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Dell takes edge deployment from the frontier to NativeEdge

At Dell Tech World, the vendor seeks to simplify deploying and managing up to thousands of edge devices in various locations, as Project Frontier becomes Dell NativeEdge.

Dell is looking to ease at-scale edge deployment through automation as well as remote management and monitoring of devices.

At Dell Technologies World 2023, the vendor unveiled that Project Frontier has advanced out of its project phase and into its product phase; it's now named Dell NativeEdge. Available in August, Dell NativeEdge is a remote management software suite that automates the onboarding and deployment at edge locations securely without specialists.

Dell is trying to simplify complex IT processes in a secure manner, according to Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT. Managing, maintaining and securing numerous edge sites and potentially thousands of devices can be difficult for IT, he said.

"By streamlining and optimizing those processes, Dell NativeEdge can offer businesses significant operational and financial benefits," King said.

Separately, Dell expanded its security portfolio with Project Fort Zero, an end-to-end zero-trust security offering.

Running the edge at scale

Edge locations can consist of a mix of different devices, from PCs to high-end servers, with each location providing support for everything from a manufacturing plant to millions of cell towers. NativeEdge allows for automatic deployment and configuration for all edge devices, according to Dell.

NativeEdge can disrupt the current process of deploying at the edge, according to Brian Partridge, an analyst at 451 Research, a division at S&P Global. Currently, customers choose a hardware provider, pre-validated hardware for their specific workloads, and then deploy at the edge with their own skilled labor. With NativeEdge, customers can go into a portal and choose the hardware and services they need with a few clicks. Dell provides the onboarding and management as a service and ships the hardware to edge locations for installation.

While NativeEdge is consistent with what Dell initially laid out with Project Frontier, the marketplace feel is something new, Partridge said.

By streamlining and optimizing processes, Dell NativeEdge can offer businesses significant operational and financial benefits.
Charles KingAnalyst, Pund-IT

"It is like Apex," he said, referring to Dell's push to create an as-a-service portfolio. "[Dell] is trying to make this experience cloud-like."

Partridge noted that Dell has zero-trust security features built in. This adds a layer of security from the supply chain to the hardware to the firmware.

"It is zero trust from inception," he said. "The [device] wakes up and goes through the process of validating the integrity of the [unit]."

King said that NativeEdge is designed for companies seeking enterprise edge management and deployment at scale.

"NativeEdge would be particularly valuable in large edge environments and those that are growing rapidly, so it's most likely to appeal to enterprises," he said.

Project Fort Zero

At Dell Tech World, the vendor also unveiled Project Fort Zero. Dell's aim is to accelerate zero trust adoption by lowering the barrier to entry.

Available within the next 12 months, Dell wants to provide a zero-trust product for a distributed infrastructure to protect against cyber attacks. Dell will seek compliance of the U.S. Department of Defense Zero Trust reference architecture. Fort Zero will be available for both commercial and government customers and stretch from the data center to edge locations to the field.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at

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