Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, May 24, 2022

VMware Alliance Extends IoT ‘Agent’ 

Seeking to bridge the gap between IT and developers, VMware Inc. announced a series of alliances designed to speed deployment of an enterprise version of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The company (NYSE: VMW) said Tuesday (Aug. 23) it would work with Bayshore Networks, Dell, Intwine Connect, Deliotte Digital, PTC and V5 Systems to deploy and scale IoT platforms. VMware, like many infrastructure vendors, is targeting enterprise IoT applications as standard protocols emerge that would enable unified management, analytics and security.

The alliance follows VMware's launch in June of an open-source software development kit designed for building "secure IoT gateway data and control orchestration applications," the company said. The approach would help developers determine the best way to gather data from IoT devices and transfer it to datacenters.

The development kit "provides the libraries to develop applications that connect and orchestrate data and control flows across things, gateways and the cloud," Bask Iyer, VMware's CIO and senior vice president, noted in a blog post.

In a statement announcing the IoT alliance, Iyer added, "Our work with these companies will be important in helping businesses meet their strategic needs for IoT applications, analytics, hardware and services, ultimately extending their reach from the datacenter and cloud to the [network] edge."

Alliance partners stressed the need for open IoT application development. "It’s critical to for us to work across multiple gateway platforms to deliver the scale required for industrial IoT," noted Francis Cianfrocca, founder and chief scientist at Bayshore Networks.

Meanwhile, PTC (Nasdaq: PTC), an IoT platform specialist based in Needham, Mass., will provide the alliance with its "ThingWorx" platform billed as providing development tools to connect devices while automating analytics steps such as real-time anomaly detection. The platform also provides enterprise connectivity or industrial connections via industrial automation and IoT specialist Kepware Technologies.

Dell predicted that the open framework for gateway application development running on its Edge gateways would help speed IoT development and deployment.

Industrial IoT specialists such as V5 Systems noted that the ability to connect data from networked devices to the cloud would help it connect "nodes to one another as well as back to the cloud or datacenter."

The VMware IoT platform dubbed Liota (for "Little IoT Agent") is available to developers here and works with gateways or operating systems that support Python. Along with board, gateway and transport layers, the IoT framework includes a "things" layer designed to allow developers to create "representative objects" for IoT devices that would be connected to the gateway.

VMware added that it plans to extend its IoT alliances in order to expand the number of use cases, including healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and government applications.

The announcement was timed to coincide with next week's VMworld event in Las Vagas.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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