As we’ve discussed all season on Utilizing Edge, innovation is coming from all directions, including hardware, software, and applications. This special crossover episode of the On-Premise IT and Utilizing Tech podcasts features Edge Field Day delegates Brian Knudtson, Ned Bellavance, and Jody Lemoine discussing their perspectives about edge innovation with Stephen Foskett. The primary drivers at the edge are integration, efficiency, and connectivity, as well as the unique needs of the applications there. Starting with hardware, customers are headed in two directions, with more enterprise availability features deployed in some locations and less-capable hardware in others, both in terms of compute and networking. At the software level, most edge infrastructure is hyper-converged, meaning that multiple layers of the stack are integrated in software and managed as one. Although intended as an application platform, Kubernetes is being deployed as a packaging abstraction and distribution solution at the edge.
Edge is leading the hardware industry into a new era of innovation. In this episode of Utilizing Tech, Stephen Foskett, and co-hosts, Allyson Klein and Alistair Cooke, sit down to dissect this. In the wake of Intel’s discontinuation of its NUC product line, a question that is in everyone’s mind is, what’s next. Intel, and many behemoths like it, have a proud legacy of knowing how to break a stalemate and preserve the churn, and even if that means stepping up and pulling the plug on an old product. It oxygenates the marketplace, welcoming new solutions and keeping the wheel of innovation moving. In the context of the emerging paradigm of edge, this change will likely propel the market towards a new breed of powerful, low-cost, pocket-size hardware that delivers breakthrough energy-efficiency and compute performance with little infrastructure.
Personal devices are increasingly being used across enterprise IT, from smartphones to wearable devices, and these are becoming the true edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge brings Field Day delegates Mark Houtz and Jim Czuprynski together with Stephen Foskett to discuss the personal side of the edge. Mobile Device Management (MDM) has been used to manage smartphones and similar technology is used for personal computers, but it seems inevitable that there will be a mixing of business and private data. The mix and match of personal devices at the edge is sure to be a topic of future focus.
Although blockchain technology has been tainted by scammers, the core idea of distributed consensus is relevant for certain edge applications. This episode of Utilizing Edge focuses on practical application of blockchain technology in edge and IoT, featuring Jason Benedicic, Alastair Cooke, and Stephen Foskett. Two key concepts in blockchain are the distributed ledger and consensus approach. There is a lot of work being done to apply blockchain in medical, finance, IoT, and proof of provenance. Although many applications can rely on authority or quorum, larger and more heterogeneous applications might benefit from consensus instead. The other aspect of blockchain, chain of custody and immutability of data, is potentially relevant in preventing supply chain attacks and dealing with transient devices. It’s important to remember that many of the things that have put people off blockchain, from financialization to public exposure of transactions, are not necessarily required in all blockchains.
Computing and sensors have been deployed at the edge for decades, and this is certainly true in the agriculture sector. This episode of Utilizing Edge features Edge Field Day delegates Ben Young and Alastair Cooke discussing with Stephen Foskett the evolution of connectivity and orchestration at the edge. Governmental policies can have a huge impact on the deployment of technology, from connectivity to environmental regulations, as has the emergence of inexpensive sensors, batteries, and processors thanks to the mobile phone industry, along with solar power. Cloud-inspired automation and orchestration is another key enabler of technology in agriculture and at the edge, with zero-touch provisioning, management, and central maintenance. Containerized applications, caching, and cloud-derived control planes are very popular at the edge, though not exactly the same way as in the cloud.
VMware Explore 2023 featured a broad set of products and technologies, all of which could be included under the banner of edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge considers this dynamic and varied world with Roy Chua and Brian Knudtson, along with host Stephen Foskett. Virtualization, networking, storage, and orchestration are all key edge technologies, and VMware and its partners are deeply involved in bringing these technologies to the edge. VMware announced Edge Cloud Orchestrator, new security capabilities, integrated networking, client integration, and the exciting potential of private 5G networks. Dive into this episode to unravel the complexities and promising future of edge computing.
Edge computing comes in many forms and brings many challenges, including bandwidth limitations, network reliability issues, and limited space. This episode of Utilizing Edge brings Brian Chambers, Alastair Cooke, and Stephen Foskett together to discuss the state of the edge in 2023. Industries like retail, multi-tenant environments, and industrial IoT find practical applications, but defining the edge remains an ongoing exploration. Implementation varies, from repurposing existing technologies to adopting modern approaches like containers and function as a service. The debate between virtual machines and containers continues, driven by organizational comfort. Despite constraints, edge environments offer greater control and accountability. The future promises more innovation and adoption, cementing edge computing’s significance in the tech landscape.
In this episode of the Utilizing Tech podcast, Stephen Foskett, Alison Klein, and Gina Rosenthal discuss dark data in edge computing. Dark data is unutilized or unknown data collected by organizations. The distributed nature and use of third-party apps can make it challenging to handle dark data, limiting insights and posing security risks. Establishing a stronger IT-business connection is crucial. Observability solutions and data analytics can aid in discovering and centralizing dark data. AI has potential for data hygiene improvement, but human-driven cleaning is still necessary. Despite challenges, edge computing offers better data management due to controlled deployments.
Perhaps no company is more important to the datacenter than VMware, but how are the company’s technologies applied at the edge? This episode of Utilizing Edge features Saadat Malik, VP and GM of Edge Computing at VMware, discussing the evolution of VMware at the edge with Brian Chambers and Stephen Foskett. The discussion delves into the evolution of VMware’s presence at the edge, highlighting the differences between datacenter and edge environments in terms of people and technology. Malik emphasizes the importance of outcomes and product-focused mindsets in edge environments, as well as the constraints posed by limited physical resources. VMware’s technologies in connectivity, storage, security, and management are showcased as key enablers of successful edge computing. The episode also touches upon the growing significance of AI and machine learning at the edge and the need for standardized solutions to drive edge growth and transformation.
Datacenter IT is used to having tight control over infrastructure and applications, but this is challenging to maintain at the edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge features Pierluca Chiodelli of Dell Technology discussing the modern edge application platform with Allyson Klein and Stephen Foskett. A typical edge environment features many different platforms, devices, and connections that must be deployed, managed, and controlled remotely. When looking at the modern edge, Chiodelli recognizes the different personas and needs and constructs a plan to achieve the required outcome at this location. Modern applications need specialized hardware and connectivity that must be supported, deployed, and managed.