VMware CTO to head up new Dell IoT division

Push into IoT across Dell Technologies brands announced at special conference in New York

Dell Technologies has launched a new IoT division, headed up by VMware CTO Ray O'Farrell.

The IoT Solutions Division will seek to orchestrate the company's IoT strategy across the Dell Technologies "family", which includes Dell EMC, VMware, RSA, Pivotal and Dell.

At an event in New York to launch the division, the company talked up the importance of having a "distributed core", which acts as a bridge between the IoT devices at the edge and the cloud, reducing latency to allow near-instant decision making.

Dell Technologies CEO, Michael Dell, gave the example of being in an autonomous car when a deer jumps out in the road. If the decision were made in the cloud, rather than in the vehicle, the latency is such that "you might as well put venison on the dinner menu".

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Speaking on his new role and the new initiative, O'Farrell pointed to Dell's pedigree in distributed computing, as well as the strengths of the Dell Technologies software divisions in virtualisation. "When you look at IoT ... it's ripe for Dell Technologies [to get involved]," O'Farrell said. The new IoT division will "drive and develop" the company's IoT strategy, as well as helping to develop new products, he added.

To help facilitate all this, Dell Technologies will also invest $1 billion in IoT R&D over the next three years. This includes products, labs and its partner programme. Under this initiative it has announced four projects to develop new IoT products for the enterprise.

The first, Project Fire, is a hyperconverged platform that forms part of the VMware Pulse family of IoT solutions. It will, the company said, allow businesses to roll out IoT initiatives more quickly and offer greater management software consistency all the way from device to cloud.

Project Iris is an effort to extend security analytics to the edge, currently under development in RSA labs.

Project Nautilus, from Dell EMC, is software that allows firms to collect and analyse data from IoT gateways with minimal latency, with the option to archive the information to file or object storage for more in-depth analysis at a later date.

Finally, Project Worldwide Herd is working on the more ethereal concept of performing analytics on geographically dispersed data that can't be transferred out of the country it's held in due to privacy or security concerns, or legal restrictions.

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