I hope you all enjoyed the first week of my post. This week I am going to be continuing the discussion with some of the key issues that can arise from adopting an Edge/IoT strategy and how Red Hat is solving these challenges.
As discussed in my last post, Edge/IoT initiatives have a myriad of requirements in order to be successful. In some ways these requirements are similar to over initiatives. In many ways they are different. Where some initiatives might require less hardware or software, Edge/IoT often requires newer and different technologies. You now have the need for sensors, microcomputers, device management, security, and even communication software. Your enterprise might be set up to accommodate one or even two of these new requirements, but with today’s rapidly evolving environment, does it make sense to fully invest in the time and financial requirements to develop, maintain and upgrade all of these technologies on your own? Personally, I would answer no to this. You can’t afford to wait but you also don’t want to shell out for new investments in a very wavering industry. The obvious answer to this problem, for me, is to partner with companies. I know I sound like a broken record, but partnerships in enterprise technology just make sense. Edge/IoT investments require security, device management, hardware, communication software, as well as trained resources to provide support and configuration.
It may seem easy enough for me to make all of these claims about difficulties with Edge/IoT and I can see how from a different perspective I may seem to be creating a case instead of merely stating one. Just the mere definition of Edge/Iot can be used to explain the difficulties that come with edge. By definition Edge initiatives imply some sort of computing device running in an area that historically computers were not designed to run. Computing hardware is somewhat fragile and edge environments tend to be the harshest environments in industries. Thinking of places like oil rigs, pipelines, manufacturing plants, areas with elements that could spell the end for your hardware. Not to mention that again by the definition edge environments are disconnected or remote areas which can mean little-to-no security and little-to-no connection to the outside world. These requirements may be something your corporation can deal with but many new companies are being formed with the sole purpose of solving these issues. Computing hardware that is industry rated so it can survive harsh conditions, special security hardware that is more locked down then ever, and even hardware that is designed to run in a disconnected state and can be used to make real time decisions without having to interface with a datacenter. These devices run on a smaller footprint and are generally supported for a longer period of time so that they require less maintenance and updates.
In my post about partnerships I discussed why reinventing the wheel doesn’t make sense. Corporations are forgoing the older methods business in lieu of partnering with companies that specialize in a need your organization might need to fill. This allows companies to focus on their business and work together to solve complex problems such as Edge/IoT initiatives.
Edge/IoT initiatives don’t have to be massive undertakings when utilizing partnerships. Red Hat is exploring new partnerships everyday and focusing on partnerships that can help fill gaps in our portfolio. This method can help ensure that we will be able to offer a more complete solution. We can then leverage the best of our portfolio with the best partnerships we can form. It allows for us to be agile and rapidly adapt to the changing environment. Hopefully this Edge/Iot discussion has helped to show some of the issues that can come up with an Edge/IoT initiative. While this can be a daunting task the benefits of adopting Edge is well worth the effort. Stay tuned for more blog posts on different topics. Thanks!