HPE: You want full-blown enterprise software on our Edge boxes? You got it

Microsoft, SAP among app houses to 'validate' Edgeline

HPE’s Edgeline family got some love from a bunch of software houses today: they have agreed to validate full-blown versions of their enterprise apps on its hardware.

The Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 hit the streets in 2016, aimed at customers that want to process and analyse data where it is generated rather than sending it to the cloud or to the data centre.

Tom Bradicich, HPE veep and GM for IoT and Converged Edge Systems, said it was more meaningful that the likes of Microsoft and SAP had backed the products.

“It doesn’t matter if my mum thinks I am handsome,” as he put it to The Reg.

Bradicich said the boxes contained “server grade processing, not edge grade processing, which is usually lower power, smaller cores or some proprietary routers or switches”. And as such, can run the same software tools as customers would use in their bit barns or the cloud.

Microsoft SQL server and Azure tech, SAP HANA, PTC ThingWorx, SparkCognitions’s SparkPredict and Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop were among the many software vendors that validated its edge kit.

“The presence of the full software stack, the power of that is extremely game changing. Because today with other systems, competitors systems, pared down versions have to be run, there is not enough memory, not enough storage, not enough processing power,” said Bradicich.

Edge computing in one of the markets that HPE is betting big on: yesterday it confirmed that $4bn worth of R&D spend will be directed at the space over the next four years. HPE spent $1.48bn on R&D in total in its fiscal ’17.

The EL1000 and EL4000 integrate operational tech such as control system data acquisition hardware and industrial networks in the same box.

Bradicich said edge computing gives IT ops folk managing tech that sits on, say, a manufacturing floor, out in a crop field or in the “remotest of remote places” the ability to respond quicker to certain needs.

“If I can run an entire database or an entire analytics artificial intelligence package at the edge then I can respond faster.”

Stats from Gartner indicate that 75 per cent of all data will be generated outside of the traditional data centre by 2022. Today it is less than ten per cent.

However the cost, bandwidth and security of sending data to the cloud could mean the IT department is better off just processing it at the edge, and sending only the vital information back to base, HPE said.

HPE is also upping storage capacity for the EL lines from September, with the EL1000 increasing from 4TB to 20TB, and the EL4000 ramping to 48TB from 15TB. A 96TB model is in the offing, the company told us.

Bradicich said that without the storage shot in the arm, “there are some applications that won’t run, like Microsoft storage bases. So when we have that 48TB we have another application, Software Defined Storage, that we can have Microsoft support and validate with us.” ®

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