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DATACENTERS IN GCC By Khaled B. Al-Thukair Business Development Manager Advanced Systems Group

Introduction The unique characteristic of GCC should be a factor when designing datacenters in this region. Aspects of design that influence by the region are local knowledge and skills, external environment, internal environment, geographical location, local regulations, and availability of resources. In a place currently booming on all fronts from population, knowledge, and economy the demand of state of the art services at its premium.

Problem Statement • Datacenters market in GCC is an emerging market as the

economy which need to keep up with the demand while maintaining expected standards. • Datacenter raising demand faced with supply shortage

due to difficulties unique to GCC.

Topics • Knowledge and skills • External environment

• Internal environment • Geographical location

• Local regulations • Availability of resources

Knowledge and skills • Datacenter required collective knowledge in areas such

as: • Power • Civil • HVAC/cooling

• Security • Management • Processes

• Even datacenters skills developed out of GCC face the

challenge of lack of experience in it. Thus design and recommendations usually don’t meet local requirements. • User side also lack knowledge in what's available, what's required, and what’s recommended.

Knowledge and skills (contractors) • Local subcontractors lack the skills in their area with

substandard delivery in terms of Time, Quality, and others. • Unregulated market and gray market is full with

unqualified contractors. • The know it all contractor

External environment • Extreme Temperature variance • From sub zero in the winter to +55C in the summer (and more under direct sunlight) • Equipment need to be adjusted to operate in this conditions and the adjustment need to be considered when calculating operation life. • Dust and airborne particles • Dust can cause mechanical issues in the datacenter (cooling fan ball Barings, I/O ports connectivity's, and other issues) • Dust reduce the efficiency of heat transfer in cooling units and can clog ventilation. • Extreme Humidity variance • Humidity controllers need to be adjusted to local requirements. • Internal humidity controller should react to sudden changes (door opening and such)

Internal environment Since most of datacenters built in GCC today are retrofit solutions with slight exception considering internal environment present other type of challenges. • Heat generated from proposed cooling units need to be managed not

to negatively affect internal environment. • Gas emission from backup batteries should be removed. • Noise generated by the datacenter should be accounted for. • Logistics and services required for the datacenter can be problematic in the work place.

Geographical location • Geographical distribution is a hurdle when designing a

datacenter due to the nature of GCC cities where facilities concentrated in the city center and limited facilities elsewhere. • Disaster recovery site not feasible in the same country

due to the clustered distribution of cities in GCC with exception to KSA.

Local regulations • Variance of regulation among GCC countries and GCC

with country of origin is a major source of delay and some time unavailability of products range. • From a country prospective there are also variance of

regulation within the country among different regulatory entities • Lack of published standards and frequent changes.

Local regulations • Due to the nature of datacenter design requirements a

datacenter contractor need to work with the following regulatory entities Ministry of Commerce or equivalent.

Fire & Safety Department Municipal Department

Ministry of Electric or equivalent. Department of Custom

Ministry of Civil work or equivalent. General Administration of Customs Ministry of Communication or equivalent.

Availability of resources • Human resources are the driving factor in any progress

and at GCC government sector is the vortex for local and foreign resources. • Specialized equipment's and materials need to be

imported in all cases. • Most infrastructure services (Electric, Water,

Communication, … ) Fully owned by the government.



Solutions • Develop local resources • Promote quality and favor local establishments • Qualify individuals if qualified contractors not available • Expand Knowledge • Staff training and workshops • Data Center Conferences • ASK WHY ? • Plan • Planning is the key solution to most of execution problems.

Conclusion • Datacenter in GCC are emerging like every thing else in

this region and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this field. Obstacles are the nature of being at the front to pave the way. • Highlighting the problem is one step to the solution;

presenting the problem to you and expanding knowledge is ten steps more.

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