Drake & Scull International (DSI) and the Chinese telecoms vendor Huawei are partners to deliver data centres across the Middle East & North Africa (Mena).
Huawei will provide the technology solutions, while DSI will focus on the design and build of the data centres. The two hope to become a one-stop solution for companies to develop large-scale data centres across all sectors including oil and gas, transport and government.
“We are living in an era of big data with organisations in the region demanding infrastructure and networks that need to be highly secure, scalable and reliable,” said Dong Wu, the vice-president of Huawei Enterprise Middle East.
Research from Gartner estimates global spending on data centres will hit US$143 billion by the end of this year and rise to $149bn by 2014.
“Creating a robust and scalable data centre requires a high level of precision not just in core IT hardware, but also in the design and deployment of that technology within a set project to offer 24-hour operational service,” said Khaldoun Tabari, the chief executive of DSI.
“Together with Huawei we look forward to combining the best practices of both our organisations in supporting partners across the Mena region to get the most out of their ICT investments.”
Demand for data centres has risen as cloud computing and virtualisation technologies take hold across the region. As more companies transfer their data online, the trend for “big data” is expected to grow.
“We see nowadays most of the companies across all industries are ending up with a lot of data, what we call big data and they need to handle and rearrange it,” said Abdelrahman Abdellatif, the principal consultant of special industries at Huawei Enterprise Middle East. “In order to benefit and utlise [it] they need a data centre solution so [the data] can be based in cloud computing which makes it easier and cost-effective and enables them to come up with real time reports about their customers and competitors.”
According to the research firm IDC, 40 per cent of chief intelligence officers in the Middle East are considering investments in analytics and big data technologies this year, which includes investments in data centre infrastructure – a rise of 28 per cent on 2012.
Speaking last week at the Gitex exhibition, Huawei’s chief technology officer Ronald Raffensperger said “data volumes are growing at an exponential rate and increasingly this data is unstructured.
“Organisations today are starting to realise that this data can be an important revenue-producing asset and that the creative use of this information can provide real competitive advantage if stored efficiently and secured effectively.”
IDC estimates that emerging markets’ share of the digital universe is set to grow from 36 per cent to 62 per cent between 2012 and 2020. This will push the need for data centres.
“Big data is now critical to transforming businesses in the future. Companies that don’t incorporate big data into their IT strategy risk being left behind in growing their business, lacking deeper market insight already leveraged by competitors, and in this growing market this is not an option,” said Massimo Cannizzo, a technology consultant at Accenture Middle East.