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Dell forms IoT unit and launches gateway products

Dell has cut the ribbon on a new product division focused on creating internet of things systems

Dell has announced the formation of an internet of things (IoT) division and launched an Intel-based IoT gateway, its first dedicated IoT product.

Its IoT unit has been designed to bring together an end-to-end internet of things system spanning hardware, software and services.

According to Dell, it will partner with a number of operational technology (OT) organisations to create systems specialised enough for OT, yet manageable in an IT environment.

“Current IoT systems offer lengthy implementations, overly ambitious scoping and complex proprietary designs that raise risks and costs,” said Andy Rhodes, Dell executive director of IoT solutions.

“We are helping customers build out their systems pragmatically, with a broad portfolio of IoT-enabling offerings, including security, manageability, services, analytics, infrastructure and endpoints,” he added.

By choosing to launch a gateway product first, Dell believes it is filling a niche in the market by offering a “flexible and scalable” foundation for IoT development projects.

“Developing an IoT solution for building automation systems requires speed and responsiveness, but there are also considerations such as security and the need for an open development platform that must be addressed,” said Richard Newberry, CEO at KMC Controls, which is partnering with the new unit.

“Dell’s IoT gateways allow KMC to connect building automation systems to the internet of things, with a truly open and secure platform that scales very well from small buildings to large buildings to distributed properties within a portfolio,” he added.

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A small, wireless or connected device to help users collect, secure and process sensor data at the network edge, the IoT gateway will give customers the flexibility to perform in-depth analytics at the edge. This will reduce latency for data-based decisions, and therefore reduce time and costs associated with moving data into a cloud or datacentre, said Dell.

The supplier claimed the gateway product would form a “solid foundation” for an IoT edge system that conserved valuable bandwidth by relaying only meaningful data into the cloud.

Compatible with numerous operating systems, including Microsoft Windows IoT, Ubuntu and Wind River Linux, the small units can be mounted on any easily accessible part of a building, and are built on dual-core Intel processors to power a range of potential applications – Dell envisages building and industrial automation as being key use cases in the enterprise.

“The manufacturing industry has relied on Dell to deliver great hardware and services for many years,” said Peter Han, vice-president of worldwide OEM marketing at Microsoft.

“With its new IoT gateways running Windows IoT, Dell is poised to bring new security, analytics and efficiencies to the field of automation that will be sure to delight our mutual customers,” he added.

The supplier’s services wing has also embarked on a collaboration with ThingWorx to deliver the technical and business expertise that will reduce risk for organisations deploying IoT systems.

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