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5 edge computing vendors for CIOs to watch

With the amount of data organizations are generating today, IT leaders should consider edge computing technologies from these vendors to keep all that data closer to the edge.

The proliferation of IoT, mobile and other endpoint devices is generating unprecedented amounts of data, which organizations now need to analyze to gain insights they can use to drive actions and business decisions.

That need, in turn, is fueling huge growth in edge computing technologies. The market for edge computing technologies stood at $3.5 billion in 2019, according to Grand View Research. Moreover, the research and consulting firm estimated the compound annual growth rate for edge computing technologies to exceed 37% from 2020 to 2027.

There are a mix of products that make up this market space: hardware, including gateways and servers designed for edge computing, as well as software, edge-managed platforms and services.

Edge computing vendors today include long-standing tech companies, newer entries and startups. Some of the vendors offer a range of products and services to organizations across industry verticals. Some sell specialized offerings, like ruggedized hardware that can withstand harsh environmental conditions, including those found on offshore oil rigs. And others target their technologies to specific industries, such as transportation or utilities.

Meanwhile, their customers -- the end-user organizations -- are investing heavily in the full range of products to meet their own unique and varying needs for capturing, processing, analyzing and storing all the data coming off endpoint devices.

Although much of that data ends up in the cloud, organizations are finding that some use cases are demanding that the analysis of data needs to happen as close as possible to the endpoint devices rather than in centralized corporate data systems; in other words, handling all the data from endpoint devices must happen on the edge, too.

Here's a look at five edge computing vendors and their offerings that work at the edge alongside the endpoint devices.

Adlink Technology

Adlink Technology is a global company that sells both hardware and software products ranging from industrial motherboards to complete systems. Its IoT and edge computing offerings include two 5G multi-access edge computing (MEC) servers, as well as various IoT hardware and software products. Adlink serves numerous industries, with customers in aviation, defense, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications and transportation, among others.

Amazon and Verizon

In late 2019, AWS announced that Verizon Communications would use AWS Wavelength to provide developers the ability to deploy applications that require ultralow latency to mobile devices using 5G. The companies piloted AWS Wavelength on Verizon's edge compute platform, known as 5G Edge, in Chicago with select customers with more planned deployments in other U.S. locations throughout 2020. However, the AWS Wavelength-Verizon 5G Edge service is just one of the edge offerings by AWS. Other edge infrastructure and software options include AWS' Snow Family of devices -- with varying levels of data storage capacity and onboard computing options -- and Lambda@Edge, a feature of Amazon CloudFront that lets code run closer to users without the need to provision or manage infrastructure.

Cisco

Similarly, Cisco has various products and services to support enterprise edge computing use cases, including more conventional equipment, like routers and IoT networking hardware, as well as purpose-built edge servers. Its offerings in the latter class include its Edge Series devices, which provide a cloud-accessible, all-in-one open computing platform and its MEC platform. One example of its edge products is its IC3000 Industrial Compute Gateway, which has built-in security and manageability at scale to enable decision-making at the edge by processing and normalizing data from various sensors. The company also offers software to support enterprise edge deployments. An example is its Edge Intelligence IoT software to move data from connected assets at the network edge to multi-cloud application destinations.

Dell EMC

Another technology giant with a vast list of products for sale across multiple sectors, Dell EMC has become an edge computing vendor with products specifically made to serve the unique needs in the edge computing space, including edge servers and micromodular data centers. The Dell EMC Modular Data Center Micro 415 earned Edge Data Center Project of the Year in 2019 from DatacenterDynamics, which recognized the technology for its part in enabling a multinational automotive company's rollout of connected vehicle technology.

HPE

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has estimated that enterprises can expect 70% of their data to come from the edge by 2023. To help them meet the need to handle that data, HPE has developed a family of edge computing hardware and software products. HPE offers Edgeline systems that provide enterprise-class compute, storage and management at the edge, with an option of delivering those capabilities in a rugged form factor to withstand harsh environments that exist in some edge use cases. There's also Edgeline OT Link, with combined hardware-software capabilities that HPE promotes to simplify and accelerate setup and deployment. Additionally, HPE has hardware modules that can handle data from different industrial devices in various edge settings; software options, such as its Edgeline OT Link Platform that enables data movement; and its HPE Edgeline Workload Orchestrator software that enables central management and orchestration.

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