Dell Adds Gateways for Industrial Internet of Things

An industrial Internet of Things (IoT) group within Dell is celebrating its almost-second anniversary with the release of some new edge gateways.

The Edge Gateway 3000 series, launching this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, are the junior companions to the 5000 series that debuted last year.

Dell’IoT group, launched in the spring of 2015, is not the product of an acquired startup; Dell has built it organically under the leadership of Vice President Andy Rhodes, and it’s now an official line of business with profit-and-loss responsibilities, says Brent Hodges, the group’s head of strategy and planning.

Hodges’ job description includes reaching out to other Dell organizations and finding places where they intersect the IoT world. Hodges brings an outsider’s eye to the technology, having spent his career working in areas such as factory communications and the smart grid.

“I’m not a 20-year telco guy. I’m more of a ‘things’ guy,” he says.

IoT ideas such as connected sensors aren’t new, Hodges says. What’s new is the idea of linking those sensors to IT systems. “They’re taking data captured in those islands of automation and making business decisions with it.”

The amount of data to be harvested can be enormous. Part of the mission for Dell’s IoT business is helping customers decide where to get started in applying it, Hodges says.

Dell’s Edge Gateways combine connectivity and compute, providing some analytics capabilities at the edge. Edge computing is a key capability in the reference architecture released by the OpenFog Consortium earlier this month. (Dell is an OpenFog founder.)

The 3000 series are physically smaller models running Intel Atom processors. Different models in the series support the southbound I/O protocols that suit particular uses: media kiosks, fleet-level transportation systems, or general-purpose automation.

Availability of the 3000 series is slated for this summer.