Datacenter Trends

Datacenters in Space: OrbitsEdge Partners with HPE

A Florida-based startup is partnering with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in a deal that gives new meaning to the "edge" in edge computing.

OrbitsEdge, a provider of low Earth orbit (LEO) microdatacenters, has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement to provide its SatFrame ruggedized satellite bus to protect sensitive hardware in HPE's Edgeline Converged edge systems "to enable commercial space companies to deploy computing in orbit and accelerate exploration."

The SatFrame hardening solution is designed to host and provide the environmentals, power and communications needed by Earth-built technology operating in space. It's built to compensate for such stressors as radiation on the hardware itself. HPE will rely on the system to make it possible for an orbiting microdatacenter to process space-based data and minimize the cost of backhaul to Earth.

The HPE Edgeline Converged edge systems are designed to provide datacenter-grade performance, data acquisition, industrial networks and control in harsh edge environments to enable real-time insight and action.

Environments don't get much harsher that outer space, and yet OrbitsEdge and some industry watchers are expecting a LEO "gold rush" that will outpace predictions, largely because of the compelling advantages of commercial cloud storage in space. Among other things, it could solve jurisdictional challenges posed by today's worldwide networks. And projects like Amazon's Blue Origin and the ConnectX private satellite network are demonstrating the potential of LEO infrastructure.

"Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the ideal partner for OrbitsEdge, since its technologies have proven to withstand extreme environments on Earth and in space with its deployment of the Spaceborne Computer in the International Space Station (ISS)," said OrbitsEdge CEO Barbara Stinnett in a statement. "This partnership follows HPE's innovative strategy of enabling new solutions to be developed and deployed years in advance...OrbitsEdge will leverage HPE's edge technology to run sophisticated analytics such as artificial intelligence (AI) on the vast amounts of data that will be created as space is commercialized."

Stinnett is a former Hewlett Packard executive who joined HPE when it was founded earlier this year.

"Commercialization of space holds amazing opportunities and at the same time has unique challenges," she said at the time. "It's truly one of the last frontiers for us to explore."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].


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