Soon, Huawei will take a decision to set up a data center in Saudi Arabia, it’s second in the Middle East. Last year Huawei opened a data center in Abu Dhabi which was its first data center in the Middle East region.
“We are in the final stages of the Saudi decision – the investment decision has already been made. All that’s left is where in Riyadh should the facility be built,” said said Frank Dai, President of Huawei Cloud M.E, a Gulf News report added.
He further added that Saudi Arabia is one of the strategic markets they have to be in. With the data center, their technical design team has to ensure the highest availability of their services.
“We will keep investing in the whole data and cloud computing space across the whole region. The Middle East remains central to our vision of how digital transformation can reshape economies, and even change the world. This is only the beginning of what data-driven economies can achieve,” said Dai.
Data centers and cloud are two of the buzzwords in the Gulf’s tech space, along with AI and Web3. Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft are all powering in, as are local entities such as Khazna Data Centers (a G42-e& enterprise) and Hussain Sajwani-owned Damac, which recently confirmed a $1 billion investment play on data centers.
Cloud for Company
Being an integral part of the data economy for Huawei means having cloud for the company.
“To reach the ultimate goal of a real ‘intelligent’ world, digital infrastructure is the foundation. More precisely, cloud technology is the foundation for that,” said Dai.
He further explained that the cloud itself is part of that infrastructure. It not only provides computing storage capability, but all of the latest IT technology innovations come from cloud and not from traditional tech. Whether you are talking about the latest breakthroughs in the database, or AI, all of these are from cloud services.
The report further added that this requires changes not only to business models. Data volumes are such that there has to be coexistence between different systems and those require big storage and processing capabilities. That, ultimately, comes from the cloud.
With data centers and cloud computing, it’s not about building a property on sufficient land and then stacking up servers once the existing ones touch max utilisation.
“The cloud tech model is very different. On the software side, we have patches that we have to upgrade nearly every day. A systematic plan requires us to upgrade every other quarter. The key to creating a cloud infrastructure is elasticity. When we reach a threshold we have to then make a whole expansion plan,” said Dai.
Apart from the cloud, Huawei is also closely associated with the Middle East telecom space’s transformation into full-fledged 5G networks. (And with an early eye on 6G possibilities.)
“I tell everyone that it was in Abu Dhabi that we tested 3G a good two decades ago for the first time – even before we did so in China. About the cloud, we have been doing so since 10 years ago – it’s only that our cloud operations never had the same brand awareness as the consumer devices division. Even with 5G, more people became aware that Huawei is the market leader on 5G more recently,” said Dai.
Dai says that the nature of the cloud business comes with overlaps on the responsibility side.
“Sure, the tenant will have his own security systems in place. On Huawei’s part, we have to ensure reliability, availability and durability of the services we offer. The data security of our tenant is a shared responsibility,” said Dai.
He further explained that when it comes to service availability, Huawei offers the possibility of 99.95 per cent availability. That means, in a whole year, there could be – theoretically – a downtime of only 26 minutes. And even if there is a component failure, there is still the redundancy to ensure the highest availability of our services.