At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Dell launched new edge gateways specifically designed to support Internet of Things (IoT) deployments in harsh environments and confined spaces. Dubbed the Dell Edge Gateway 3000 Series, the new gateways target use cases and embedded solutions in the industrial automation, energy, transportation and digital signage markets, according to Dell. MWC 2017, which kicked off on Feb. 27, is running through March 2.

"With these new Edge Gateways, customers will be able to securely transfer and analyze important data at the edge of the network to glean real-time intelligence from the physical world," Dell said in a statement, "Ideal deployments include a vehicle, a refrigerated trailer, a remote oil pump in the desert, digital signs in an elevator or inside of the HVAC units on a rooftop of a casino."

Real-Time Analysis

The 3000 series is designed to appeal to customers looking for faster, real-time analysis of massive amounts of data produced by devices on their networks in order to perform immediate decision-making, Dell said. In many cases, it can be too expensive for enterprises to move all the data from the edge of the network near the devices to the data center.

Computing at the edge, on the other hand, can help determine which data sets are relevant and need to be sent back to the data center or the cloud for further analytics and longer term storage, saving bandwidth and reducing costs and security concerns.

"As the number of connected devices becomes more ubiquitous, we know that intelligent computing at the edge of the network is critical. The IoT continues to enhance customer experience, drive business growth and improve lives, making it central to organizations' digital transformation strategies," said Andy Rhodes, vice president and general manager, Internet of Things at Dell, in the statement. "The small and mighty 3000 Series opens up new opportunities for our customers and partners to get smarter with their data and make big things happen."

A Rugged Alternative

The company said the 3000 Series is a rugged alternative to its 5000 Series, which is designed to excel in fixed use cases that require modular expansion, large sensor networks and more advanced edge analytics. The 3000 Series, however, is geared toward fixed and mobile use cases requiring smaller sensor networks, tight spaces and more simple analytics.

The series consists of three different models. The first is geared to the industrial automation and energy management markets, and comes with a multi-function I/O port and programmable serial ports. The second is aimed at the transportation and logistics markets, with a CAN bus for land/marine protocol and integrated ZigBee for mesh sensor networks.

The last model targets digital signage and retail enterprises, and is equipped with a display port output for video displays and 3.5mm line in/line out for quality audio streaming.

Each of the three models features an Intel Atom processor, 2 GB of RAM, and support for operating temperatures between minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit) and 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit).