March 09, 2012, 11:33 AM — The CEBIT trade show is an unbelievably vast series of more than 23 airplane hanger-sized halls, with thousands of vendors taking up booth space and a seemingly infinite number of products on display to the attendees moving from one exhibit to another. Trying to absorb it all is overwhelming -- not unlike the challenges facing enterprise IT departments grappling with so-called "big data."
Though the official theme of CEBIT 2012 is "managing trust," big data was undisputedly the hot topic on the mouths of vendors, keynote speakers and conference sessions that have been taking place here over the past week. Though they sometimes differ on the particulars, most IT industry professionals broadly define big data as the unstructured information that's accumulating inside and outside organizations due to the proliferation of Internet-enabled mobile devices, the surge in social media-generated content and the increasing speed of transactions that take place both online and off.
Software AG used CEBIT 2012 to officially launch its foray into the big data market, holding a press conference for international media and including an area about it in the innovation corner of its booth. Last year Software AG bought Terracotta, which offered an in-memory database that competes with the likes of Teradata and SAP's HANA called Big Memory. By the end of this year, Software AG said it will combine Big Memory with its complex event processing (CEP) engine, WebMethods Business Events.
The company will also add a dashboard on top of the system which will offer up-to-the-minute information on critical customer areas, said Wolfram Jost, Software AG's CTO. "It's not going to be necessary to distinguish between transactions and analytics. In-memory can handle both," he said."Like the cloud, we see big data as hugely disruptive, and it will be less costly than acquiring more database licences."
Jost sees the combination as a competitive differentiator among the other range of big data players. "With complex event processing and in-memory you get real-time BI," he said, adding Software AG will be able to integrate Hadoop clusters. "To the best of my knowledge, SAP is concentrating on analytics."
Software AG will be working within SAP environments, however, and has established an SAP competency centre to learn more about HANA.