For those unaware of the event, CeBIT is held annually on the Hanover fairground. For an idea of scale, the exhibition area roughly covers 450.000m2 and the five day event attracted over 300.000 visitors this year. For those of you who know the IP EXPO in London, imagine 15+ halls like it and multiply the visitor numbers by ten.
In regards to exhibitors, if it’s a known IT brand they will have a stall (Intel occasionally had a whole hall, bigger brands like IBM or Microsoft tend to occupy sub-sections of a hall) and there are also separate halls for an incredible amount of far east suppliers (Shenzhen hall) and HR as well as general IT service providers.
I have been attending this event on a regular basis for many years and have always found it incredibly stimulating as well as an excellent barometer for trends. The later is mainly due to the fact that all major manufacturers use the event to display the products and services they are planning to release over the next 6-9 months.
This year was particularly interesting given the global move towards “the cloud” and what I can only describe as a move towards service oriented marketing from all major vendors.
I have tried to sum up my notes from this year’s CeBIT, hoping that others might find them interesting and useful. For 3D pictures please head over to my Phereo profile.
1. Server/converged infrastructure (e.g. IBM, Dell, Fujitsu, Huawei):
- All major offerings heavily geared towards services/package solutions.
- First year where nobody seemed to care much about “how many ram slots the blades have”.
- Sales strategy: 30% on-site because it’s faster (use cases like BI and in-memory databases) – 70% we now connect to all those cloud providers.
- Major selling point is the knowledge they sell with their packages in form of VM/system templates.
- My personal favourite this year: IBM FlexPod/PureSystems.
2. Storage (e.g. Fujitsu, Dell):
- No major excitements, if you want it on-site, spec it and they can do it, solutions last 5-10 years.
- The more you pay the more SSDs you get.
- For fast access there’s no cloud alternative just yet (cloud is getting better for high volume/low access though).
3. Cloud providers (too many to list):
- For commodity resources this seems the way to go now (price, availability).
- Wide variety of service and pricing models to cover the various use cases, somewhat reminded me of electricity suppliers (e.g. green options as premium service).
4. “Big Data” (e.g. SAP Hana):
- Online businesses target highly distributed data/big data e.g. data harvesting of web server log files.
- Ask ten vendors what “big data” is and thou shalt get ten answers IMHO it’s big data if you can pay big money to have it in big amounts of RAM.
- They are still pushing HyperV, personally I don’t think it’s on the same level as VMware yet but it’s getting there.
- Dynamics, Dynamics, Dynamics… and in-between a bit of Sharepoint and “in case you have a windows phone”.
- Hard to get past the fact that their stuff works, has a solid and reasonably priced licensing model and it’s easy to find developers for it.
6. Data centre/Racks (e.g. Rittal):
- Orders to kit out new data centres are dropping so new focus on solutions (e.g. provision of whole Data Centres).
- Very popular was their “data centre in a portacabin”, up to eighteen 19″ racks delivered fully assembled and ready to run including water cooled racks and aircon.
- Rittal now go as far as putting a data centre into a truck.
- High on the “requested feature” list to retrofit are sensor networks to lower cooling cost and ensure kit stays alive with falling staff count/remote monitoring.
7. Client side hardware:
- Old schools PCs are dead, only two big main board manufacturers bothered to come, Intel have officially decided to stop producing desktop PC main boards!
- Good proportion of new main boards are ITX/mini-ITX rather than ATX, only extension cards available are graphics cards.
- All in one clients everywhere, all sealed units, warranty = swap-out.
- Hard push to put a touchscreen on every device and integrate wireless charging.
- Mobile phones are getting bigger (“phablets”), upside is that they are also getting bigger batteries.
- Various consultancy providers, offering services from “Business Analysts and Project Managers to restructure your processes to ITIL compliance” up to full near/off shore outsourcing.
- Poland is CeBIT partner country this year and there was a surprisingly high number of very well defined services on offer. Often defined with ITIL as well as ISO compliant process connectors.
- Various areas, all seemed to be recruiting as well and had areas focused on Drones (fun bit was that the gimmick producers in another hall also had drones as their main focus this year and they DID bring working models
- DIY type sets (quad/octo, Arduino core), very sophisticated and stable. Where gimmick type products only offer to steer from mobile and view camera these allow to use the device as a delivery mechanism. On a desktop PC open a browser, pick where you want to go in Google Maps and click “Go”. Monitoring flight on map or with onboard camera included, just a matter of time I guess until we hear the phrase “fleet control” and the whole area moves in with the Van/Truck monitoring area?
10. One more product worth mentioning:
Samsung’s transparent LCDs for fridges, window shopping etc. Price like a regular LCD, currently 20 and 40” commercially available but much larger sizes for shop windows about to be released, hard glass front and touch screen optional but not expensive.
11. Things I expected to see but couldn’t find:
Micro servers, ARM based servers etc, rumoured for Computex.
12. Last but not least some non-techy pictures