Lenovo ushers in new era of edge automation at scale

Lenovo ushers in new era of edge automation at scale
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Lenovo has unveiled the next generation of ThinkEdge remote automation and orchestration with the introduction of new software solutions to accelerate the deployment of edge solutions.

Lenovo’s new Lenovo Open Cloud Automation (LOC-A) 2.6 software delivers secure automated setup, enabling customers to complete global edge deployments for any number of locations in a matter of minutes, with one-touch provisioning from a single device, such as a PC, smart phone or tablet.  New Lenovo XClarity edge-to-cloud management software also simplifies orchestration, maintenance and metering with one unified view into all Lenovo edge to cloud solutions.  Lenovo also introduced its highly adaptable ThinkEdge SE10, an optimized entry level client edge device that allows customers to capture analog and digital data, such as temperature and humidity at the outermost edge of their business.

Together, the solutions will help businesses across a wide range of high-growth industries accelerate the global rollout of edge computing, generating faster insights and accelerating intelligent transformation. 

As the amount of worldwide data from sensors, cameras and other sources exponentially grows, next generation technologies that deliver data centre-like computing to the edge are helping companies overcome networking constraints. Reducing the lag that occurs from massive data transfer, customers are leveraging edge computing technologies to process data at the source of its creation, benefitting from faster actionable insights and enabling innovative services for end users. However, edge site locations are often unmanned and hard to reach. Combined with new scalable server and computing services, Lenovo’s full range of far edge to cloud solutions will enable businesses to deploy an entire network of edge devices that are spread all across the world at once, ushering in a pivotal evolution in data intelligence.  

Charles Ferland, VP and GM of edge computing, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, said: “As the need for edge computing grows, customers are facing challenges around deploying and managing numerous edge sites due to complexity and resource constraints.

“With the new Lenovo Open Cloud Automation and end-to-end ThinkEdge portfolio of clients and servers, Lenovo is enabling a new era of edge automation and management at scale. The ThinkEdge portfolio innovations enable customers to compute data wherever it is created and harness the power of AI at the edge.” 

Unlocking intelligence at the edge 

Modern edge infrastructure is unlocking data intelligence to help solve humanity’s greatest challenges in far-flung locales all over the world. The old-world city of Barcelona is being transformed into one of the smartest in the world, enabled by a network of Lenovo ThinkEdge servers that are powering its award-winning 5G infrastructure. Lifting a smartphone near Barcelona’s picturesque La Sagrada Familia church triggers a tourist video to play instantly on screen, while in the city’s glamorous Mercat de la Concepcio , a personal shopper broadcasts food recommendations directly via the high-tech augmented reality glasses. As the rollout continues, Lenovo ThinkEdge servers are deployed in street cabinets around the city, empowering artificial intelligence for improved emergency response, public safety and accessibility.   

Built for the unique challenges of remote environments, the ruggedized ThinkEdge portfolio leverage Lenovo’s ThinkShield security capabilities, featuring the industry’s most modern and stringent security measures to keep data safe, such as bolstered physical and cyber tamper detection and locking bezels that prevent unauthorized access. The servers are also built to withstand Barcelona’s hot summer temperatures, as well as chilly winters.  

In the future, these edge servers can help better manage traffic, sending messages from traffic lights to cars, warning when they are about to turn red, and helping them drive in a fuel-efficient fashion.  

Enabling mass edge deployment   

As the demand for edge computing grows, the new Lenovo Open Cloud Automation (LOC-A) 2.6 dramatically simplifies processes that used to require weeks of manual work to complete. LOC-A is capable of automating the deployment of ThinkEdge clients and servers at scale within minutes, eliminating the need for manual resources and potential human error. With LOC-A 2.6, Lenovo ThinkEdge servers can be shipped directly to their desired edge locations, where they can be securely authenticated, activated, and registered remotely, speeding time to value.   

Juan Orlandini, chief architect and engineer at Insight, said: “When it comes to edge computing, there are different variables that need to be addressed. At Insight Enterprises Inc., oftentimes we are helping customers deploy systems in remote locations where space is limited, harder to access and conditions are harsher than in a traditional data centre. Each location individually is challenging, but the edge is a distributed environment that often numbers into the thousands if not tens of thousands. To help our clients scale edge solutions, we need enough compute power to support multiple diverse workloads and the tooling and logistics to manage everything efficiently. That’s why we’ve chosen Lenovo as an edge technology partner.”

LOC-A automatically and remotely updates the edge device’s firmware, then installs and configures all platform components like the operating system and cloud software. Previously, administrators had to inflexibly pre-load software at a factory, or undergo the logistically complex process of installing software images at staging areas, one at a time. With LOC-A 2.6, edge devices are installed through one-touch setup with minimal downtime, delivering immediate value through ease and efficiency of operation and enabling swift computing and insights from globally sourced data without lag time. LOC-A 2.6 is capable of onboarding Lenovo’s ThinkEdge portfolio of SE10, SE30, SE50, SE70, SE350, and SE450 servers. 

Transforming business outcomes anywhere 

The Lenovo ThinkEdge portfolio offers a full range of client and server edge infrastructure solutions, software and services. The new ThinkEdge SE10 client device with Intel Atom processor turns analogue measurements, such as temperature, lighting and humidity into digital data, which can then be analysed for insights and actions. The ThinkEdge SE10 compact and rugged design is optimised for analogue-to-data processing everywhere customers need it, including retail locations, manufacturing facilities and smart buildings.  Leveraging the ThinkEdge, SE10, businesses can mitigate food waste, automate sorting and processing, improve inventory management and improve self-service or security functions throughout their operations. From extreme temperatures to the most constrained spaces, the SE10 is designed as the most versatile device in the ThinkEdge portfolio and available in an industrial-specific design, with even more rugged ThinkEdge SE10-i.  

Lenovo’s fully integrated edge business also features a range of newly available support services, including Lenovo’s Edge Data Management Workshops and AI Innovators Program. Working with Lenovo, businesses can tap an extensive ecosystem of expert consultants who are trained to help customers identify a clear path for rollout and realize faster edge deployments to achieve scale.  

Providing a complete portfolio of edge servers, AI-ready storage and solutions, Lenovo offerings are also available as-a-Service through Lenovo TruScale, which can extend workloads from the edge to the cloud in a consumption-based model. 

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