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.
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.