is a vital area that Dell has been investing in.

The Dell ‘IoT Solutions Partner Program’ aims to;

“Give (providers)… the tools needed to focus on the advancement of commercial and industrial IoT solutions, the program will enable Technology and Services providers, OEMs, developers and end customers to find the right tools to deploy scalable, differentiated solutions on top of Dell's broad portfolio of IoT-enabling technologies.”  

This program helps to bring together the pieces of the jigsaw, enabling vendors like DT and those IoT players to build credible solutions.

Openness is also key and another area where Dell Technologies has really collaborated and delivered.

For example, the EdgeX Foundry, billed as “a vendor-neutral open source project hosted by The Linux Foundation building a common open framework for IoT edge computing" is based on code originally developed in the Dell Technologies stable, actually VMware, and now launched under the Linux Foundation.

Its goal? Simplification and standardisation for edge computing, enabling true multi-vendor IoT solutions. 

Dell Technologies has a great IoT story to tell.

The organisation is collaborating and partnering to help to bring innovative solutions to the market, they are saying and doing the right things. It’s a very good journey they have mapped out, it will work. 


And what about Arrow? 

Arrow’s position is very much “Sensor to Sunset”. 

Sensor to Sunset represents Arrow’s comprehensive, multi-vendor, portfolio of technology and services from sensors, wireless connectivity, gateways to cloud platforms, data ingestion, aggregation and visualisation, analytics and security to billing services, monitoring/managed services and sustainable and secure end-of-life cycle disposition.  

In a similar approach to Dell Technologies, Arrow does not have all the IoT answers.

Arrow is working in collaboration with its vendors and partners are able to create and deliver credible and ground-breaking IoT solutions. 

The world of IoT is an evolving and fast-moving one. Arrow and Dell Technologies have strategies that position them as leaders in the field. 

Organisations looking to implement IoT solutions should not overlook what these two technology giants, and their partners, are doing in the area of the Internet of Things.


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