May 13, 2020 By Sai Vennam 4 min read

In this video, I’ll explain how IBM Edge Application Manager can automate the deployment and maintenance of your edge device inventory.

I’ll show how the offering’s autonomous management capability can help a company reduce costs and simplify the management of their edge endpoints.

Learn more

Video Transcript

The opportunities and challenges of edge computing

From banking ATMs to retail kiosk services to manufacturing assembly lines, intelligent devices are an integral tool we use to conduct business.

To handle the scale of these deployments and exploit their compute capacity, edge computing brings enterprise applications closer to where the data is created and actions need to be taken. It also allows enterprises to leverage AI and analyze their data in near-real-time.

While edge computing creates unique opportunities, it also presents challenges. By breaking down the neat physical boundaries of cloud data centers, edge computing requires companies to consider security, management, and compliance for tens or even tens of thousands of offsite cameras, sensors, and AI-ready factory controllers.

Autonomous management of edge devices

The pervasiveness of these edge devices can rapidly lead to a management problem that can’t be handled without automation. Without autonomous management of these edge devices, the diversity of your device inventory can make traditional software delivery to edge devices costly and error-prone.

It’s also important to remember that these devices change often. For example, they are reconfigured in the field with more memory, storage, or connected to different sensors. They are re-purposed to different tasks. They are moved or change owners.

A final point to consider—without autonomous management of edge devices, the lack of continuous connectivity can lead to security exposures, outages, or missed business opportunities to provide specialized offers to your customers. So, your edge device management strategy must consider devices that are available online or offline.

Automate deployment and maintenance with IBM Edge Application Manager

Today, I’ll explain how IBM Edge Application Manager can automate the deployment and maintenance of your edge device inventory. You’ll see how with autonomous management, a single administrator can manage the scale, variability, and the rate of change of application environments across tens of thousands of endpoints.

IBM Edge Application Manager’s autonomous management capability allows you to dramatically reduce costs with remote and autonomous management by defining your deployment intent instead of coding and maintaining endless install scripts. And, manage your endpoints in one place with the Red Hat OpenShift platform that runs on the cloud of your choice.

Use case example: World of Widgets

Imagine that you work for a fictitious company: World of Widgets. You’re about to roll out a new assembly line across your factories that are capable of applying customized painting for the widgets you’re producing.

To ensure the quality of custom painting, a set of programmable cameras are installed on every assembly machine. However, this creates a challenge for your IT department: How do you manage all those devices and make sure they quickly adapt to new painting patterns being introduced?

World of Widgets has decided to use IBM Edge Application Manager. IBM Edge Application Manager gives a single administrator the ability to manage thousands of edge endpoints by carrying out identification, agreement, execution, and verification of management actions without intervention—driving down administration costs and streamlining the deployment of device-specific updates.

In this case, IBM Edge Application Manager helps to deliver the service right to the cameras—improving response time and spreading the workload across hundreds of these small container-capable devices, thereby avoiding the transport/compute burden of a centralized data center architecture.

It’s the first week of the rollout and technicians text you that they’ve just installed new machines at the factory in Tuscon, Arizona. Yippee!

You’re responsible to verify that the equipment has been successfully connected to the management hub and that the right software gets installed on the edge devices.

Fortunately, you do not have to write scripts with IBM Edge Application Manager. Instead, you can specify the criteria that determines what’s deployed to each device. You don’t have to deal with each individual endpoint.

The workload—defined as one or more services—can be automatically deployed because it meets the criteria you’ve already set.

Each service, representing a specific functionality, is conditioned with policy assertions that assure that the right software is placed on the right node at the right time. And the system will automatically update itself when new workloads or edge nodes are introduced or environmental conditions change that invalidate the original placement decisions.

As we’ve seen through this brief example, IBM Edge Application Manager, with its autonomous management capability, delivers autonomous workload lifecycle management. When combined with an edge-native programming model, a single administrator can securely deliver software to almost any smart device or cluster capable of running containerized workloads.

 

 

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