Data centre is a term that’s heard with increasing frequency, but despite the entire online world connecting to them on a daily basis, very few of us know what, exactly, a data centre is. To provide clarity on the subject, Mahesh Jaishankar, Vice President, datamena & Broadcast, du, recently hosted a knowledge session during which he discussed what data centres are and their purpose, amongst other topics.
“The misconception is that data centres are relatively new, but in reality they’ve been around, at least in concept, since the 1960s when computers were first developed commercially,” said Jaishankar. “Without even knowing it, everyone connected to the internet uses a data centre whenever they conduct an online action, whether that’s updating your status on a social network or sending an email. Knowing about and understanding the purpose of a data centre is essential in understanding the way in which our connectivity to the world works.”
A data centre is a building, or a portion of a building with the primary function to house a computer room and its support areas. Data centres provide power, security and an environment that computers can function in, nonstop. They power our connectivity to the internet, and will become even more integral to our day to day lives as our online activities grow. To put the degree of growth into context, today there is 30 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, and the number of networked devices is approximately equal to the world’s population. In 2015, the number of networked devices will be twice the global population, and it will take 5 years to view all of the video content crossing IP networks each second.
datamena, the carrier neutral data centre and connectivity platform based in the UAE and serving the Middle East and Africa (MEA), was launched by du in 2012 to meet the connectivity needs of the region. It is part of a global ecosystem of almost 100 datacentres, operated by Equinix.
It features two transit zones – one international, and one domestic. The international transit zone aggregates regional infrastructure and capacity, allowing businesses to interconnect, buy and sell services without the need for a UAE telecom license. It also provides access to UAE onshore locations through licensed carriers, allowing business to retain 100% ownership of telecom equipment. The domestic transit zone aggregates UAE-centric requirements, combining with the international transit zone to aggregate international requirements cost-effectively.
The datamena Business Exchange is connected on a fully redundant backbone to international submarine and terrestrial cables. This will include the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS), a partnership between du, Vodafone, Zain and Zajil.
du launched its Knowledge Session series in 2012, as a way to increase awareness and understanding of the telecommunications industry, and to clarify the industry’s processes for the UAE’s journalists. The regularly-scheduled sessions provide access to du’s field-leading experts, who unravel the jargon and explain the processes that power our everyday communications. Topics covered since the initiative’s launch include key issues such as LTE, Machine-to-Machine (M2), Near-Field Communications (NFC), Mobile Number Portability (MNP), and Broadcast and Satellite Services.