Storage giant EMC is teaming up with Vodafone to develop and offer a platform for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) service development and testing.
The IoT development platform, known as Infinite, is spread across three datacentres – one hosted by EMC, another by Vodafone, and another by datacentre and cloud provider Cork Internet eXchange (CIX).
The companies said the platform can be used to develop a range of IoT services, particularly those to support industrial automation in fields like manufacturing and fleet management, but also healthcare and higher education.
EMC and Vodafone said the companies are investing about €2m in the initiative.
“EMC Federation is leading an industrial partnership encompassing rich data and Internet of Things. The digital age’s IT transformation – cloud, big data, social, mobile and Internet of Things, is continuously and increasingly changing the way we live and work,” said Orna Berry, corporate vice president innovation, EMC Centres of Excellences (CoE). “EMC Federation and Ireland’s CoE are excited to take a dynamic and influential part in this important eventuation, with the creation of the Infinite innovative IoT platform.”
This is also the first large scale project approved for use by the Industrial Internet Consortium, a membership group of telcos, research institutes and technology manufacturers created last year and focused on developing interoperability standards and common architectures to bridge smart devices, machines, mobile devices and the data they create.
The move means the offering adheres to a range of interoperability standards being proposed or consolidated by the group.
“Infinite will prove to be a valuable Industrial Internet testbed for a countless number of industries including smart cities and healthcare. As the need for more dynamic systems continues to grow, organisations will turn to utilising mobile networks to connect to virtual systems,” said Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium. “This testbed is going to prove the viability of doing all this with systems that require the utmost security – such as those used by hospitals and emergency medical services.”
Anne O’Leary, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland, said: “We are delighted to work with EMC in this exciting development. Vodafone is at the forefront of Internet of Things technology at a global level and I am proud to see Ireland also taking a lead in pioneering the development of these new disruptive technologies. IoT has the potential to transform business in Ireland and we are excited to be in a position to provide companies with access to start developing their own IoT services.”
With IoT heating up a broad range of IT and telecoms incumbents have thrown their hats into the development platform race. Last month for instance Google unveiled Brillo, a slimmed down version of Android with a proprietary set of APIs for IoT-specific services and communications, while SAP unveiled a thinly re-branded version of HANA in the cloud for IoT. But while telcos have long tried to get in on this segment it seems to be an interesting move for EMC, which has generally kept a low profile in IoT beyond simply tailoring the marketing around its high-IO storage arrays, and has left much of the jockeying in this segment up to others in the Federation (like Pivotal).