Multi-million dollar data centre unveiled

Egypt Cyber Center could eventually invest $150 million in a data hosting facility equipped with 67 HP servers in phase one of its development.

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By  David Ingham Published  October 14, 2001

Egypt Cyber Center has unveiled phase one of what will grow to be one of the largest data hosting facilities in the Middle East. Around $30 million was invested in this first phase of the project, a figure that will ultimately grow to between $120 and $150 million.

The centre has been established by its owners, NTC and EgyNet, in partnership with HP, and was built according to HP’s global standards. The highly secure facility is equipped with 67 HP Unix and Windows NT servers, storage facilities, redundant power supplies, identity card readers and security cameras.

Ahmed El Bishry, vice president at Egypt Cyber Center, says that the centre will have storage capacity of 50 Terabytes within months. Outgoing bandwidth is currently 45 mbits/s and will grow to 155 mbits/s in future development phases.

Bishry says that the company has already signed up four customers, two ISPs and two application service providers (ASPs.) “Currently, we offer ISP and ASP hosting, e-mail and Web site hosting,” says Bishry. “For phase two we will look at CRM, call centres and video streaming.”

Is there, however, enough demand within Egypt and surrounding countries, to justify the investment that’s being made? El Bishry says ‘yes’ for several reasons.

Tightening economic conditions in general, he argues, are leading more companies to outsource IT functions such as hosting and Web site management. He also points to the natural growth in data and online services, and the subsequent need for more storage and hosting capacity.

Ahmad Gomaa, senior investment analyst at Commercial International Investment, which put money into the project, also believes that companies hosting in the USA will start to bring this back to the region. “The cost is competitive and we are closer to the customer in terms of service,” he says.

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