The Middle East has long dominated the energy landscape with the world’s largest oil reserves. Now, this region is now aiming to be in the forefront when it comes to data centers and cloud adoption. Businesses across the Middle East are rapidly adopting new technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence and machine learning as part of their digital transformation strategy. Adoption of these technologies is driving an increase in data volume and network bandwidth requirements.
All this is reflected in the projected growth of the market. MENA’s data center market is expected to expand into a thriving $12.19 billion industry by 2027. With this in mind, W.Media’s first Middle East Cloud & Data Center Convention 2022 brought the top data center, cloud and cyber security thought leaders to brain storm the way forward.
Both business and government in the GCC region strongly back digital transformation efforts and the infrastructure required to enable this. As Eng. Maqbool Al Wahaibi, CEO, Oman Data Park in the panel discussion “Data Centres in the Middle East – The Drivers of the ‘New Digital World Economy” said:
“We need hyperscalers from this (MENA) region. We have the capital, the will and people. A new hyperscaler can come up in the region.”
Both data centers and various aspects of cloud were discussed in detail. Kamel Tawil, Managing Director, Equinix said:
“Cloud technology cannot be locked. Organisations should always follow a multi-cloud strategy”
What this essentially means is that cloud should not be viewed as a simple, single option and organisations need therefore to have their entire (cloud) strategy in place in order to navigate the complexities and to achieve the benefits of multi-cloud.
Sustainability all the Way
While technology is all pervasive, the need to be sustainable is also assuming critical proportions. All this at a time when flexibility, scalability, agility, security, availability and connectivity are being accelerated by emerging IoT and 5G while paradoxically those technologies are driving higher densities. This, in turn, presents another set of challenges with regard to locate, design, build, as well as operate.
Ellis Wang, Senior Advisor, Board Of The Executive & Advisory Team, The Private Office of Sheikh Seed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum touched upon how Blockchain is transforming the data center. Blockchain is finding increased use cases in government welfare disbursals as well as in the metaverse.
This was followed by a panel on what are the questions to ask in order to make the right decisions for your organisation. Either expand or leave out?
MECDC 2022 saw 200+ attendees. The event ended with the Middle East CDC Awards. Here is a list of the winners;
|Energy Efficient Innovation||Gulf Data Hub|
|Hyperscale Innovation (Power & Cooling)||Khazna Data Center|
|Hyperscale Innovation (Automation)||Platino Group (ElSallab Ltd)|
|Connectivity & Innovation||EITC-du|
|Sustainable Transformation||IHG – Voco Hotel Riyadh|
|Outstanding IT and Cloud Projects (PaaS)||Network International|
|Outstanding ‘Digital Transformation’ project||IHG – Voco Hotel Riyadh|
|Best Cybersecurity Implementation||MoroHub|
|Outstanding Data Center Operation Team||Equinix Middle East|
|Technology Leader||Mohamed Hamed, CTO, Platino Group (elSallab Ltd)|
|Technology Leader||Hossam Barakat, General Manager, Egypt Gas|
|Outstanding Business Leader||Kamel Al Tawil, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Equinix|
|Outstanding Business Leader||Dr. Ahmad Altarawneh, Senior Transformation Consultant, Dubai Police|