Manufacturing & Industrial Automation Lead The Way

I’m always surprised that some people think of manufacturing as stodgy, old school and slow to change – in my view, nothing could be further from the truth! All the evidence shows that the manufacturing industry has consistently led the way from mechanical production, powered by steam in the 18th century, to mass production in the 19th century, followed by 20th century automated production.

The data center merging with the factory floor

Fast forward to today. The fourth industrial revolution is well underway, driven by IoT, edge computing, cloud and big data. And once again, manufacturers are at the forefront of intelligent production, leading the way in adopting technologies like augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, cloud-based supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) plus programmable automation controllers (PACs). Watch the video below that addresses how manufacturers are changing to embrace Industry 4.0.

In fact, I always visualize the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise known as Industry 4.0, as the data center merging with the factory floor, where you have the perfect blend of information and operational technology working together in tandem. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Helping monitor and manage industrial equipment

One of our customers, Emerson, a fast-growing Missouri-based company with more than 200 manufacturing locations worldwide, provides automation technology for thousands of chemical, power, and oil & gas organizations around the world. Today, Emerson customers are demanding more than just reliable control valves. They need help performing predictive maintenance on those valves.

To address these needs, Emerson worked with Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions to develop and deploy an industrial automation solution that collects IoT data to help its customers better monitor, manage and troubleshoot critical industrial equipment. With our support, Emerson successfully developed a new wireless-valve monitoring solution and brought it to market faster than the competition. This is just the first step in what Emerson sees as a bigger journey to transform services across its entire business. You can read more about our work together here.

Bringing AI to the supply chain to reduce waste and energy

Meanwhile, San-Francisco based Noodle.ai has partnered with us to deliver the world’s first “Enterprise AI” data platform for manufacturing and supply chain projects.

This solution allows customers to anticipate and plan for the variables affecting business operations, including product quality, maintenance, downtime, costs, inventory and flow. Using AI, they can mitigate issues before they happen, solve predictive challenges, reduce waste and material defects as well as cutting the energy required to create new products.

For example, one end-customer, a $2 billion specialty steel manufacturer, needed to increase profit per mill hour, meet increasing demand for high quality steel at predictable times, and reduce the amount of energy consumed. Using the “Enterprise AI” data platform, the customer reported $80 million savings via reduced energy costs, freight costs, scrapped product, and raw material input costs.

Helping design innovative and secure voting technology

Yet, another customer, Democracy Live wanted to deliver a secure, flexible, off-the-shelf balloting device that would make voting accessible to persons with disabilities and that could replace outdated, proprietary and expensive voting machines.

After a comprehensive review of vendors and products, Democracy Live asked us to design a standardized voting tablet and software image. Our Dell Latitude solution complete with Intel processors and pre-loaded with Democracy Live software and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system provides strong security and advanced encryption.

And the good news for Democracy Live that we take all the headaches away by managing the entire integration process, including delivery to end-users. The result? Secure, accessible voting with up to 50 percent savings compared with the cost of proprietary voting machines. Read what Democracy Live has to say about our collaboration here.

Change is constant

Meanwhile, the revolution continues. Did you know that, according to IDC, by the end of this year 60 percent of plant workers at G2000 manufacturers will work alongside robotics, while 50 percent of manufacturing supply chains will have an in-house or outsourced capability for direct-to-consumption shipments and home delivery? More details available here.

Unlock the power of your data

Don’t get left behind! Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions is here to help you move through the digital transformation journey, solve your business challenges and work with you to re-design your processes. We can help you use IoT and embedded technologies to connect machines, unlock the power of your data, and improve efficiency and quality on the factory floor.

And don’t forget we offer the broadest range of ruggedized and industrial grade products, designed for the most challenging environments, including servers, edge computing, laptops and tablets. We’d love to hear from you – contact us here and do stay in touch.

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Dell EMC’s 2020 Server Trends & Observations

The tailwinds across West Texas continue to hint at IT growth during this age of digital transformation. Humans have developed an insatiable appetite for compute. Whether it be the latest gadget on your wrist, in your hand, in your car, at home, in the office office, or at the data center – compute is at the heart of almost everything that touches our everyday life. Compute has been the fuel of the digital revolution. But the question remains, how do we keep IT advancing?

In April 2005, Gordon Moore stated in an interview that Moore’s Law cannot be sustained indefinitely: “It can’t continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you push them out and eventually disaster happens.” Humans are a resilient species, constantly innovating, and in the case of Moore’s Law, finding ways to delay the inevitable. In the world of computer architecture and in particular Server, it is this quest to avoid the “eventual disaster” that propels us to advance technology and to observe the challenges around us so we can delay (or work around) the inevitable.

With that said, at Dell EMC in the Server and Infrastructure group, our outstanding group of senior technologists have come up with their 2020 edition of Dell EMC’s 2020 Server Trends & Observations Report found here (pdf):

Dell EMC’s 2020 Server Trends & Observations Report

In this report the 12 biggest trends and observations from “data is king” to “the rack’s the limit” to “money for nothing, chips for free” and more are covered in more detail than can be conveyed in a short blog post.

If you have questions, want to go deeper, or want to understand the Dell EMC server family, please contact one of our friendly sales representatives. For more musings please follow me on LinkedIn or visit my other blogs.

To learn more about PowerEdge servers, visit the PowerEdge Server page, or join the conversation on Twitter.

Hope you enjoy this year’s edition.

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Cross-Industry Maritime Team Design & Build Fast Prototype 75 Ft Boat Equipped with IoT and Rugged IT Technology – New Search & Rescue Functionality Plus Real-Time Performance Metrics

In the past, I’ve talked about how technology has been successfully deployed on big ships like ocean cruisers and defense vessels but what about fast leisure craft, like powerboats, speedboats and ribs?

I don’t know about you, but I felt that these sailors had literally missed the boat (pardon the pun) when it came to the latest and greatest technology, particularly around safety. And yet, according to the European Boating Industry, 36 million Europeans are boaters. Over six million boats are kept in European waters while 4,500 marinas provide 1.75 million berths both inland and in coastal areas.

Experts together for safety

I spoke to other colleagues in the industry. Together, we decided we were going to address this gap. Our mission was to design a fast boat, equipped to operate in extreme environments with rugged technology to track performance and importantly, deliver new levels of safety.

Together, we assembled a group of like-minded marine visionaries, namely: Safehaven Marine, boat designers and builders; Navarino, one of the world’s largest distributors of integrated satellite communications solutions, Iridium, a leading mobile satellite communications company, 8West, a software development and consultancy company with a focus on innovative marine safety solutions, and of course, yours truly from Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Maritime.

First of its kind

This wasn’t a talk forum or an excuse for PowerPoint slides. We didn’t sit around, drink coffee and shoot the breeze! No, over the last three years, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and worked together to design and build a prototype boat in Cork, Ireland, like no other. And where better than Cork – home to one of the largest natural harbours in the world and the oldest yacht club?

This experience has been what I would call a labour of love, a collaboration where we collectively worked as a single crew, using a combination of tried and trusted craftsmanship honed over the centuries allied with the latest technology.

Wave-piercing design

Built by Safehaven Marine, the boat design in itself is revolutionary, crossing a wave-piercing monohull with a catamaran hull with four Caterpillar C8.7 650hp engines providing top speeds in excess of 50 knots.

Ruggedised technology

Picture a 75 foot boat, equipped with customised and rugged military-grade compute and network infrastructure, including Dell Latitude 7424 laptops, PowerEdge XR2 rugged servers, Dell 3002 IoT Edge Gateways and switches. All our rugged technology packs a punch and is ideal for tough conditions and tight spaces.

Ship to shore

From a communications perspective, the boat is fitted with Dual Cobham Sailor 4300 Iridium Certus L-band satcom antennas, a Navarino Infinity Cube dual node, high availability , high performance/active cluster plus IoT G-force sensors, which connect real-time to Azure via a dual-site connection.

Information is power

Using Dell Edge Gateways, these sensors collect and analyse data, gathering a huge range of inputs, for example, the weather, temperature and humidity, engine data, speed, geographical position plus sea motions like heave, pitch, roll and acceleration. A real-time web portal allows the crew to record and analyse vessel performance in real-time before live-streaming the data onshore.

Search and rescue functionality

That’s not all! In addition to performance data, Safe Trx Ranger software from 8West can automatically track the boat’s location and alert emergency contacts ashore, should the craft fail to return on time.

In this scenario, the user’s location is automatically sent to the SafeTrx Monitoring Console, meaning that the Coast Guard can instantly view the position of the emergency call, accessing vessel name, user name, gender, phone number, vessel name, craft type, radio equipment, last reported position, people on board, activity and trip ID. The application also displays the location, speed and heading on the emergency call screen.

Cost-effective, easy and reliable

Importantly, the system provides boat users who don’t have or use Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board with a cost-effective, automated and reliable way to keep the Search and Rescue authorities informed of their voyage plans and location. In fact, SafeTrx is the first data source that focuses on leisure craft users without AIS. In this way, it significantly contributes to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) IMdatE maritime situational awareness picture.

What a beauty!

I believe that as a team, we have achieved our goal. Our prototype boat is capable of delivering fast performance in extreme environments and comes complete with rugged, reliable IT infrastructure, promising new levels of safety for leisure craft.

Our team is proud to participate in this partnership and contribute to better safety standards at sea. I believe that this is a great example of how IT technology can be a force for good, driving human progress and making a real difference to society.

Are you a regular sailor? Do you work in the maritime industry? Do you have comments or questions? Do join the conversation. We’d love to hear from you.

Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions

Learn more about our maritime solutions

Keep in touch. Follow us on Twitter@DellTechOEM or @Etienne_Mary.

Join our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page here.

Related:

Cross-Industry Maritime Team Design & Build Fast Prototype 75 Ft Boat Equipped with IoT and Rugged IT Technology

In the past, I’ve talked about how technology has been successfully deployed on big ships like ocean cruisers and defense vessels but what about fast leisure craft, like powerboats, speedboats and ribs?

I don’t know about you, but I felt that these sailors had literally missed the boat (pardon the pun) when it came to the latest and greatest technology, particularly around safety. And yet, according to the European Boating Industry, 36 million Europeans are boaters. Over six million boats are kept in European waters while 4,500 marinas provide 1.75 million berths both inland and in coastal areas.

Experts together for safety

I spoke to other colleagues in the industry. Together, we decided we were going to address this gap. Our mission was to design a fast boat, equipped to operate in extreme environments with rugged technology to track performance and importantly, deliver new levels of safety.

Together, we assembled a group of like-minded marine visionaries, namely: Safehaven Marine, boat designers and builders; Navarino, one of the world’s largest distributors of integrated satellite communications solutions, Iridium, a leading mobile satellite communications company, 8West, a software development and consultancy company with a focus on innovative marine safety solutions, and of course, yours truly from Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Maritime.

First of its kind

This wasn’t a talk forum or an excuse for PowerPoint slides. We didn’t sit around, drink coffee and shoot the breeze! No, over the last three years, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and worked together to design and build a prototype boat in Cork, Ireland, like no other. And where better than Cork – home to one of the largest natural harbours in the world and the oldest yacht club?

This experience has been what I would call a labour of love, a collaboration where we collectively worked as a single crew, using a combination of tried and trusted craftsmanship honed over the centuries allied with the latest technology.

Wave-piercing design

Built by Safehaven Marine, the boat design in itself is revolutionary, crossing a wave-piercing monohull with a catamaran hull with four Caterpillar C8.7 650hp engines providing top speeds in excess of 50 knots.

Ruggedised technology

Picture a 75 foot boat, equipped with customised and rugged military-grade compute and network infrastructure, including Dell Latitude 7424 laptops, PowerEdge XR2 rugged servers, Dell 3002 IoT Edge Gateways and switches. All our rugged technology packs a punch and is ideal for tough conditions and tight spaces.

Ship to shore

From a communications perspective, the boat is fitted with Dual Cobham Sailor 4300 Iridium Certus L-band satcom antennas, a Navarino Infinity Cube dual node, high availability , high performance/active cluster plus IoT G-force sensors, which connect real-time to Azure via a dual-site connection.

Information is power

Using Dell Edge Gateways, these sensors collect and analyse data, gathering a huge range of inputs, for example, the weather, temperature and humidity, engine data, speed, geographical position plus sea motions like heave, pitch, roll and acceleration. A real-time web portal allows the crew to record and analyse vessel performance in real-time before live-streaming the data onshore.

Search and rescue functionality

That’s not all! In addition to performance data, Safe Trx Ranger software from 8West can automatically track the boat’s location and alert emergency contacts ashore, should the craft fail to return on time.

In this scenario, the user’s location is automatically sent to the SafeTrx Monitoring Console, meaning that the Coast Guard can instantly view the position of the emergency call, accessing vessel name, user name, gender, phone number, vessel name, craft type, radio equipment, last reported position, people on board, activity and trip ID. The application also displays the location, speed and heading on the emergency call screen.

Cost-effective, easy and reliable

Importantly, the system provides boat users who don’t have or use Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board with a cost-effective, automated and reliable way to keep the Search and Rescue authorities informed of their voyage plans and location. In fact, SafeTrx is the first data source that focuses on leisure craft users without AIS. In this way, it significantly contributes to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) IMdatE maritime situational awareness picture.

What a beauty!

I believe that as a team, we have achieved our goal. Our prototype boat is capable of delivering fast performance in extreme environments and comes complete with rugged, reliable IT infrastructure, promising new levels of safety for leisure craft.

Our team is proud to participate in this partnership and contribute to better safety standards at sea. I believe that this is a great example of how IT technology can be a force for good, driving human progress and making a real difference to society.

Are you a regular sailor? Do you work in the maritime industry? Do you have comments or questions? Do join the conversation. We’d love to hear from you.

Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions

Learn more about our maritime solutions

Keep in touch. Follow us on Twitter@DellTechOEM or @Etienne_Mary.

Join our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page here.

Related:

Why We All Need Partners – The Story of How Hark Systems and Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Started Working Together

I love talking to customers. I find that I always gain the most amazing insights and hear some great stories. Here’s a classic example. “Hello, my name is Jordan. I’m the CEO of Hark. I assumed back in 2016 that designing and shipping hardware was good for us. That assumption was dumb.”

Hardware time anyone?

I don’t know about you, but I admired Jordan’s honesty and wanted to learn more! For those of you who are unfamiliar, Hark Systems has a mission to build innovative energy management solutions to remedy real-world challenges.

Jordan explained that Hark’s decision to enter the hardware area was driven purely by practical reasons. Quite simply, the company wanted to build hardware infrastructure to run alongside its cloud-based software. And so, Hark’s decision went something like this, if you want something done well, the only way is to do it yourself. As Jordan said, “We’re technical people and being accomplished software developers, we assumed hardware design would be relatively straightforward.”

A horse of a different colour

As Jordan admitted a couple of months later, while it had been an interesting journey, hardware design was way more complicated and costly than originally envisaged. ” Everyone thinks they can buy a CPU board or Raspberry Pi and off you go but there’s a lot involved. Selecting the right prototype platform, waiting for samples, the cost of moulding, resolving hardware bugs all take time, expertise and money.”

Even when issues are resolved, it’s not easy to scale up to volume manufacturing. And as Jordan says, “There’s the whole regulatory side, where you need to gain certification to ship to different countries. That requires time and expertise.”

Stick to what you’re good at

This is where yours truly gets to feature. When I heard the story, I interjected, “Hey, Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions has something you could use.” And the rest, as they say, is history – a partnership was born. Hark and Dell Technologies have now partnered on a number of successful retail projects including a major IoT win with a top four UK supermarket. More on that in a follow-on blog!

Lessons learnt

Despite the challenges encountered, Jordan doesn’t regret the journey. “Designing hardware has made us even better at designing cloud software that talks to hardware. However, we quickly realized that we needed a partner like Dell to scale up. We needed a partner like Dell for supply chain, logistics and to manage regulatory certification. We needed Dell to take the complexity away, reduce lead-times, manage the certification process and allow us to focus on our own IP.”

As Jordan says, “We built hardware because we needed to, we didn’t necessarily want to be a hardware company.”

A two-way partnership

Of course, it’s not a one-way street. While Dell Technologies offers an amazing set of building blocks, we don’t make energy management solutions like Hark does. We might be one of the biggest IT infrastructure companies in the world, but we need partners like Hark with specialist expertise across a whole range of industries.

Like our other partners, Hark is successfully disrupting the market, making solutions affordable and linking legacy, proprietary-based analogue systems with new platforms, which means customers don’t have to rip and replace existing, expensive infrastructure. This specialist expertise is hugely beneficial, allowing us to credibly enter key vertical markets and enabling our sales team to close projects quicker and more efficiently.

Here to help

Hark’s experience shows why a partnership with Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions pays dividends. The moral of the story is clear – stick to your core competencies and pick the right partners for the rest.

On that note, allow us to take away the headache of handling the hardware and integration-related complexities that can drain your resources, wreck your head and cause delays in bringing your IP to market. We can help you select the right compute power for your solution, the appropriate system to optimally run your IP, certify it to industry standards or regulatory requirements, customise it, build it and ship it. And, of course, we can share some great stories together along the way!

Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions

Learn more about Hark Systems

Keep in touch. Follow us on Twitter@delltechoem and@mikehfay.Join our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page here.

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PowerEdge & Microsoft: Better Together at Microsoft Ignite 2019

This is a big year for the Microsoft community with two of the most ubiquitous platforms – Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 going End of Support. That’s sure to be a hot topic at Ignite 2019 next week (November 4-8) in Orlando, Florida.

If you’ve visited Dell Technologies at a trade show, attended a roadshow, or even listened to one of our webinars throughout the year, you’ve seen our Real Transformation booth. There’s never been a clearer “this just got REAL” moment like facing an End of Support event. So we’re taking that theme to the “House of the Mouse” and looking forward to some engaging discussions.

Dell EMC and Microsoft have been partners for more than three decades, and today we’re doing more exciting work together than ever before. That’s in part due to the fact that the challenges for our customers have never been greater. And that gives us a chance to bring more than just world-class infrastructure to the market by offering solutions combining the best in hardware, software, services and management tools to address those complex challenges.

Dell’s partnership with Microsoft goes back more than thirty years during which time we’ve co-developed innovative hardware and software solutions with the goal of simplifying IT for our customers. Never has this been more important than today where hybrid cloud, AI and hyper-converged infrastructure are making it even more challenging for organizations to keep pace with change. Looking ahead to the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2019, we have been testing early versions of the software and the results are amazing. On the latest generation of Dell EMC PowerEdge Servers, we’ve seen upwards of 2.7x transaction processing speed. 1 This is an early indication of the power of our platforms and the strength of our partnership with Microsoft. We are looking forward to a very engaging Ignite and hope you will come speak with us at the event! – Chad Fenner, Senior Director, PowerEdge Product Management

From a PowerEdge perspective, we have plenty of cool things up our sleeve that we’re excited to share with you. I don’t want to spoil the fun, but here’s a preview of what’s happening with PowerEdge at Ignite:

Dell Technologies Booth # 1547

If you’re in Orlando, come see us in the Dell Technologies booth! We’ll have experts ready to answer all of your End of Support questions, in-booth theater presentations, and some cool giveaways. We’ll have some of our new hardware including the PowerEdge MX that you can open, explore, and even swap some components. We’ll be running a demo of our OpenManage integration with Windows Admin Center and some live diagnostics on the PowerEdge R740xd. Yes, we know this is a cloud and software show, but we like to throw in a subtle reminder that all this modern software needs the best2 in modern hardware.

There are some fun interactive ways to learn more about our joint PowerEdge and Microsoft solutions. Highlights include:

OpenManage Monster Hunter, sponsored by KIOXIA – Halloween may be the week before but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. In this game you’ll fight zombies and bats to modernize your datacenter. You’ll work your way through our OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center on AzureStack HCI, integration with Microsoft System Center, and OpenManage Enterprise on the PowerEdge MX. There will be a leaderboard, and some excellent prizes, so challenge your friends.

Tech Trivia – This Jeopardy! style game will help you learn more about the entirety of the Dell Technologies portfolio – from servers to storage to services. Of course, that also includes our full line of laptops and gaming hardware. Play Tech Trivia and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a Ring Doorbell.

Dell Technologies Scavenger Hunt – Engage, learn and become more social with our Dell Technologies booth, solutions and activities. Dust off your hashtags and earn stamps, make sure you redeem your card in the booth for fantastic daily prizes including a GoPro HERO7 and a grand prize drawing on Thursday for a set of BOSE noise-cancelling headphones.

RHEL Button Contest – Grab a button, pin it on, snap a creative pic somewhere at the event and post to Instagram with the hashtag #SQLonRHELonDell. First place DAILY winners will receive a 2-in-1 Dell Inspiron laptop.

Breakout Sessions

PowerEdge will be represented in the following breakout sessions:

It’s all about the data: Abstraction beyond virtualization

Speaker: Stephen McMaster, Engineering Technologist, Dell EMC

Wednesday, November 06, 10:55 AM in Theatre 7

In the data driven age, information is as valuable as currency. Only when you can harness data from multiple sources and formats can you accelerate business innovation. Containerization enables agility at hyperscale and is a critical step towards achieving true data abstraction beyond just virtualization. Join us to learn how Dell EMC delivers foundational solutions to support Microsoft SQL Server 2019, including big data clusters, enabling businesses to take advantage of next-generation analytics, and go behind their data to draw valuable insights.

There is a new era in data management – Dell Technologies makes data innovation a reality

Speaker: Stephen McMaster, Engineering Technologist, Dell EMC

Thursday November 07, 10:15 AM in OCCC West

There are many paths towards modernizing the Microsoft Data Estate. Designing the right solution that meets today’s needs while laying the foundation for where your business will need to be tomorrow is a critical step in becoming an innovation leader. Join us as we outline the modernization strategies organizations need to consider in this new era of data abstraction and how Dell Technologies can guide you on this journey.

Evening Events

The fun doesn’t stop when the show floor closes. We have a great line-up of invitation-only events for our customers and those who want to learn more about Dell Technologies solutions.

Customer Appreciation Celebration at the Andretti Racing Center

We love our customers and the chance to celebrate with them! So rev up your engines for this fast-paced racing experience on November 6 at 6:30pm at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games. This event is by invite-only and will likely reach capacity so please reach out to your account team for more information to register.

Dell Technologies Hospitality Suite – Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday

Relax in the Dell Tech Hospitality suite – complete with food, beverages, and a place to unwind. Open Monday – Wednesday, this suite will give you the opportunity to learn from Dell Technologies, Red Hat, and Intel experts while recharging yourself (and your phone if it needs some charging too). Registration is required.

SQL Server 2019 Conversations and Cocktails – Tuesday November 5 4:00-6:30

Connect with your peers at this informal gathering of like-minded SQL Server connoisseurs to share the technical pitfalls, gotchas and successes learned. Share a beverage, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and meet the experts from Dell Technologies, Intel and Red Hat who are ready to answer your questions and better arm you to take your business further, faster. This exclusive celebration will take place at the Oceanaire Seafood Room and is available by registration only, until full, here:

If you’re running an End of Support platform or one that will be soon, come talk to us. We make modernizing easy and can get you back on a supported platform and can even help you transform the way you look at IT.

We look forward to seeing you next week at Ignite!

To learn more about PowerEdge, visit dellemc.com/servers, or join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCservers.

[1] IDC WW Quarterly x86 Server Tracker, 2018Q4, Mar. 6, 2019 – Units & Vendor Revenue

[2] Persistent Memory Performance in vSphere 6.7 with Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory – VMware, April 2019

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Dell EMC Provides Radio Frequency Shielding Technology for Mobile App Development & Testing

Digital transformation. It’s both a buzz word and the market reality that we live in today. But it’s not companies that are driving this change. It’s the customer. Customers expect relevant content anytime, anywhere and on any device of their choosing. With fast mobile connections and the promise of 5G, it’s only going to become more common to see people surfing the Internet and accessing apps everywhere they go. Consumers downloaded 194 billion mobile apps to their connected devices in 2018[1] and mobile apps are projected to generate more than $935 billion in revenue via paid downloads and in-app advertising in 2023.[2]

While you’d probably expect a Dell EMC blog to address how we’re helping organizations embrace these digital trends with new compute/storage/networking products or solutions, we’re going to change things up this time. Today we’re going to talk about how we’re addressing the world of mobile devices and app development & testing with Dell EMC’s RF Secure Rack Enclosure. This rack enclosure is designed to facilitate mobile device testing in a controlled WiFi environment. [You read that right. Let’s switch gears and get ready to talk about radio frequency and electromagnetic interference [EMI]).

While our digitally connected world creates new customer experiences and revenue opportunities for companies, it can also create some significant obstacles to overcome from an app development & testing perspective. Whether testing phones, tablets, fitness trackers, VR headsets, etc. you need to isolate the devices and block EMI in the WiFi radio frequencies to eliminate any cross-talk that can put testing to a standstill. Often times companies testing at scale are doing this in huge EMI chambers that can be room size or bigger, filled with various devices and IT equipment.

Example of mobile devices on a slide tray

Here’s where the Dell EMC RF Secure Rack Enclosure is different. We’ve built a RF shielded enclosure around a standard 42U IT rack, meaning organizations can put mobile devices and standard IT equipment inside the rack and control it so inside WiFi signals cannot escape the rack and vice versa (WiFi signals outside the rack cannot enter). For organizations doing testing at scale, you can add rows of the Dell EMC RF Secure Rack Enclosure into your datacenter environment and each enclosure will be treated as an isolated test unit.

Going from large EMI chambers to designing a rack size solution wasn’t easy, but we purposely designed the RF Secure Rack Enclosure for both office and datacenter environments. The standard 600mm rack width preserves row density and eases datacenter deployments. At the same time, the 84-inch rack height, aluminum construction and acoustic design means the enclosure is short, light and quiet enough to fit under most door frames, onto elevators and operate in office environments.

Thermals were another key consideration in the design since the RF Secure Rack Enclosure can house dozens, hundreds or even up to 1,000 mobile devices. Because small, deep holes are good for RF shielding, but bad for airflow, we took a different thermal approach. The enclosure features a large, continuous EMI-tight vent that minimizes airflow impedance and eliminates thermal dead zones. We combined this with four variable speed fans that distribute cool air over the devices.

From a power perspective, customers have different requirements and they want the option to power their rack from either the top or the bottom. While that’s normally easy enough to address, with RF shielding racks there are concerns about breaking the EMI seal, adding height to the rack structure and creating complexity for the customer. We addressed these concerns by permanently installing a power filter at the top of the rack enclosure and providing customers with the option to get power from the bottom by just plugging in an outlet.

Also unique to Dell EMC in the RF shielding space is our experience engineering, integrating, configuring, deploying and installing rack technology. The RF Secure Rack Enclosure can ship pre-integrated with IT, arriving to customers fully built, ready to be rolled in and turned on. We’re also able to leverage our supply chain scale to meet large RF shielding capacity needs.

The Dell EMC RF Secure Rack Enclosure is the latest example of the rack capabilities coming from the Extreme Scale Infrastructure (ESI) team. Check out the above video from our lead engineers and reach out to your sales representative if you’d like to learn more. We’d enjoy the opportunity to discuss use cases, technical details and our additional capabilities that are unique to serving the needs of this market.

[1] Worldwide; App Annie © Statista; 2016 to 2018; iOS App Store, Google Play and third party data.

[2] Worldwide; iReasearch © Statista; 2014 to 2018; combined mobile in-app advertising and paid app revenue.

Related:

Fit Anywhere & Compute Everywhere Even at the Tightest Edge

We previously discussed the huge shift towards edge computing, with data processing close to where it’s created, versus the traditional data center. The reasons? Cost, speed and the sheer number of connected devices. These factors combined make it impractical to move huge volumes of data to the cloud.

Space-saving design with zero footprint

Given this new dynamic, what do OEM users need at the edge in terms of compute? Power is a given, but a small form factor is also critical, as space is usually at a premium. And of course, these two requirements are no longer mutually exclusive options. As a case in point, I’m delighted to welcome the world’s most flexible, modular, zero-footprint PC to our line-up of diminutive yet powerful systems.

Good things come in small packages

Meet our latest, little beauty, the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra, offering innovative design for compute, even at the tightest edge. Think tiny, powerful, space-saving, and clutter-free; as well as flexible, allowing for placement in tight corners. Despite the Ultra’s tiny size, you can also configure, expand and upgrade it as needed throughout the product lifecycle.

Ideal for OEMs

One question you might ask is, how does this fit into our portfolio? As head of our OEM Product Group, I see the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra as the perfect complement to our existing and hugely successful gateways and embedded PC range. This is yet another great option for OEM customers, who cannot afford to compromise on performance, but who need to operate in the smallest and tightest of spaces.

Size matters

In what scenario, might this product be used? Our gateways and embedded PCs are rugged and ideal for challenging environments, for instance, on the side of a roof or embedded in a cabinet on the manufacturing floor. In contrast, this product doesn’t offer extended operating temperatures, but is ideal for certain OEM customers, those who might need to run large digital signage in air-conditioned environments, at airports, in kiosks or on the shop floor in retail. We’re also seeing huge interest from medical device customers.

Packing a punch

Despite its size, the Ultra packs a mighty punch. You get performance and scalability to match your OEM customers’ needs, up to Intel® Core™ vPro™ i7 processors, 64GB of RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD and 2TB HDD.

The Ultra can fit into a custom monitor stand to create an all-in-one PC that supports a broad range of monitors. If you opt for the monitor stand, it comes complete with physical security options, designed to protect against tampering. However, a special mounting kit is available as a customized option for OEM customers, who, I know, from experience are likely to have creative ideas and want to mount the PC in all sorts of unusual spaces!

Display options

If using the monitor stand, the Ultra supports up to three displays from 19 to 27 inches. Without the stand, there are no limitations on monitor size. While a VESA bracket is available, we can also design bespoke mounting brackets to match your requirements as part of the customization process.

Power, data, video and audio are transmitted in one single cable when the Ultra is paired with Dell USB-C enabled monitors. The system is also enabled for remote power button and remote antenna as a custom configuration for embedded applications.

Decreased footprint with increased flexibility

In summary, this is a unique and compact beauty that refuses to compromise on power or flexibility. The ability to independently and fully upgrade elements means any space can be customized to fit your needs, on your own terms. That’s certainly music to the ears of our OEM customers. Think of it as the desktop you didn’t expect!

Now available globally!

What’s your reaction to the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra? As an OEM partner or customer, do you have ideas about how and where you might use this product? Do share your thoughts and questions. We’d love to hear from you!

Watch our video about the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra here or learn more here.

Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions

Follow us on Twitter @delltechoem and join our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solution Showcase page here.

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PowerEdge & VMware: Better Together at VMworld 2019

This year, there are tons of new and exciting things to look forward to at VMworld US – and not just the new location. While we’re all excited to take a selfie with the Golden Gate bridge and see the home from Full House (oh that’s just me?) the real excitement of the week lies in the latest technology and innovation, networking, and learning that will permeate the Moscone Center in San Francisco August 25-29th.

Dell EMC and VMware have partnered for over 17 years, and today we’re doing more exciting work together than ever before. VMworld is always a highlight for us, because we get to see so many of our customers and partners face-to-face. We love to interact directly, hear feedback, answer questions, showcase our joint solutions and preview the new products and solutions that are coming soon.

As industry leaders in servers[1], virtualization[2], and HCI software[3], Dell EMC and VMware continuously work together to develop new joint solutions that enable our customers to efficiently reach their business objectives. There is always something new and exciting to highlight, and VMworld 2019 is no exception.

From a PowerEdge perspective, we have plenty of cool things up our sleeve that we’re excited to share with you. I don’t want to spoil the fun, but here’s a preview of what’s happening with PowerEdge at VMworld:

Breakout Sessions

PowerEdge will be represented in the following breakout sessions:

Power Composable Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation on PowerEdge MX

Speakers: Shanthala Gorur Ashwath, Senior Product Manager – Cloud Foundation VMware and Roger Foreman, Sr. Product Manager, Dell EMC

Monday, August 26, 02:30 PM – 03:30 PM

In this talk, we will detail how VMware Cloud Foundation made it possible to take advantage of the PowerEdge MX composable platform to provide on-demand allocations of physical resources for workload domains. Composable infrastructure is an exciting new area where customers have the flexibility to create their own purpose-built infrastructure on the fly, leading to greater fluidity in resource allocation and usage. In this session, you will learn how to reduce CapEx and OpEx through quicker deployments and application provisioning through automation, and how to utilize the flexibility and agility provided by the PowerEdge MX platform’s kinetic infrastructure to run virtualized workloads in a hybrid cloud environment. We will also go on a technical deep dive of this joint solution between VMware Cloud Foundation and the Dell MX platform.

Take IT to the track!! Self-Driving Datacenter, seatbelts required!

Speakers: Aaron Chaisson, Vice President Portfolio Messaging, Dell Technologies & Brian Lewis, Director VMware Portfolio Messaging, Dell Technologies

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 11:00 AM –12:00 PM

With a demo intensive experience, come see an insider’s look at the product innovations from Dell Technologies expansive portfolio of hardware, software and solutions that make the self-driving, software defined datacenter a reality. See our latest innovations and learn how we dramatically simplify and power more VMware deployments than anyone else through deeply integrated servers, storage, networking, data protection, converged and hyper-converged systems and vertically integrated cloud platforms built to deliver you the automated IT experience you desire, from the edge to the cloud, and anywhere in between.

Dell Technologies Booth # 1027

If you’re here in San Francisco, come see us in the Dell Technologies booth! We’ll have experts ready to talk and answer questions, in-booth theater presentations and a PowerEdge MX on display. Yes, we know this is a software show, but we like to throw in a subtle reminder that all this cool software runs on hardware. Plus, everyone seems to love the chance to see and touch a real live server – and the PowerEdge MX740C doesn’t disappoint.

We’ll also have demos of the latest cloud solutions on PowerEdge infrastructure and management system advances with OpenManage. This is fantastic opportunity to learn more about our joint PowerEdge and VMware solutions and align on your workload strategy. Highlights include:

VMware Cloud Foundation for PowerEdge MX – Wondering how to make hybrid cloud work for you? Leverage the industry’s most advanced hybrid cloud platform, VMware® Cloud Foundation™, to drive a consistent, simple experience with a single operating environment across multiple clouds. Based on VMware technologies including vSphere (compute), vSAN (storage), NSX (networking and security), and vRealize® Suite (cloud management), Cloud Foundation delivers enterprise-ready services for both traditional and containerized apps – in private or hybrid cloud environments.

PowerEdge and VMware vSphere – We’re introducing an easy button for PowerEdge and vSphere! Soon the entire PowerEdge server portfolio will be available with vSphere Standard preinstalled and the license pre-activated straight from the factory. This new offer is unique to Dell EMC and saves customers up to 40 minutes per server for deployment and up to 67% fewer steps for activation and installation of vSphere[4].

OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV) – OMIVV allows you to configure, deploy, update and monitor Dell PowerEdge servers — all within your vCenter console. Swing by the booth to see a demo and find out what new features will be available in OMIVV v5.

vSAN Ready Nodes – Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes built on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers have been pre-configured, tested, and certified to run VMware vSAN. Each Ready Node includes just the right amount of CPU, memory, network I/O controllers, HDDs, and SSDs that are best suited for vSAN. We’ll have demos and presentations and experts on hand to answer questions.

Booth Presentations

There will also be several presentations at the booth to highlight PowerEdge & VMware joint solutions:

Monday @ 5:30 pm – Managing VMware VCenter Environments with OpenManage

Tuesday @ 11:30 am – vSAN Ready Nodes

Wednesday @ 3:45 – Dynamic Storage Provisioning with VMware VCF and PowerEdge MX

Exclusive Technology Preview

PowerEdge & AMD will host a Technology Exclusive Preview event at 6:30 pm Tuesday evening. This event requires an invitation, VMworld event badge and signed NDA to attend. If you have a signed NDA and would like to join, please stop by our booth #1027 for more details and an invitation. You won’t be disappointed.

Customer Appreciation Celebration

We love our customers and the chance to celebrate with them! We’re hosting a customer appreciation event following the Exclusive Technology Preview at Waterbar Tuesday evening from 8-10 pm. Stop by our booth #1027 for an invitation and join us for good food, drinks and conversation (VMware badge and invitation are required for this event, but NDA is not).

PowerEdge and VMware work together to help you simplify your IT and prepare you to meet changing workload demands – both for today and the future. With over 1800 VMware-certified Dell EMC support professionals, one call can handle almost all your support issues.

To learn more about PowerEdge and VMware Solutions, visit our new solutions page.

Hope everyone has a great and productive week at VMworld! Rest up, and we’ll see you again at VMworld Europe in November!

To learn more about PowerEdge, visit dellemc.com/servers, or join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCservers.

[1] IDC WW Quarterly x86 Server Tracker, 2018Q4, Mar. 6, 2019 – Units & Vendor Revenue

[2] Network World, Feb. 20, 2019

[3] IDC WW Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, 2018, Q4, April 4, 2019 – Vendor Revenue

[4] Only applicable to new customers and based on internal VMware comparison of the typical vSphere installation and activation process as compared to the situation when vSphere is preinstalled and pre-activated at the factory. Typical installation and activation requires 9 steps, while the preinstalled and pre-activated process requires 3 steps.

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