IOTech announced on Tuesday an agreement with Dell Technologies to globally offer IOTech’s Edge Xpert open IoT edge platform on Dell Edge Gateways for IoT.
Edge Xpert is a commercialized and fully-supported version of EdgeX Foundry, which has become an ecosystem-enabled open platform for the IoT Edge, by facilitating secure interoperability between devices and applications – independent of silicon, hardware, application and cloud services. Edge Xpert provides a robust, managed and supported version of the open source code base that can be safely deployed, at scale, in business-critical IoT solutions.
Edge Xpert leverages the Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry to provide a commercial quality open platform suitable for both Industrial and Consumer IoT edge applications. Edge Xpert builds on the latest stable release of the EdgeX Foundry’s baseline open source technology, to create a commercial quality open platform solution, which provides a future proof basis for deploying in mission and business critical industrial systems.
Edge Xpert is a flexible, platform-independent, highly-scalable and industrial-grade edge software platform supported by a rich ecosystem of components that can quickly and easily deliver interoperability between things, applications and services, across a wide range of use cases.
Based on a loosely-coupled microservices architecture, the Edge Xpert platform allows for independent microservices to be distributed across discrete hardware devices, written in different languages like Java, Go Lang and C/C++, communicating with each other via HTTP-REST, and other protocols such as MQTT and ZeroMQ.
Edge Xpert also supports the integration of multi-protocol OT device and sensor (e.g. Modbus, BACnet, OPC UA devices) and IT/Cloud such as Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, Google IoT Core and AWS IoT Platform endpoints via normalized device and export service APIs.
The Core Services and deployment framework have been architected to be hardware (e.g. x86, ARM) and OS (e.g. different of Linux and Windows) agnostic as possible, while providing the ability for Edge Xpert can to be tailored to the hardware and OS of choice if required.
Edge Xpert also provides a number of supporting services such as the rules engine microservice to enable edge intelligence/analytics to support the local decision making needed by low latency mission critical systems. Edge analytics allows the filtering of meaningless data at the edge to reduce communication and storage costs.
When needed Edge Xpert can be integrated with commercial edge analytics solutions. Other supporting services that are provided as part of the Edge Xpert platform include scheduling, alerts and notifications, and logging microservices.
In addition to the standard features of Edge Xpert (such as the ingestion and aggregation of data from a variety of industrial protocols, edge storage, control and analytics) IOTech has gone further in delivering a solution that can fully unlock the power and in-built connectivity of the Dell hardware, which includes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Zigbee, GPS, CANopen and MEMS functionality.
These IoT-ready capabilities allow users to simply configure Edge Xpert to enable device communication (e.g. with a Zigbee-compliant sensor) rather than requiring custom software development – thus significantly reducing integration effort, cost and time-to-deployment.
The combination of Dell hardware and IOTech’s Edge Xpert also enables a flexible open edge solution of plug-and-play components that leverages the growing ecosystem of extensions available from the EdgeX ecosystem.
In addition to the product offerings, IOTech also provides product training and workshops, and works with Dell solution providers to deliver pilot projects that validate IoT solutions for widescale deployments. Pilot programs are available from IOTech for many vertical markets.
Using Dell 3000 and 5000 Series Edge Gateways for the industrial edge with IOTech’s Edge Xpert thus helps accelerate the implementation of IoT projects by providing a solution for heterogeneous data ingestion, normalization, processing, analysis and sharing (e.g. with cloud services or other edge devices).
“Our philosophy is to simplify the configuration and deployment of IoT end-to-end solutions that provide new growth opportunities and/or enhance the operational efficiency of our customers,” said Keith Steele, CEO of IOTech. “The collaboration with Dell Technologies is indicative of the way we facilitate this through selling Edge Xpert with Dell Edge Gateways for IoT. We also see this initiative as representative of the way IoT infrastructure is evolving towards scalable, configurable edge platforms that support rapidly-deployable digitalization projects.”
“The development, integration and deployment of IoT projects is providing an incredible amount of new value for our customers by helping them achieve feats that were previously impossible,” said John Dauskurdas, Global Vice President, Sales, Dell Technologies. “We anticipate that this effort to simplify the purchase process gives more organizations the incentive to begin new IoT projects.”
Although Edge Xpert is platform-independent, having Edge Xpert available for sale through Dell Technologies will simplify customers’ selection and ordering process for IoT Edge solutions – with built-in support for multiple input data protocols and edge data management.