When Internet of Things (IoT) is mentioned, people tend to get really excited about all the interesting use cases around smart building, smart city, smart manufacturing, smart retail, smart healthcare, etc. Let’s face it, the reason IoT has become so popular lately is that the data from IoT devices is being utilized in more and more intelligent ways. We commonly refer to this place where data is being collected and decisions are being made as the insight plane or content plane.
What tends to get ignored in IoT is IoT & Edge Device Management.
In my discussions with customers they tend to talk about various projects that got started, but, never moved from concept to reality because they didn’t have a way to operationalize it at scale. There are many things to think about when it comes to this that start to sound pretty boring compared to facial recognition, autonomous driving, and medical imaging analysis. First, what good is it to have a really good analytic engine making decisions on data if it can’t get the data? What if a temperature sensor battery is low, or a video surveillance camera is tampered with, or you need a software update to a edge gateway system that’s collecting data from things? How do you get all the devices onboarded under management at scale in a consistently configured manner? Then what if there’s a configuration changed needed across all devices? How about monitoring the health of the devices, or collecting data off devices? What if there’s a security patch that needs to be deployed to thousands of devices? How do you make sure all of this is done in a secure and trusted manner? We commonly refer to all this as the Management or Control Plane. Another way to describe it is that it’s the plumbing of IoT. No one really wants to deal with it, but, they know they want it all to just work. That’s where VMware’s Pulse IoT Center comes in. As I mentioned in a previous blog here, VMware has historically been great at providing world class software to manage infrastructure and help it run more efficiently. That’s what Pulse IoT Center is doing. Yes we are excited about all the extremely interesting use cases our customers are deploying. We can help them with data collection and supplying that data to their intelligent applications, but, we are also happy to help deal with the complexities of managing all these hundreds to thousands to millions of devices.