If nowhere else, CeBIT’s significance can be seen in the impressive number of visitors that filed into Halls 2 to 5 on its first two days. Hanover, Germany’s IT trade show remains the leader in the field of business, particularly in addressing the global IT industry and highlighting key developments. This year, for example, there are many more companies focusing on smartphones – especially Apple’s popular iPhone – as well as on apps that can access data records on company networks and provide mobile graphical analyses at the push of a button. Meanwhile, data center operators are seeing new opportunities in connection with cloud computing, as well as and new energy-efficiency requirements for entire facilities.
With software modeling no longer able to cover the increasing complexity of companies’ processes, plastic functional models similar to model railroads are also providing greater insights and revealing schematic deficiencies that used to remain hidden.
Here’s an overview of our topics:
- Water in data centers?
- Plastic simulation of business processes
- SAP Business One on iPhone
- 3D Web sites ready for browsing
Water in data centers?
Water and electronic components are usually not the best combination. As such, the conventional wisdom at many data centers is that air alone should be used to cool fully equipped server racks. This eliminates the danger of water coming into contact with the components. The Rittal company, however, attempts to position water-cooling elements (with upstream compressors) as closely as possible to components without running the risk of water leaking. In the equipment’s final functional stage, it passes air through a water-filled heat exchanger and then uses it for rack cooling.
Cooling is a serious issue at many data centers. Space is often at such a premium that blade servers and older, component-packed machines are installed as closely together as possible; the resulting lost heat causes room and rack temperatures to rise. The consequences are clear: increased risk of downtime, higher electricity costs, and cooling technology that is often not up to the task.
In the years ahead, increasing energy costs will make data center operations significantly more expensive. The only way to stem this trend will be to achieve perfectly balanced coordination of all of the areas involved – from applications to IT hardware and infrastructure. Otherwise, data centers of the future will not be able to provide cost-efficient processes. Essential in this context is the measurement of all consumption values at data centers. In addition to total current, this includes outflow ratings such as the power input of cooling systems and control units.
Plastic simulation of business processes
Companies’ processes and activities are become more complex all the time, which means comprehensive modeling, analysis, and simulation are needed. Simulations that make the subject at hand tangible – like a model railroad, for instance – are often the key to real comprehension; they can also reveal integration gaps and other weak points. The solution? Using suitable “hardware” – Lego blocks and motor components – to reconstruct real-world, to-scale process models that were previously only available in software form.
SAP’s CeBIT stand includes exhibits of related projects at the University of Applied Sciences of Zwickau and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the latter of which also demonstrated the use of building blocks to simulate a business process.
SAP Business One on iPhone
Business applications for iPhone have had a new platform at this year’s CeBIT: OS X Business Park, where more than 25 exhibitors in and around the Apple market have set up shop. Companies such as ELO Digital Office, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Parallels, and SAP are showing what the iPhone can do. Among the novelties on display in this common area are the mail-server software Kerio Connect 7 from Brainworks and coresuite mobile from coresystems, which facilitates iPhone integration with SAP Business One.
3D Web sites ready for browsing
Using XML3D, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the Intel Visual Computing Institute at Saarland University have developed a technology that adds 3D functionality to conventional HTML Web sites. Unlike proprietary 3D display methods (such as VRML), which have not met with broad acceptance, this approach simply offers 3D enhancements of the established HTML standard. According to the DFKI, users can embed 3D graphics into any existing HTML-based Web site just as they would two-dimensional images and videos.