Just got back from CeBIT in Germany , and the one key takeaway other than a very crowded booth, hoarse account managers, and too much bratwurst and beer, was the following… even in an era of video Skype, virtual trade shows, and nifty iPad applications, live shows still have their place. And, despite the emphasis we sometimes place on sophisticated demos, test equipment, and long nights getting everything to work just right, the real stars of the show were the boxes themselves.
Our customers, potential customers, and partners just couldn’t keep their hands off the new BlackDiamond® X8. We probably put it through paces it would never see in a decade at a typical data center, with cards, fans, and fabrics removed, passed around, and re-inserted. Attendees running their fingers across the processors, connectors, and interfaces. There was an elegance in all of this, and though it wasn’t a piece of German engineering, it could have been. In all, a very appreciative crowd. And it wasn’t only the BlackDiamond X8.
We had our new E4G Cell Site Router as well, and there was something about being able to eyeball the clock module, the TDM module, and the other components in the system. We many times talk about VIMs, which are our stacking modules, but it is something else to see how it all fits together.
On the WLAN front, the juxtaposition of the Altitude ™ 4511 Wall Plate AP, one of the smallest, and the Altitude 7181, which we call the ‘kegger’, one of the largest, was classic. You could really appreciate what we mean by Snap-On, referring to the TCO (not to mention the install, which literally involves removing a wall plate, snapping in some cables, and screwing the access point back into the wall, as shown here) of the 4511, and scale, referring to the stadium-level performance of the 7181. No data sheet, video, or virtual trade show could drive this home.
And finally, we introduced our new Summit® X440 as part of our new Intelligent Mobile Edge solution. It brings leading GE and 10GE ExtremeXOS-based intelligence to the campus edge, providing the user experience required by iPads and such connected to 802.11n access points at leading TCO. Here, the new 12-port box was the star, where one could feel its heft and construction. Much like a BMW.
The show, being in Europe, took me back to one of the most classic albums of all-time. The Who’s Tommy. See me. Feel me. Touch me.
And they did.