The adoption of cloud computing architecture in Saudi Arabia might hit a snag. According to a survey a large number of networking firms (91%) in the kingdom have deemed their existing IT infrastructure insufficient and ill-equipped to accommodate the tenants of cloud computing and virtualization. This was seconded on Thursday by Brocade, which is a leading networking vendor. According to Brocade, the statistics are the result of 1,750 IT decision makers evaluating the current state of their data center environments.
Cloud computing is being hailed in the rest of the world as the next evolutionary step for computing but for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia it’s a worrying factor. Businesses in the country are predicted to invest heavily in cloud computing over the course of next 3 years and expand exponentially at a rate of 49.7 percent, but with current inadequacy of the IT infrastructure things look bleak.
Saudi business owners are tech savvy and keep a vigilant eye out for advancements in technology. They are most likely to be instigators in early adoption of cloud computing for the region. The unprecedented increase in adopting virtualization is proof of this. That being said, many of these companies are risking failure in the long run as only a negligible portion of their IT budget is spent on network. Mostly this entails upgrading legacy networks. This was declared by Mr. Cherif Sulieman who serves as country manager at Brocade communications. Unless this approach is dropped and higher ups become cognizant of long term implications, there bound to be long term complications he further added.
Sulieman’s apprehension is not ill-founded as it’s given credence by a report which clearly states that majority of businesses have to face multiple network outages each week. The ratio can be as high as 16% with major complain being network unavailability. These failures can be attributed to resource intensive programs such as Microsoft office programs (25%), database applications (41%) communication tools (30%). New utilities that allow connection to remote devices and video conferencing also exert strain on already feeble networks. This downtime causes loss of productivity; majority of the participants in the survey reported that network unavailability has direct or indirect impact on revenue generation and caused monetary loss.
Sulieman is of the opinion that what Saudi Arabian businesses need are investments being made to construct purpose built data centers. These data centers would be highly flexible and would be able to adapt to varying pressures. The kingdom goes through a slow period during summer and the holy month of Ramadan during which business activities slow down. This means reduction in the amount of data being passed through networks, similarly during peak times traffic can swell to enormous proportions and cause the network to become clogged. Brocade is fully aware of this scenario and hence are offering their on demand data center strategy. This is the amalgamation of physical and virtual networking elements to form a data center environment which is highly adaptable to market swings and changes.