Last week, I attended the Dell Technologies IQT event in New York City—a coming out party of sorts for Dell’s much anticipated and expanded IoT strategy. Our senior IoT analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, Chris Wilder, published a research paper yesterday on Dell’s new strategy. I wanted to go ahead and share my take on the announcements coming out of the event.
Some background first. Dell was an early-entrant in IoT through the company’s OEM business and is not new to Dell. In fact, at two Dell EMC Worlds ago, I sat on stage with multiple Dell EMC IoT customers like mining operators and energy companies. The big difference two years ago is that there was very little if any synergy across Dell Technologies which spans Dell, Dell EMC, Vmware, RSA, Pivotal, SecureWorks and VirtuStream. Dell’s IQT Day sought to add some intelligence, the “IQ” into the Things and to do it Dell Technologies announced they would muster all the resources of the mothership.
Dell Technologies introduces its new “distributed model”
Dell is referring to its IoT strategy as a “distributed model”—running counter to the highly-centralized public cloud computing model that has gained popularity in recent years. Dell contends that the myriad of devices on the edge (phones, autonomous cars, sensors) no longer have time to wait for a response from a centralized infrastructure—they must be able to process information and make decisions in real time. Dell’s answer to this problem is a new architecture that combines IoT and AI into one interconnected ecosystem spanning from the cloud to the core to the edge: a “Distributed Model.” I have long thought the “distributed core” (we call it “edge computing”) makes sense and not out of playing “defense” to the public cloud, but because of the laws of physics.