The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority deploys advanced ICT infrastructure to power the technology companies that call the premier technology park home

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2 Buhannad explains that the ICT platform across DSOA Free Zone and its technology incubator are moving towards a service oriented architecture. Case study Top Tier The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority deploys advanced ICT infrastructure to power the technology companies that call the premier technology park home // 50 / NETWORK MIDDLE EAST / OCTOBER 2015 /

3 As the premier technology park in the region, it s only fitting that Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has in place an advanced networking technology to match. DSOA s ICT strategy is to deliver state of the art Infrastructure to DSOA s community and customers, says Badr Buhannad, senior vice president Strategy and ICT Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. This strategy is built around four primary pillars that are aligned with Dubai s Plan of 2021: a smart city, an advanced technology hub, innovative people and a desirable society, Buhannad adds. ICT plays an outsized role in DSOA s business strategy, considering that many of the organisations with that operate out of DSO are themselves technology leaders in their own domains. DSOA s vision is to provide an environment for technology incubators and create an integrated technology-based community, Buhannad adds. To support the business community that call Dubai Silicon Oasis home, the Authority has over the years built an ICT infrastructure that supports its business services on state-of-the-art next-generation hardware and software, says Buhannad. We invested in an architecture that ensures business availability to our clients using certified Data Centre Infrastructure to deliver continuous services to our clients, he says. Buhannad explains that DSOA operates a tiered architecture to ensure all network, security, and servers are deployed to provide resilience and performance. We provide plug and play infrastructure, where companies do not need to invest on ICT infrastructure and can directly focus on their core business, as all the offices are interconnected to the Data Centre and service providers for high speed internet services, he adds. DSOA offers several services to its customers which include a data centre services through its two data centres, offering hosting services tailored specifically to its tenants business requirements. Both data centres are TIER III certified with each providing a minimum N+1 redundancy for every rack cabinet, and delivering the high levels of uptime availability to customers. The Authority s network solution also provides companies with a communication platform for data networking, removing the need for any upfront investment. DSO s communications platform, Buhannad says, is continu- We provide plug and play infrastructure, where clients do not need to invest in ICT and can directly focus on their core business. Badr Buhannad, senior vice president Strategy and ICT,Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority DUBAI SILICON OASIS AUTHORITY CASE STUDY Objective To continuously provide the ICT services that its clients require, the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is implementing a wide-ranging technology upgrade across its campus. Solution Provide a plug and play infrastructure, whereby clients do not need to invest in their own ICT infrastructure and can directly focus on their core business. Results DSOA is deploying AVAYA s SDN-based network platform to provision infrastructure services to its clients. This model reduces CAPEX investments for the clients and offers DSOA the leverage to expand the infrastructure to meet adhoc network requirements with minimum operational overheads. // OCTOBER 2015 / NETWORK MIDDLE EAST / 51

4 ously developed to stay up to date with the latest international trends and maintain international standards of networking. The plug and play capabilities accompanied with the flexible physical and user reconfiguration provides companies with the opportunity to save on operation costs, he adds. DSOA also provides telecommunication services which include an IP based telephony system and internet services. All DSOA s offices are equipped with an IP based telephony system, providing clients with the option of using DSO s Virtual PABX, hence saving the cost of clients establishing their own DSO BY THE NOS. 7.2 square kilometres urban master-planned community 120 high capacity racks in a tier 3 data centre 1,600 megawatts capacity power stations 5,000 cubic meter underground irrigation tank 162,40 population working and/or living at DSO KIT LIST Avaya SDN Fx fabric technology AVAYA COMs AVAYA Aura Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx PABX platform. All these services are offered on a subscription model to clients. Additionally, DSOA has partnered with several Government departments to offer public services to its clients through a community portal such as business registration & licensing, customs clearance and visas among others. These services require high availability and resilience to ensure service availability for clients as well as other community amenities, including the availability of security services through surveillance, Buhannad says. For starters, the Authority is moving towards AVAYA s SDN-based network platform to provision infrastructure services to its clients. This model, Buhannad says, reduces CAPEX investment requirements for the clients and offers DSOA the leverage to expand the infrastructure to meet adhoc network requirements with minimum operational overheads. The fabric based network is being built on top of DSOA s current infrastructure, deploying a fully SPBbased SDN-Fx network. The ICT platform across DSOA Free Zone and its technology incubator are moving towards a service oriented architecture, says Buhannad. This demands a move towards next generation technologies such as SDN to meet the agile needs of the market. DSOA has also invested in server consolidation and virtualisation for its network and server infrastructure, which includes CCTV, network & telecommunications, storage & servers, all based on AVAYA and IBM platforms. The Authority has also deployed Outside Plant Backbone Cabling from its Data Centres to all the surrounding buildings to extend its We benchmark technologies based on best practices in the region and international standards for business availability. // 52 / NETWORK MIDDLE EAST / OCTOBER 2015 /

5 Buhannad: We benchmark technologies based on best practices in the region and globally. THE CLIENT Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is a governmentowned free zone that promotes modern technology based industries with urban master-planned community, state-of-the-art infrastructure and in-house business services. DSOA seeks to create a universally recognized technology oasis by facilitating and promoting technology-based industries, research and development within a fully integrated community network services for its clients. In addition, a disaster recovery (DR) project has been implemented to ensure business continuity using the best in class replication and network convergence infrastructure, he explains. The DSOA Data Centre Infrastructure has been built and certified on UPTIME Institutes TIER 3 Infrastructure standards. This ensure our clients get the optimal uptime for their hosting requirements and the underlying network infrastructure for the data centre, Buhannad says. In selecting technology providers to partner with, Buhannad says DSOA chooses solutions based on proof of concepts (PoCs) conducted with vendors, previously technically shortlisted after testing their technology. Providers are then selected based on performance. Additionally, the Authority s commitment to corporate social responsibility plays a part in making the final selection, Buhannad says, with solutions chosen that will not only add value but are also energy compliance and environmental friendly. We benchmark technologies based on best practices in the region and international standards for business availability, he says. The vendor chosen also needs to provide requisite professional services to ensure the architecture is built around a secure framework. BUSINESS BENEFIT The implemented solutions will impact DSOA operations significantly moving forward, Buhannad says. For one, the infrastructure and migration will be able to ensure business availability during the transition phase. The new solution needs to integrate with existing systems. DSOA s move towards Smart City Infrastructure for its existing and future buildings requires integration with the underlying BMS and CCTV infrastructure, says Buhannad. The proposed implementation also has a requirement to provide interoperability with legacy systems for communication of CCTV and BMS infrastructure. The DSOA Voice Infrastructure that was migrated to has enhanced voice features for clients, with minimum disruption to its clients. The data centre on the other hand, built on an IBM Blade // OCTOBER 2015 / NETWORK MIDDLE EAST / 53

6 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx These services require high availability and resilience to ensure service availability for clients as well as other community amenities. WD and Mistubishi Electric are some of the global tech heavyweights with their regional headquarters at DSOA. Architecture, ensures maximum scalability and availability of our virtual systems. The SDN-Fx network is expected to significantly simplify the network, enhance the security as a multitenant environment, and secure their investment by improving the SLA and TCO. In terms of security, the solution should improve DSOA s overall multi-tenant security framework by providing isolated dedicated secured zones for each of their tenants and services. The new solution does away with the legacy system that was relying on VLANs and a lot of filtering configured on multiple switches. In addition, DSOA will avoid multiple old legacy protocols that were configured node by node. With SDN Fx, one single reliable protocol (SPB) will be configured and will provide an automated self-learning / self- healing network with more resiliency. Using Avaya SDN Fx technology is also expected to minimize the configuration points across the network, thus minimizing the probability of human errors. To manage its ICT environment, DSOA has a dedicated out of band management infrastructure to manage the control plane of the systems, ensuring manageability of the systems in an event of a network communications failure. We rely on AVAYA COMs and AVAYA Aura for managing voice and data systems, Buhannad says. In the near future, DSOA is moving to orchestrate the data and voice infrastructure related operations to be automated using partner AVAY A s platform. In addition, DSOA wants to enhance the serviceability of the infrastructure to provide flexibility to DSOA users on mobility, voice and data services. We look forward to adapting the AVAYA VSP platform in our data centre and core infrastructure in the future, Buhannad reveals. A feasibility study with AVAYA has been conducted to move towards the VSP platform in DSOA s data centre, video conferencing and voice infrastructure for our clients and DSOA employees. DSOA is also planning to upgrade its edge and core infrastructure to meet the backbone requirements of the next generation bandwidths of 40G and 10G to the edge. To ensure optimal security of its ICT environment, Buhannad says DSOA has implemented best in class ICT infrastructure security complemented by regular security awareness sessions for its employees. We also conduct periodic internal and external penetration tests on our infrastructure to ensure strict compliance to security standards, Buhannad adds. The security infrastructure on the other hand is managed by security and network operations centre of DSOA ICT infrastructure. THE VENDOR Avaya is a leading global provider of solutions for customer and team engagement. The company provides technologies for unified communications and collaboration, contact centre and customer experience management, and networking, along with related services to large enterprises, midmarket companies, small businesses and government organizations around the world. Avaya s SDN FxArchitecture delivers a simpler network with an Automated Core that takes advantage of a single, network-wide Ethernet fabric to remove the need for manual configuration at each network hop, which reduces the potential for error and accelerates customers time to service. // 54 / NETWORK MIDDLE EAST / OCTOBER 2015 /

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