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Green IT, Networking, and Product Convergence Are Themes at CeBIT

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Conserving energy is an IT movement developing tremendous momentum as people realize the wasted heat loss in yesterday's products.

 

I like to go to Germany in the fall when people are celebrating Oktoberfest, but this year I thought it would be fun to go in the spring when the CeBIT trade show was being held in Hannover and be able to turn in the whole trip as a necessary travel expense.

 

My boss got wind of my idea and made it clear that he thought I would be much better off sticking to plan and going in the fall at my own expense.

 

Despite the hardship that this imposition may cause readers eager to learn what is hot this spring in Europe in the field of communications and technology, I have pieced together a few highlights from the show that should be of interest (the show ran from March 4 to March 9). With 5,845 exhibitors from 77 countries, however, I can't begin to scratch the surface, but I'll mention a few industry trends that I found interesting. It is, quite simply, the world's largest event geared to the high-tech sector, with more than 495,000 visitors this year. (See the TNT Tips 'n Techniques articles from March 7 and March 14 for a summary and sampling of specific product categories).

 

For starters, the show was broken into four basic solution areas: Business Solutions, Public Sector Solutions, Home and Mobile Solutions, and Technology and Infrastructure. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer were slated to headline the kick-off ceremony with a number of other leading high-tech executives.

Fifth Computing Revolution

Ballmer did in fact make it, though several other high-profile people sent representatives. He gave an interesting talk on the "fifth computing revolution" that he sees as being underway and characterized by increased processing power, significantly expanded storage, widespread wireless broadband networks, natural user interfaces, and a proliferation of high-definition screens.

 

Another notable speech at the opening ceremony was delivered by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. August-Wilhelm Scheer, president of the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications, and New Media (BITKOM). Scheer acknowledged an economy in Germany that sounded hauntingly similar to that in the U.S., with plant closings that are unhealthy and trade imbalances that are not sustainable. In his talk, he laid out a plan to revitalize the German economy through a series of measures designed to stimulate the creation of jobs by supporting and enhancing the information, communications, and technology sectors.

 

Among the themes at this year's show was the convergence of technologies as well as the "green IT" initiative to reduce energy use and slow global warming. How IT applications can contribute to protecting the climate is one aspect that companies are focusing on in addition to achieving energy efficiencies. CeBIT built a "Green IT Village" this year, where it concentrated green IT exhibits for the first time. Show sponsors also published a Green IT Guide reference of products and applications that support energy conservation.

 

CeBIT organizers reported they are now working closely with the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) designed to bring together manufacturers, businesses, organizations, and consumers to sharply increase energy efficiency of computers and servers. The initiative is led by a number of large companies that do business internationally, including Dell, EDS, Google, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Pacific Gas & Electric, AMD, Delta Electronics, eBay, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Marvell Semiconductor, NEC, Sun, Supermicro, and the World Wildlife Fund, among others.

 

The CSCI has a goal to reduce global CO2 emissions from the operation of computers by 54 million tons per year within the next two years. Studies show that up to half the electricity consumed by the typical desktop PC is wasted in the form of heat. The CO2 that CSCI hopes to prevent from being released into the atmosphere is the equivalent of what would be produced by 11 million automobiles or between 10 and 20 coal-fired power plants.

Worldwide Shortage of IT Workers

Another trend emerging from the show includes a focus on the inadequate supply of qualified IT specialists worldwide. You may not have felt it in the job market, but that's apparently the way things are shaping up. Perhaps the emphasis is on the word qualified! Geez, so go back to school, OK? (Here's a better value: Buy a book from the MC Press Online Store.) There are various initiatives afoot to encourage young people to go into IT and ones to attract more women into the field, but it may be too little, too late.

 

In the German economy, anyway, there are about 43,000 open IT specialist positions. This includes about 18,000 unfilled jobs in the IT sector itself and an additional 25,000 positions for other branches of the economy.

 

While there is a perception that there are not very many high-tech jobs available in the U.S. anymore, that perception is likely inaccurate relative to the labor force available to fill existing positions.

 

As of September 2006, IT employment in the U.S. stood at 3.6 million, up more than 4 percent from the previous year. Between 2002 and 2012, an estimated 1.5 million new computer and IT jobs were expected to have been created (presumably, by 2008, we're more than halfway there). Meanwhile, the number of incoming undergraduates in the U.S. planning to major in computer science declined by 60 percent between 2000 and 2004.

 

At the same time, the number of adult workers between the ages of 25 and 40 actually declined by nearly 2 million workers since 2006. This happened at the same time as 77 million baby boomers became eligible for retirement. What is the anticipated result? It's a shortage of trained workers. Businesses won't have much luck if they're planning on hiring foreign-born and foreign-trained IT workers as they likely will not be available. Computer technology is growing rapidly in other countries, and those workers are needed to fill jobs at home. The result is likely to be intense competition for top talent.

 

At CeBIT, there was an active job fair going on under the auspices of the show's organizers, Deutsche Messe AG, along with Microsoft (founder of the IT Fitness Initiative) and Randstad Staffing, an international supplier of business services. Randstad advertised that it had 1,000 job openings in IT and related areas that it hoped to fill before the show was over and encouraged attendees to come prepared with their resumes. (The referenced IT Fitness Initiative was created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 2006 with the goal of preparing 4 million people in Germany to use PCs and the Internet by the year 2010. The plan is to use online testing and free training sessions to do it.)

So, Mobile Computing Is Hot?

You couldn't go to CeBIT without realizing the tremendous emphasis on mobile computing. Mobile computing is bursting out of its stall and becoming a very hot topic. Yahoo! announced a new bookmarking tool, Yahoo! onePlace, that will let people keep track of a variety of dynamic Web content all in one place on their cell phones. They can create Collections and Categories to group content and then "pulse" (stream) updates relevant to the content they select, such as airplane flight status changes. The tool includes a mobile RSS reader and builds on new mobile applications from Yahoo!, including Yahoo! OneConnect, Yahoo! Go 3.0, and Yahoo! OneSearch. OneConnect updates social networking messaging, and oneSearch brings together news, weather, photos, Web links, and other information based on search queries. Go 3.0 is Yahoo's new mobile home page. OnePlace and oneConnect will be released in the second quarter.

 

Meanwhile, Google entered the business portal market with its new Google Sites service, a combination of Web hosting and its Web-based productivity applications. The offering is aimed at commercial and institutional users of Google Apps Web services. Users will have calendar, chat, an email client, presentations, and videos and images from other sources in one central location that is hosted on the Web rather than on a company's network.

IBM Products Receive Honors

IBM was honored at CeBIT by the iF International Forum Design for the following four products:

 

  • System Storage N3300 is a modular disk storage system designed to provide primary and secondary storage for midsize enterprises. It has internal controller support for serial-attached SCSI or SATA drives, expandable I/O connectivity, and onboard remote management. The system provides up to 12 TB of internal storage and can be expanded to 68 TB.
  • System Storage N3600 is designed to consolidate fragmented application-based storage. The system provides up to 20 TB of physical capacity in a 4U enclosure with a total expanded capacity of 104 TB.
  • System Storage TN2240 Tape Drive is an entry-level system designed to address growing storage needs and shrinking backup windows. Using Linear Tape Open technology and a half-high form factor, the high-capacity TN2240 is capable of performing application managed encryption.
  • IBM AnyPlace Kiosk is a compact, self-service touch-screen dual-video display. It's designed to span a variety of market segments, including retail, travel, financial, government, healthcare, and entertainment and supports numerous software applications, including advanced rich-media solutions.

 

Hopefully, this information gives readers a sense of the tenor of CeBIT and proves once again that reading is a much less expensive way to expand our horizons than travel. It may also prove, however, that travel is a lot more fun.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith was the Senior News Editor at MC Press Online from 2007 to 2012 and was responsible for the news content on the company's Web site. Chris has been writing about the IBM midrange industry since 1992 when he signed on with Duke Communications as West Coast Editor of News 3X/400. With a bachelor's from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism, and a master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Chris later studied computer programming and AS/400 operations at Long Beach City College. An award-winning writer with two Maggie Awards, four business books, and a collection of poetry to his credit, Chris began his newspaper career as a reporter in northern California, later worked as night city editor for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and went on to edit a national cable television trade magazine. He was Communications Manager for McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., before it merged with Boeing, and oversaw implementation of the company's first IBM desktop publishing system there. An editor for MC Press Online since 2007, Chris has authored some 300 articles on a broad range of topics surrounding the IBM midrange platform that have appeared in the company's eight industry-leading newsletters. He can be reached at chriswriting@cs.com.

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    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.