Day 2 at VMworld. Vegas is maybe the worst place I can think of to focus and get work done but I'm off to a good start. I actually got up this morning in time to hit the fitness center, do a conference call, empty my inbox, and get food before heading to the show. I then spent the rest of the morning in the HCI Zone talking to VMworld attendees about our vSAN Ready Nodes and VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).
I found myself pulling up technical specs on our Virtual Rack kiosk more than I wanted too but I don't get out to as many events as I used to since moving from pre-sales to marketing a couple of years ago. Now when someone asks me what fluid is used in the liquid cooling with our dense design servers I just say, "i"m in marketing". Oh, can you get somebody technical? "Sure". I'm always amazed by how many people come by the both just to say "our account team is awesome, we love your stuff, no questions - just wanted to say hi". Energy boosting for sure. I was also energized by meeting new coworkers and getting to interact with them and customers. The pace and quirkiness of trade show social engagement creates some really fun moments.
With all that was going on the first session I got to was at 3:30PM. The session was titled Enabling the Edge with the Fundamentals of a Hyper-converged IoT Infrastructure given by Greg Bollella, CTO, IoT, VMware. It was both motivational and informative. Greg talked about why companies should deploy HCI for their IoT deployments that physically live at the "edge," close to where the devices that generate data and take control messages. Greg also presented some great data on the risk of sending all your real-time data to the cloud and the importance of the hybrid approach when it comes to IoT.
A second theme of the talk was about reducing time to deployment. Currently, IoT implementations require a lot of components, typically from a bunch of suppliers, and therefore take a lot of time to assemble, deploy, integrate, configure and test. Imagine a hyper-converged infrastructure that enables you to speed up deployment, reduce latency and risk, and implement IoT faster and easier. Perhaps not surprisingly he mentioned VxRail as a great platform for HCI at the edge. I want to add a plug for vSAN Ready Nodes as a second option for a compact and powerful HCI appliance well suited for placement outside the traditional data center near the edge. Use this link to read more about the latest on hyper-converged innovation from Dell EMC.
I've been following the discussion of distributed computing for IoT, also known as fog computing, for a couple of years. I starting volunteering with the OpenFog Consortium last year and have been working to help organize the upcoming Fog World Congress this October in Santa Clara CA. This was by far the best presentation I have seen at a non-fog related conference on the need for edge computing for IoT. It was also the first time I have seen anyone explicitly identify the advantages of hyper-converged infrastructure for use at the edge for IoT deployments. Very exciting to see the IoT discussion getting real.
This year VMworld has a set of sessions dedicated to IoT and a large presence in the exhibit hall dedicated to IoT solutions and partners. The potential to change the world with smart devices and new models for distributed computing is here and its large.
Thanks for reading,