(From left to right): Executive Manager at Ashi Bushnag Ibrahim M. Abdul Hafiz; General Manager at Ashi Bushnag Taha Mansour; CEO of Gulf Data Hub Tarek Al-Ashram; KAUST Interim President Nadhmi Al-Nasr; and Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Development Jean M.J. Fréchet break ground during a ceremony held on September 18 on the KAUST campus. The groundbreaking ceremony took place to celebrate the development of a data center slated to be built by Gulf Data Hub in partnership with the Saudi company Data Hub Tech and Jeddah-based design and contracting firm Ashi Bushnag Co. Photo by Lilit Hovhannisyan.
Thuwal, Saudi Arabia:
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday, September 18 to celebrate the start of an important new data center project at KAUST. Gulf Data Hub (GDH), a Dubai-based data center space provider, will officially commence the construction of a multi-million dollar carrier- and vendor-neutral data center at KAUST under the Saudi Arabian entity Data Hub Tech (DHT).
Development of the 27,600m2
state-of-the-art facility comes at a critical time with sharply increased market demand for data centers to accommodate data growth, movement to the cloud and disaster recovery demands, as well as full compliance with increased regulatory requirements. It will house 8,000 m2
of white space, with a minimum capacity for its future customers of 14.4 MW IT load.
“The trend among IT thought leaders is to lease data center space from experts rather than build in-house data centers,” said Tarek Al-Ashram, CEO of GDH. “As a vendor-neutral facility, the KAUST data center will solve a range of data storage needs while maintaining the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of future research park and external partners.”
KAUST Interim President Nadhmi Al-Nasr delivers a speech on September 18 on the KAUST campus. Al-Nasr spoke as part of a groundbreaking ceremony for a much anticipated data center slated to be built by Gulf Data Hub in partnership with Saudi company Data Hub Tech and Jeddah-based design and contracting firm Ashi Bushnag Co. Photo by Lilit Hovhannisyan.
To align with the high standards of the current architecture at KAUST, the data center will also be built to conform to Tier III and LEED Silver specifications.
“This is a game-changer for research and innovation infrastructure at KAUST,” said Jason Roos, chief information officer at KAUST.
Roos joined the University in June of 2017 with a mandate to bolster KAUST resources for a burgeoning research ecosystem as well as a booming technology and innovation cluster.
“I’m here to make sure we have the tools on hand to support our labs, our people and our partners well into the foreseeable future. With GDH, we’ve secured an essential piece to that puzzle,” Roos said.
GDH is best known for the development of the Dubai Silicon Oasis data center, a world-class facility completed in 2014. At KAUST, GDH will be the co-location center for Smart Hands and connectivity providers to service the diverse needs of the University, its research park tenants and external customers. The data center will also provision value-added services to customers with its partner ecosystem.
KAUST Interim President Nadhmi Al-Nasr (left) receives a gift from Gulf Data Hub CEO Tarek Al-Ashram on September 18 on the KAUST campus. The two men exchanged gifts as part of a groundbreaking ceremony for a much anticipated data center slated to be built by Gulf Data Hub in partnership with Saudi company Data Hub Tech and Jeddah-based design and contracting firm Ashi Bushnag Co. Photo by Lilit Hovhannisyan.
“As the nation embraces a new global era of technological progress and a reality of digital dependence, it is only fitting that it answers the call to pursue desperately needed advanced needs in these areas,” said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the University’s interim president. “In view of this commitment, it is fitting that KAUST takes on this important project to help lead the way. We pride ourselves on our exceptional IT infrastructure that supports our institutional research and innovation strategies, going beyond our campus to address some of the nation’s and the world’s most pressing needs.”
The construction of the KAUST data center will be undertaken by Jeddah-based design and contracting firm Ashi Bushnag Co. The data center is slated to be operational in 2019. DHT will manage the business development, sales and operations of the data center.