Edge computing plays a key role in transforming the retail industry. A new technical white paper from Dell and VMware defines a retail edge solution architecture built with the recently announced VMware Edge Compute Stack, VMware SD-WAN™, and Dell EMC hyperconverged platforms.
Retailers need better compute and connectivity at the edge
Retailers want to deliver new services and digital experiences for their employees and customers close to the locations where data are produced and consumed. These organizations need to combine data originating at the store with machine learning, analytics, and artificial intelligence to help improve operations, become more agile, and capture next-generation business opportunities.
To ensure success, organizations require retail edge infrastructure solutions that enable fast deployment of new IT services, simplified IT management, and security of edge infrastructure at scale. Efficient and resilient network connectivity is critical to ensure faster deployment of new IT services across data centers, branch offices, and store locations.
To meet this need, Dell EMC and VMware developed a combined retail edge solution architecture including these VMware and Dell solutions:
- VMware Edge Compute Stack, announced at VMworld 2021, is a purpose-built, integrated VM and container-based stack that will enable organizations to modernize and secure edge-native apps at the far edge.
- Dell EMC hyperconverged platforms range from the fully curated experience of Dell EMC VxRail to the customer-managed VMware vSAN Ready Node built on Dell PowerEdge™ Servers. The Dell EMC portfolio includes several options that are short-depth, ruggedized or tower-based.
- VMware SD-WAN provides secure and reliable connection to remote sites, assuring application performance through optimized connectivity and PCI compliance
These solutions deliver a cost-efficient, simple, and flexible architecture that ensures faster deployment of new IT services for the customers in the retail industry.
A simplified environment for the evolving network edge
VMware defines the edge as distributed digital infrastructure for running workloads across a multitude of locations, placed close to users and devices producing and consuming data. Edge computing helps businesses process, collect and transfer data at the edge in near-real time with ultra-low latency.
As retailers look at modernizing their infrastructure, they would prefer to deploy a pre-integrated and fully validated solution that is easy to manage and scale and which also ensures application performance through reliable and secure connectivity at the edge. It should come as no surprise that organizations value efficiency, ease of use and a simplified environment.
VMware and Dell Technologies are uniquely positioned to deliver a multi-cloud edge platform. Together, we are jointly developing edge solution architectures today to help customers:
- Build, run, and manage edge-native applications at the near and far edge
- Leverage their infrastructure and operations across multiple clouds
- Enable secure remote access with assured application performance and secure the applications from various security threats in a distributed environment
What’s in the paper?
The paper, Retail Edge: A Modernized Edge Architecture for Retail, is intended for architects, engineers, consultants, and IT administrators responsible for designing, implementing, and operating edge infrastructure. Here’s a peek at the contents:
- Architecture design: A 2-node Dell EMC vSAN Ready Node cluster and a shared VMware vSAN witness host connected by VMware SD-WAN. The 2-node cluster is deployed at each edge location and managed by VMware vCenter Server from a central data center.
- Virtual infrastructure design: Parameters for suggested designs for all the vCenter Server instances, including ESXi host design, vSAN and local vSAN witness design, platform scaling, vSphere Lifecycle Manager settings, and Dell EMC OpenManage integration for VMware vCenter.
- Network design to connect the retail edge cluster and vSAN witness appliance
- Tanzu Kubernetes grid design, including how to implement Tanzu Kubernetes clusters
- Technical specifications for hardware and software