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Dell Makes Surveillance Play, Moves Deeper Into IoT

Businesses are increasingly interested in enterprise-grade surveillance solutions. Partners should be paying attention.

VMWARE VMWORLD — With an expected surge in the use of high-resolution cameras for surveillance, Dell Technologies on Tuesday introduced its first surveillance offer – the IoT Solution for Surveillance – via its Edge and IoT division.

Not only are more companies across all industries deploying cameras, they’re increasingly looking for integrations with IoT as well as the data center, thanks to new possibilities in surveillance with higher-definition, or resolution, cameras.

“We’re not just seeing this in governments, worldwide, but we’re seeing a growing opportunity in education, higher-education campuses, health care, safe cities, stadiums, airports and for digital evidence,” said Ken Mills, general manager, surveillance and security at Dell Technologies. “Every vertical [and] every customer segment [are] dealing with this transition from point solutions in the surveillance market to enterprise-class, data-center-ready solutions.

The vendor solicited feedback from customers and found they are using more cameras. They’re also dealing with increased storage and data-retention requirements that could span from months to 10 years — or more.

“There’s a dramatic shift in the amount of storage and compute power that’s required to support these applications,” Mills said, as well as a desire to integrate IoT sensors with surveillance footage.

Ken Mills

Over the past few years, customers are also increasingly interested in integrating computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) into their platform for applications such as traffic flow, retail and public safety.

Dell says its IoT Solution for Surveillance simplifies surveillance in a complex world. The offer is built with best-of-breed technologies from the Dell companies, such as VMware, Dell, and Dell EMC, and also uses expertise from RSA and its open-source community, according to Mike McDonough, development leader, IoT solutions division, Dell Technologies.

McDonough says Dell is building switches designed specifically for surveillance applications that can be managed, but noted that storage is the core of the solution. The core is designed with three tiers of storage: fast cache, on-premises economy storage and cloud storage, resulting in an engineered solution that is integrated from the camera to the cloud.

Mike McDonough

The Dell Technologies IoT Solution for Surveillance will offer:

  • Rapid return on investment thanks to the open architecture that allows for customization with choice of technology, purchasing and configuration. It's flexible to adapt to changing technologies or industry regulations to meet data needs today and in the future.
  • Reduced risk as the Dell EMC Surveillance Validation Lab tests hardware and ISV software solutions together in extreme simulations to ensure they will stand up in the real world.
  • Integrated security with built-in measures such as microsegmentation (NSX-T) and the ability to push over-the-air (OTA) updates and security patches in real-time to all surveillance devices from camera to cloud. It also will include holistic management capabilities across IT and operational technology (OT) concerns through a combination of VMware Pulse IoT Center and Software Defined Data Center.
  • Greater reliability with scalability from hundreds to thousands of cameras and sensors. The solution offers an automated, fault-tolerant approach to scaling from 300TB to 50PB+ on Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage for private, on-premises, off-premises or hybrid needs. High availability and zero data loss will be guaranteed with vSAN RAID 5/6 across flash and disk. Additionally, ESXi Enterprise Plus enables high availability and disaster-recovery services.

The surveillance offer is the first use case to which Dell Technologies has applied computer vision.

IoT Solution for Surveillance is delivered with what Dell says is an easy-to-deploy-and-manage hyperconverged, software-defined solution. It will be available later this year for purchase as a package and the engineered, pre-integrated solution will provide a consistent foundation from edge to distributed core to the cloud. Today, the solution is available as a reference architecture to align systems and build a framework for computer-vision learning and adoption for other use cases.

Dell also created the new Dell Technologies IoT Connected Bundles, including sensors and licensed software from partners tailored for specific customer use cases, together with various combinations of Dell Technologies infrastructure spanning edge gateway, embedded PC and server hardware, and complementary software such as VMware Pulse IoT Center for securing, managing and monitoring these solutions at scale.

There are more than a half-dozen bundles for a variety of use cases. The various bundles will launch in either North America or EMEA  beginning this week and throughout the fall.

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