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Microsoft and Dell collaborate on IoT service

Steve Rogerson
May 10, 2018
Dell Technologies and Microsoft are collaborating to deliver a joint IoT service designed to help vertical users simplify deploying their end-to-end IoT products from the edge to the cloud.
The combination of Microsoft Azure IoT applications and services, VMware Pulse IoT centre and Dell edge gateways should provide users with streamlined management, centralised monitoring and security from devices to the cloud.
"When businesses deploy secure intelligent edge to cloud, they can take full advantage of the digital transformation opportunities IoT represents,” said Ruston Panabaker, vice president for IoT at Microsoft. “By delivering this integrated edge to cloud, Microsoft and Dell technologies are making it easier for customers to empower their employees, optimise operations and reimagine their products, services or even business models."
Businesses that are implementing IoT initiatives have invested significant resources and staff to research and integrate a multitude of hardware, software and cloud services across the fragmented IoT landscape to stand up a product that meets their business needs and adheres to IT departments' stringent standards. Those businesses want to harness advanced services such as artificial intelligence and real-time decision making while also making sure all deployment, asset management, security and compliance requirements are met.
Together, Dell Technologies and Microsoft aim to make IoT easier for customers by delivering a secure method to provide consistent infrastructure management from the edge to the cloud.
"When we unveiled the Dell Technologies IoT division last fall, we committed to leaning on the Dell Technologies family of businesses to engineer the right way to meet customer needs in conjunction with our partner ecosystem,” said Chris Wolff, head of OEM and IoT at Dell. “This collaboration will enable customers to implement IoT more seamlessly, for better and faster RoI."
The joint offering comprises an underlying IoT infrastructure, management capabilities and security for those looking to deploy IoT for scenarios such as predictive maintenance, supply chain visibility and other use cases. It aims to deliver:

  • Intelligence at the edge with Microsoft Azure IoT Edge: This application extends cloud intelligence to edge devices so devices can act locally and leverage the cloud for global coordination and machine learning at scale.
  • Management and monitoring of edge devices with VMware Pulse IoT centre: This provides more secure, enterprise-grade management and monitoring of diverse, certified edge devices including gateways and connected IoT devices, bios and operating systems. This ecosystem will be built over time involving deeper integration and certification to support requirements.
  • Rugged Dell edge gateways: IoT devices with dual-core Intel Atom processors connect a variety of wired and wireless devices and systems to aggregate and analyse inputs and send relevant data to the cloud.
The VMware Pulse IoT centre will serve as the management glue between the hardware (Dell edge gateways or other certified edge systems), connected sensors and devices and the Microsoft Azure IoT Edge. Initially, Pulse will help deploy the Azure IoT Edge to the requisite edge systems so it can start collecting, analysing and acting on data in real time.
While this joint service is optimised for Dell edge gateways, it can continuously manage, monitor and better secure certified combinations of gateways and edge systems with patches and updates on an on-going basis as well as monitor the health of these connected devices.
Users relying on Microsoft Azure IoT Edge and VMware Pulse IoT centre for their IoT initiatives will be able to provision, deliver and more securely manage their Microsoft Azure IoT edge components.
"Teaming up with Microsoft on IoT and edge is a natural fit based on the complementary technologies we offer today,” said Mimi Spier, vice president for IoT business at VMware. “Microsoft and Dell technologies can help customers securely and more easily navigate their journey to IoT and edge with integrated and secure solutions that will help them to improve their businesses and deliver a better customer experience."
Users and channel partners can work with Dell Technologies and Microsoft to purchase this IoT service in the second half of 2018.