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  • Sarah-Jayne Gratton

Finding True Value at the Edge

“The Edge is no longer just a side-kick to the Cloud; it’s become a celebrity in its own right and deservedly so.”


You’d have to be living in a cave not to have heard the quote “data is the new oil” over the past twelve months or more and yes, there’s no denying that we do live in a data-centric age that’s overflowing with analytics yet to be made use of.


In a speech last week at Hannover Messe, Matthias Rose, Chief Technology of Manufacturing, Auto and IoT at Hewlett Packard Enterprise stated that “96% of all data captured is unused”. That’s an awful lot of data to go to waste and, in terms of the metaphor, is one heck of an oil spill


When it comes to most sectors of industry, making decisions on the fly can be crucial to the smooth running of manufacturing; ensuring that quality control hits the mark every time and delivers the very best to customers day in, day out.


Certainly, where safety is an issue, in autonomous vehicles for example, the cloud just isn’t fast enough to deliver those millisecond responses that could make the difference between life and death and that’s where a new hero steps in save the day – namely the Edge.



What I learned at Hannover Messe this year is just how powerful and prevalent the Edge has become. It’s no longer just a side-kick to the cloud, it’s become a celebrity in its own right and deservedly so.


Tom Bradicich, Vice president and general manager of servers and IoT systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, describes the Edge as being “where the action is. It's a manufacturing floor, a building, a campus, a city, your house, a crop field, a wind farm, a power plant, an oil rig, a telecommunications outpost, a sports arena, a battlefield, in your car, in the sky, or under the sea. It's everywhere everything is, and it's where the "things" are in the Internet of Things (IoT).”


With this in mind, it’s clear to see why the Edge has had its term upgraded to ‘Intelligent Edge’, due, in no small part, to its ability to reveal deep insights surrounding connected ‘things’ and their surrounding environments.


The near real-time speed and lack of latency is just one of the Edge’s ‘cape-worth’ superpowers. Its benefits stretch far beyond that to deliver true value across the entire Industry 4.0 stratosphere. Reduced bandwidth, improved security and continual reliability are just some of the reasons the crowds at this year’s HM19 were singing its praises and there’s no doubt that its potential is finally being fully embraced.



Pumping up the value of the Edge even further is HPE’s convergence of OT and IT systems at the Edge through their Edgeline Converged Edge Systems. Rather than take up unnecessarily large amounts of space, use excessive energy, and create management complexity, HPE’s converged OT-IT systems substantially reduce floor space, are less energy hungry and boost administration and security, all while reducing OPEX costs.


The convergence is nothing short of a winning combination for industry and one that set HPE apart at this year’s HM19.


My husband, Dr Dean Anthony Gratton, often asks the question “with data, if we know the past and understand the present, can we predict the future?” With Edge technology’s ongoing evolution, for me the answer is a resounding YES! It’s ability to monitor behavioural and consumption patterns allows it to grow and develop increasingly diverse data sets, which give the Edge the intelligence needed to make the predictions that matter.