Gnarbox targets enterprise drones with new edge compute platform

Gnarbox targets enterprise drones with new edge compute platform

MyGnar Inc, a Los Angeles based provider of data backup solutions in the photo and video industries, has announced a new line of products and subscription-based “as-a-service” business model applications oriented to the growing edge computing market, with an initial focus on the enterprise drone sector.

GNARBOX has added an advisory board of executives and strategic business leaders in the enterprise drone and edge computing markets to assist in these efforts. The new products include a purpose built edition of existing hardware for UAV, a server software platform for deploying edge apps using Kubernetes containers, and a new 5G-enabled hardware appliance ecosystem. GNARBOX will continue to actively support their professional photo and \video user base while expanding into the edge market.

As industrial organizations leverage a growing array of cameras, drones, sensors, and other data collection devices to improve efficiency, many are not able to analyze, derive insight, and backhaul this information fast enough with the existing cloud-centric model. The central problem is the significant mismatch between the pace of data collection and network bandwidth, and the latest realization is that 5G networks will not completely alleviate this issue. GNARBOX plans to solve these problems with its new product ecosystem, becoming an intelligent buffer to the cloud by acting as an intermediary storage, processing, and syncing solution to ease problematic data bottlenecks and ultimately provide real time improvement and optimization for any company.

“While developing a complete solution for Photo and Video workflow, we built our stack on a containerized architecture with future markets in mind,” says GNARBOX CEO Tim Feess. “The capabilities of a computer like ours are driven by software, and expanding offerings to new applications has been the vision since the beginning. It doesn’t matter if the data being collected is off a photographer’s camera, a powerline inspector’s drone, or an autonomous vehicle at an industrial site — it’s all data in need of storage, processing and upload from the edge. We believe our proven track record in delivering rugged computing ecosystems will help us bring significant value to these markets”

Enterprise Drone

The first application addressed by the new product ecosystem will be in the Enterprise Drone market. Customers in a variety of sectors, including Law Enforcement, Transportation, Agriculture, and Insurance have added UAV to their processes for inspection, monitoring, and analysis. Deploying a drone fleet often entails a combination of cameras, thermal sensors, and LIDAR sensors, which can generate significant volumes of data daily. GNARBOX 2.0 Drone edition will help these customers modernize and streamline their data management workflow, bringing the gold standards trusted by the film and photography industries to drone operators everywhere. GNARBOX has established key partners to conduct market research and product development required to develop a purpose built solution for UAV programs. The result of that research can be found in the ebook Digital Asset Management for UAV Programs co-authored with industry veterans Oren Schauble and Eric Davis of Guinn Partners.

UAV Program Managers who are dissatisfied with the speed and security of moving files from the field to the cloud can deploy the rugged backup device instead of laptops to backup microSD cards, check for data corruption, organize and review files or upload to the cloud. Unlike the laptops or tablets currently being used in the field, GNARBOX 2.0 Drone Edition is water resistant, pocket-sized and has consistent high speed transfers and battery life. When compared to other backup devices on the market like the LaCie Boss or CoPilot, GNARBOX 2.0 Drone Edition offers unparalleled reliability, the ability to connect to the Internet via both cellular and wifi, and integration with industry standard software.

Additional software features require a subscription and will include exclusive configurable settings to automatically organize by Location & Flight and a Pix4D cloud integration. Automated folder organization by Location & Flight can expedite laborious data classification and organization steps that are essential for maintaining a proven and reliable data archive. By integrating with Pix4Dcloud, pilots can upload data from the field to expedite the processing of 2D & 3D datasets.

Edge Computing for Autonomous Systems, Enterprise & Industrial IoT

A variety of sectors including Mining, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Utilities, Maritime and Shipping & Logistics are embracing Industry 4.0, placing IoT sensors at the edge in order to gather data that can generate insights that enable organizations to save time and money, and increase operational efficiency. While these gains are core values of the market, thus far it has lacked a plug and play solution for data backup, processing and backhaul in a mobile form factor. IT/OT professionals and their System Integrators are often burdened by repurposing datacenter hardware, COTS components, or creating custom greenfield IT projects from scratch to meet edge computing demands. These approaches not only waste valuable time, but introduce risks ranging from issues with reliability, security, scalability, durability, and performance, ultimately failing to leverage insights and operational intelligence processed at the edge with immense future value.

The GNARBOX Edge Compute Platform includes a rugged edge appliance and a server software platform that seamlessly integrates with sensors, unmanned equipment, and other industrial machines in rugged and extreme dynamic environments. Unlike other edge appliances, the GNARBOX Edge Compute Platform is completely mobile, can be run in online or offline environments, and supports any cloud storage/compute platform. Its software stack enables customers to easily run containerized or virtualized applications with zero-touch provisioning, making porting simple and direct. With 3-5 hours of backup battery power, rugged mounting solutions for a multitude of dynamic applications and water/dust ingress-proof ethernet and power cables, the GNARBOX Edge Compute Platform is a complete solution for any field application that requires uninterruptible data backup and backhaul. Hardware specs for the new Edge appliance ecosystem are not yet announced, but the company has revealed that the new hardware will feature expanded storage, the fastest data transfer speeds on the market, a more than a 3x processing performance boost from the GNARBOX 2.0 model, and internal expansion modules for AI/ML acceleration and 5G connectivity.

The Edge product offering combines the new appliances to be released in 2021 with a software stack designed to easily deploy containerized application workloads through a Kubernetes framework. Kubernetes has become a critical path technology for the future of edge computing, allowing organizations to deploy, orchestrate, and govern containerized software at the edge in order to create high availability in resource constrained environments. The zero-touch provisioning process allows non-technical teams to securely field edge technologies with ease while providing IT department or system integrators purpose-built hardware they can easily setup with minimal training. GNARBOX will offer three distinct software solutions for use with the GNARBOX Edge Compute Platform. In order to support legacy applications, the platform can also be configured to support multiple Bare Metal Linux versions or to run multiple virtualized servers.

“Fundamental to GNARBOX’s expertise in this area is the company’s history of Agile DevOps; at our core we are a hardware OEM with multiple DevOps teams who understand the software supply chain,” says Director of DevSecOps Devereaux Milburn, former Head of Technology for Verizon New Business Incubation. “Our software teams understand the challenges, toolchains, and tech stack your software teams face; our goal is to provide everything you need to get an inch before the edge.”

To support customers and system integrators, the company has partnered with existing Edge Computing customers to write a series of whitepapers on a variety of use cases. Additionally, the company is opening applications for its pilot program, which will give early access to documentation, the Software Developer Kit (SDK) for the Edge Compute Platform, and Sales Engineers from the GNARBOX team. This will allow verticals that are rapidly fielding edge compute technologies to start their pilots with reference architecture, allowing them to test implementations with the platform and reducing operational friction associated with adopting a new paradigm of computing.

GNARBOX notes it will also be launching a new website designed for IT and OT professionals and system integrators with detailed software information and the ability to contact a representative to receive a consult and initial review. The company has also established key partners, enabling the product ecosystem to integrate with industry standard platforms that customers have adopted in their Edge workflows.

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