Microsoft and HPE Bring Advanced Data Processing and Cloud Computing to Space Station

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • HPE’s SBC-2 computer system on the International Space Station will enable advanced data processing in support of space-based research, while connecting to Microsoft’s Azure cloud on Earth.
  • Despite SBC-2’s potential, the new computer system will be vulnerable to the same environmental challenges as its predecessor.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Microsoft have joined forces to combine the potential of HPE’s edge computing technology and Microsoft’s cloud computing capabilities in outer space. HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 (SBC-2) system – soon to be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) – will enable many new activities on the space station that require advanced data processing. It will also connect via satellite to Microsoft’s cloud data centers on Earth for more demanding requirements. However, despite the potential offered by SBC-2, the new computer system will be vulnerable to the same environmental challenges as its predecessor. Continue reading “Microsoft and HPE Bring Advanced Data Processing and Cloud Computing to Space Station”

Blockchain Won’t be a Global Solution for COVID-19 Vaccination Plans Anytime Soon

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• There a growing interest in how blockchain, a distributed ledger technology (DLT), can help governments and health authorities address the challenges associated with COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

• However, several hurdles and barriers mean that specific blockchain-based initiatives are likely to be slow to materialize and may never be fully realizable on a global scale.

With some countries, including Russia and the United Kingdom, having already started vaccinating populations against COVID-19, and with others expected to follow suit in the coming weeks, there is a growing interest in how blockchain could help governments and health authorities address some of the many challenges associated with vaccine distribution and dissemination. Continue reading “Blockchain Won’t be a Global Solution for COVID-19 Vaccination Plans Anytime Soon”

Mayflower Voyage Opens Up a New World of Opportunity for Edge Computing and AI

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • The transatlantic voyage of the Mayflower robotic ship will be an important testbed for the use of edge computing and artificial intelligence at sea.
  • Potential use cases for commercial autonomous ships include marine research, ocean clean-up, remote marine pilotage, and defense.

On September 16, the UK’s first robotic ship, named the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, will embark on a transatlantic voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, retracing the route of the original Mayflower on the 400th anniversary of its crossing. The transatlantic voyage of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will be an important testbed for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing, and is widely expected to pave the way both for the development of commercial autonomous ships and for the advancement of use cases ranging from marine research and defense to remote marine pilotage and ocean cleanup. Continue reading “Mayflower Voyage Opens Up a New World of Opportunity for Edge Computing and AI”

Altran’s Latest Platform Enhancements Acknowledge the Central Role of App Developers in Driving Emerging Edge IT Opportunities

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Altran of the Capgemini Group has enhanced its Ensconce-branded edge computing platform with Intel software, in a move that specifically targets the needs of application developers.
  • Altran is one of several companies now targeting the edge computing requirements of app developers, a trend that will necessitate vendors to differentiate around features, functionality, and flexibility.

As a growing number of companies target emerging opportunities associated with edge computing, some have begun to differentiate their edge IT offerings with solutions that address the specific needs of application developers. In doing so, they are acknowledging the central role developers will play in driving new market growth opportunities, especially those based on new, high-performance, low-latency applications and digital services. Continue reading “Altran’s Latest Platform Enhancements Acknowledge the Central Role of App Developers in Driving Emerging Edge IT Opportunities”

Recent Investments and Team-Ups by AWS, Microsoft, and Google Demonstrate Their Intent to ‘Play It Big’ in Emerging Edge IT

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • The market for edge computing solutions is becoming increasingly competitive as the hyperscale cloud providers announce new service offerings and telco partnerships.
  • Going forward, solution providers will benefit from efforts to more clearly demonstrate and articulate the use cases and advantages of edge computing.

The recent launch of AWS Snowcone represents a further moment of intensification in the increasingly competitive market for edge infrastructure solutions. AWS Snowcone is a new edge computing and data transfer device from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is the smallest member of the AWS Snow Family of devices. At just under five pounds, the solution is designed to be highly portable and able to fit in a standard mailbox or a small backpack. It is also designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and support a range of use cases outside the traditional data center – especially those that lack consistent network connectivity. Although Snowcone customers with internet connectivity will be able to send data to the AWS cloud using Ethernet or WiFi with AWS DataSync, one interesting innovation is the option to ship the device to AWS. This makes it suitable for edge use cases without any network connectivity, including drilling platforms, military operation sites, and remote filming locations. Continue reading “Recent Investments and Team-Ups by AWS, Microsoft, and Google Demonstrate Their Intent to ‘Play It Big’ in Emerging Edge IT”

Edge Computing Could Offer a Solution to Blockchain’s Limitations

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • A blockchain’s scalability is currently limited by the amount of power it consumes and the time lag involved when processing transactions across its distributed ledger.
  • By enabling local data processing and storage, edge computing could offer a solution to blockchain’s current scalability limitations.

The disruptions to global and local supply chains which occurred as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis have refocused attention on the ability of blockchain to enhance supply chain resilience. However, blockchain continues to face several basic challenges that prevent the technology from becoming truly scalable. These include the amount of power it consumes and the time lag that is involved when processing transactions across its distributed ledger. As a blockchain expands, both its power consumption and the amount of data processing latency increase, with inhibiting implications for platform scalability. Continue reading “Edge Computing Could Offer a Solution to Blockchain’s Limitations”

COVID-19: IoT and Edge Computing Could Support Green Recovery for UK Economy

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) innovation could play a major role in helping to drive a post COVID-19 recovery for the UK economy.
  • Initiatives to harness the benefits of edge computing will need to be collaborative, as well as addressing important questions about architecture design, energy use and security.

Edge computing involves the use of computer processing, data storage and analytics capabilities close to the places where data is collected and where digital content and applications are consumed. Edge computing is increasingly seen as an essential enabling technology for a wide range of applications related to IoT, including environmental monitoring and traffic optimization sensors as well as IoT solutions that support energy and water management in social housing and public sector buildings. Local processing capabilities remove the need to send data to far-off data centres for processing, therefore accelerating the speed at which IoT sensor data can be processed and acted on. An associated benefit is the lower bandwidth and storage consumption costs that can be gained by not having to send large volumes of data to be processed elsewhere. Continue reading “COVID-19: IoT and Edge Computing Could Support Green Recovery for UK Economy”

COVID-19: Edge Computing Can Help with Post-Crisis Recovery

Summary Bullets:

• GlobalData predicts that sales of edge computing infrastructure and services will grow by almost 14% in 2020, and will experience accelerated growth in the 2021-2024 period.

• As with 5G, edge computing can help with post-crisis economic stimulus efforts, creating new opportunities for businesses, while helping them operate in more efficient and adaptable ways.

Prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19, edge computing was widely perceived to be one of IT’s hottest new trends. However, the COVID-19 crisis has thrown industries and economies around the world into upheaval, with many businesses being forced to re-evaluate previous IT investment plans – including those that involve edge computing. Despite this, investments in edge computing technologies are expected to continue throughout the remainder of 2020, before picking up in 2021. This is because of the benefits edge computing enables, and the broad range of use cases edge computing technologies support. Together with 5G wireless networking and artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing can also help governments and businesses strengthen their digital infrastructures and support post-crisis economic recovery. Continue reading “COVID-19: Edge Computing Can Help with Post-Crisis Recovery”

COVID-19: Banks Will Weather the Storm with Robust, Agile IT

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Efforts to bolster online banking and fintech apps in response to the COVID-19 crisis can significantly advance the digitalization of banking.
  • To help banks weather the COVID-19 storm, it is essential that they continue developing a supporting IT infrastructure that maximizes flexibility, agility, and efficiency.

Global banks currently face multiple challenges as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. However, it is vital that banks remain committed to ongoing digital transformation strategies. Many major banks have recently embarked on digital transformation journeys that involve the adoption of cloud-based IT architectures, fintech solutions, and the use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Although the COVID-19 crisis has created short-term disruptions to banks’ normal operations, banks should prioritize the continuation of key IT transformation projects with a focus on their long-term benefits, including cost savings, operational efficiencies, increased business agility, and the ability to leverage new tools and capabilities. Continue reading “COVID-19: Banks Will Weather the Storm with Robust, Agile IT”

COVID-19: In Uncertain Times, IT Can Help Foster a Collaborative Response

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • As China’s IT industry returns to work, new geopolitical tensions compound economic uncertainties which, if not addressed, could threaten public health and economic recovery.
  • Global IT companies can help to find collaborative solutions that encourage a change of attitude and which emphasize international cooperation and resource sharing.

In recent days, the world has watched optimistically as travel and other restrictions in China’s Hubei province, where the global COVID-19 pandemic started, have been slowly relaxed and as manufacturing in China progressively returns to normal. This optimism also extends to China’s IT manufacturing sector, with Inspur, Lenovo, Huawei, and other IT vendors all reporting a return to normal production. Continue reading “COVID-19: In Uncertain Times, IT Can Help Foster a Collaborative Response”