The Cloud. The mythical storage space in the sky. The place where all data goes, tucked away safely until it’s needed again. While the cloud seems infinite, it can only handle so much data before slowing down.

To mitigate that, edge servers can save bandwidth and improve response times. An edge server sits between networks and moves some portion of storage and computing resources out of the central data center and closer to the source of its data. ZEDEDA, a software company focused on edge computing infrastructure, looks to revolutionize how customers use edge server and connect workloads within their environments.

On Dec. 14, ZEDEDA announced a strategic investment from Emerson Ventures. Emerson’s solution integrates ZEDEDA’s edge management and orchestration offer into its DeltaV automation system, enabling Emerson customers to extend DeltaV to the distributed edge.

ZEDEDA product edge orchestration
ZEDEDA allows for automated orchestration for the distributed edge. (Source: ZEDEDA)

“Think of us like Android in mobile phones – an operating system to run apps on phones, secure them and make them easy to use. We built something like that, but for industrial environments,” Said Ouissal, founder and CEO of ZEDEDA, told Hart Energy. “Using our software, you can deploy applications in these distributed environments, secure nodes and manage all that infrastructure at great scale.”

Emerson, a global software and automation company, has been working on their Distributed Control System (DCS) with ZEDEDA for the past year.  Now they have moved on with a new goal to be a more intelligent provider of software and data analytics, Ouissal said. To do this, they have taken their existing DCS and, with ZEDEDA’s help, made it smarter and evolved the partnership into the DeltaV Edge Gateway.

“The DeltaV Edge Gateway is an analytics function that can be easily added to existing DeltaV environments out there and give customers the ability to take all the data that gets generated by DeltaV and locally process and analyze it in a secure way and organize it from there,” Ouissal said.

ZEDEDA’s solution works as a horizontal platform able to modernize edge computing software in all industrial environments. The company built an open-source operating system through the Linux Foundation, which Ouissal said is “key to create a standard for edge computing.” He said this standardization will benefit customers with easy-to-use solutions that are supported by a large number of companies.

“We have this vision that the edge is an ecosystem and nobody will own the edge. The edge will always be partnerships between hardware companies, software companies, application companies, cloud companies [and] system integration companies. That's why we created open architecture, to make that collaboration possible,” Ouissal said. “That is also how Emerson thinks about it, as they’re considering building a broad ecosystem and leveraging other technologies to operate.

Currently the solution is in its early availability phase but was able to be used by Emerson since they have been quietly working together for a year.

Said Ouissal, ZEDEDA
(Source: ZEDEDA)

“We have this vision that the edge is an ecosystem and nobody will own the edge. The edge will always be partnerships between hardware companies, software companies, application companies, cloud companies [and] system integration companies.” – Said Ouissal, ZEDEDA

“Industrial environments are currently constricted by siloes and segmentation,” Nathan Pettus, president of Emerson’s process systems and software business, said in a press release. “By leveraging edge technologies built on current infrastructure and deploying software as orchestrated workloads, our work with ZEDEDA enables us to bring IT and OT [information technology and operational technology] innovation together and create a new paradigm for the industrial edge.”

Despite it still being early in development, this is only the “first chapter” for ZEDEDA and Emerson, according to Ouissal. The current solution is an add-on to existing environments, but both companies hope to create a cloud-native software with all new products.

“You'll start to see a whole new generation of distributor control systems, a new generation of integration with cloud companies and a new generation of products that come with AI [artificial intelligence] built in and the ability to do a lot of intelligence on their own,” Ouissal told Hart. “I think the idea is to make this as simple as a home Nest cam, something that takes that ease of use and makes it available in the industrial world.”