From wearable devices to point-of-sale systems, to driverless vehicles and manufacturing automation, devices in modern business are generating massive volumes of data. When that data is processed at the edge, versus a centralized data center, it can deliver more immediate business benefits. Today’s digital enterprises rely upon databases, analytics, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to drive their core business processes and decision-making.
However, as the volume of data these applications consume grows exponentially and data processing moves to the edge, traditional virtualization technologies simply aren’t architected to keep up. They are also prohibitively more expensive and infrastructure-heavy for IT to deploy.
A single pane of glass for managing edge resources:
Sunlight, a company founded by Julian Chesterfield, a member of the team that built the first Open-Source hypervisor, Xen (now owned by Citrix) was inspired by Julian’s ambition to build a lightweight hypervisor that could virtualize low-power processors, enabling applications to run as if they were running on ‘bare metal’.
Sunlight’s flagship product, called Sunlight NexCenter, is a centralized console and API that provides IT organizations with a single pane of glass where they can manage and monitor edge resources, take backups, move workloads, and deploy new remote clusters. A core feature of NexCenter is the AppLibrary which allows customers to build and access playbooks (images & recipes) for deploying applications on the supporting infrastructure to 100s or 1000s of remote clusters with a single click.
An easily installed “micro Cloud” in a box:
“We allow enterprises to deploy small, efficient footprints of infrastructure into locations where they need to execute and run compute. There’s no heavy lift. Our purpose-built solution executes on small, very efficient hardware nodes about the size of my hand. Most have a Vesa mount on the back so they can be easily stuck to the wall and come equipped with WIFI and cellular 4G or 5G options. It’s essentially a “micro-Cloud” in a box. It is easy to deploy, and cost-effective to deploy. It doesn’t take up human resources to deploy, and it can be installed and up and running in minutes. That’s a big value proposition for larger enterprises,” says Julian.
As part of its go-to-market strategy, Sunlight has established relationships with various hardware providers such as Lenovo to resell the company’s product as a pre-bundled, factory-installed solution. Together with these partners, the company is targeting a variety of sectors including retail (including quick-service restaurants), manufacturing and factory automation, education, energy and utility sectors and infrastructure-as-a-service.
For instance, Sunlight is working with a US restaurant chain to improve customer experience at its 430+ locations, while continuing to run existing applications with high availability. Sunlight’s HyperConverged Edge infrastructure and NexCenter management is helping the brand to consolidate its restaurant infrastructure and run legacy and new applications in VMs and containers with high availability and fault tolerance. As a result, the chain needs less hardware in each restaurant and can centrally manage all 430+ locations from the central HQ - saving time and money on management. Fewer truck rolls are required when problems are reported, and it meets the infrastructure budget requirement of $7,500 per restaurant per year.
5G Open Innovation Labs helps pave Sunlight’s way into North America:
Sunlight joined the 5G Open Innovation Lab as part of the Lab’s 6th Batch, announced in the Fall of 2022.
“Jim and his team have been incredibly supportive and helpful as we enter our commercial phase and look to establish ourselves in the North American market.” The relationship with 5G OIL has driven some fruitful commercial conversations with T-Mobile and a proposed relationship with a large US-based retailer. Says Julian. “There’s been a lot of talk about edge. It’s now gathering momentum and going mainstream. We want to be there to capitalize on that demand.”
Posted July 25, 2023