In addition, you can stop by the Edge and IoT Zone Booth
next to the VMware booth in the Solution Exchange. There you’ll find many of our
great eco system partners demonstrating interesting use cases in conjunction
with VMware solutions. You can also get a demonstration of VMware Pulse IoT
Center managing Edge and IoT infrastructure. I look forward to this event every
year so I can bump into old friends and meet some new ones. And I prefer San
Francisco over Vegas so it should be a good week.
After watching the season premiere of the Game of Thrones (GOT) final season a few weeks ago, I flew to Atlanta for EMPOWER 2019 which is VMware’s event for Partners. It kicked off with a happy hour and demo station presentations. I supported the Edge and IoT demo station where we did some fun Raspberry Pi demos and had some cool giveaways.
I was really impressed with the number of partners who had a
good understanding of Edge and IoT and were already working with customers on
their overall strategy. In one case the partner was planning for State and
Local schools to implement IoT device management for video surveillance cameras
and gunshot detection sensors. In another case, they were looking to bring
operational efficiency to their customers manufacturing floors that were being
refreshed with new ruggedized gateways and wireless sensors.
Many of the partners were excited to see the Raspberry Pi
demo which went like this.
This is a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with an add-on SenseHAT that
monitors temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, yaw, pitch, roll, and has
a joystick and LED display.
We logged into the Pulse IoT Center dashboard
which is based on the standard VMware Clarity HTML5 UI. So the look and feel
and navigation should be familiar to administrators of other VMware products.
This is our recently released Pulse IoT Center 2.0. Then we clicked on “Devices” to show list of Devices under management:
Notice that this lists “Gateway” Device Types and “Thing” Device Types and that Raspberry Pi is a Gateway and the SenstHat is a Thing. The difference is that a Gateway can run our Pulse IoT Center Agent (IOTC Agent) and a Thing cannot. However, a Thing can be managed via the IOTC Agent running on the Gateway it’s attached to. In this case, the SenseHAT Thing is physically attached to the Raspberry Pi Gateway. In other cases, Things may connect via Bluetooth, Zigbee, Modbus, or some other IoT protocol that both the Thing and Gateway can support.
Clicking on the Raspberry Pi Gateway you get this basic information:
Clicking on “Properties” you get more detailed information:
This is a good way to find the IP Address of the device, uptime, os-release, status of SSH, or any custom information specific to that device like the location of the physical gateway.
Clicking on “Metrics” shows CPU, Memory, etc. about the Raspberry Pi gateway.
Clicking on “Connected Devices” shows the Things connected to the Gateway.
In this case, there’s only one Thing, the SenseHat. Some gateways could have many Things connected physically or wirelessly. If you click on the “SenseHat” Thing and then “Metrics” you can see what the Raspberry PI has been collecting from the SenseHat.
OK, now for the fun part. If you go back to the Raspberry Pi Device view and click on the three little dots on the right you can click on “Commands” to get to the command console.
Once in the Command Console you can click on “SEND COMMAND” to get this list of predefined commands as well as some commands we added:
For the demo, we want to turn on the SenseHAT LED display so we select “SenseHatDisplay On” and then click “SEND COMMAND”.
The Pulse IoT Center Agent running on the Gateway will check in with it’s Pulse IoT Center every 5 minutes by default. For the purposes of the demo, we shortened this to 5 seconds. When it checks in, it will inquire if there is a command or campaign to run. In this case, it’ll see that there is a command to run and it will execute that command which will turn on the LED display.
If the device is in a remote location, the status of the command can be monitored:
This is an example of sending a command to a
single device. Pulse IoT Center is capable of running Campaigns which will
perform commands on multiple devices. We can address that topic in another
post. And, this is just one of the many examples of how Pulse IoT Center can be
used to manage IoT devices.
This is a result of some great work by our Edge and IoT product and engineering teams to test and validate gateway vendor hardware with our Pulse Agent and Pulse IoT Center.
I think VMware does 2 things really well.
1) Provides world class software to manage infrastructure and help it run more efficiently
vSphere provides an efficient and secure compute platform
for hybrid cloud and vCenter is a centralized platform for managing vSphere
environments across hybrid cloud. Workspace ONE delivers and manages any app on
any device with an integrated digital workspace platform. And now with the emergence
of Edge and IoT, Pulse IoT Center provides a secure, enterprise-grade solution
for IoT device management and monitoring.
2) Maintains an extensive VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) of vigorously tested hardware from many different vendors that is supported by VMware software.
If you browse the VCG for Servers/Systems you’ll find Dell, HP, Cisco, Lenovo, and many many more. If you search for vSAN you’ll find thousands of HDD and flash media listed. If you search for End User Computing you’ll find various Thin Client vendor hardware listed. And now for Edge and IoT, you will find a list of devices supported by Pulse IoT Center. This is only the beginning. The VCG will be updated to reflect the rapidly expanding Edge and IoT market as new hardware is certified and new versions Pulse IoT Center are released.
IoT is an emerging topic and much has been written about all the exciting use cases around manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities. You can read some of VMware’s perspective here: Transform Your Industry with IoT. Many of these exciting use cases include the use of the Raspberry Pi and in some instances, there are hundreds to thousands of them. VMware is working with one manufacturer that has 400 Raspberry Pis in a single manufacturing plant.
Onboard, Monitor, Manage and Secure
While it’s fun to think about how these are being used and the amazing business value that is being achieved, it’s also important to talk about how to onboard, monitor, manage and secure these devices. That’s where VMware Pulse™ IoT Center™ comes in. What vCenter does for data center infrastructure, and Workspace One does for EUC, Pulse IoT Center does for IoT and Edge. VMware Pulse IoT Center is a secure, enterprise-grade, end-to-end IoT infrastructure management solution that allows OT and IT to have complete control over their IoT use cases, from the edge all the way to the cloud.
A few months ago I made a significant career move within VMware. I love working for VMware, it’s a great company (#39 on Fortune 100 Best) with great people and leadership (#2 Fortune Business Person of the Year) and an amazing culture with its EPIC2 values. VMware is constantly innovating and encourages its people to help shape the company future. I was lucky enough to be one of the first vSAN SE’s in the world and help the evolution of that product from 0 to 14,000+ customers (as of Aug 2018). I was also extremely lucky to work with the amazing SABU product team, sales leadership, and fellow SE’s. After 5 years on the vSAN team, I discovered an opportunity to join the IoT and Edge team at VMware. This is a relatively new group with some equally talented people on the product, sales and SE team and I’m thrilled to be part of it. This group will form the VMware IoT and Edge strategy and deliver products to solve exciting problems customers will face with their IoT and Edge projects. It’s a whole new world for me that is very exciting and interesting. IoT has been around for a long time, but, it’s now becoming mainstream and taking off in a big way. I’m a startup guy and can see that this is going to be fun.