Synergy opens largest remote Cisco training lab in EMEA

Synergy has launched its new remote laboratory facility, to provide hands on training for Cisco students around the world

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By  Mark Sutton Published  March 10, 2003

Training company Synergy has opened a new remote laboratory facility, to be hosted at Dubai Internet City (DIC). The facility, the Synergy Remote Lab, provides remote access to Cisco equipment, allowing students access to hands-on training with Cisco kit, regardless of the student’s location.

Synergy has invested $2 million in the facility which will be open for students taking Cisco training courses and for partners that want to test configurations of kit, and so on. The company aims to offer the remote services to countries both within and outside of the Middle East, as the lab is the largest such facility in the EMEA region.

Melad Ghabrial, president and CEO of Synergy Professional Services commented: “We are very excited with this announcement as it represents another milestone in our vision to establish Synergy Professional Services as the leading ICT services company in the Middle East. Following our recent expansion into Europe with the establishment of our Vienna and Madrid offices, now we are able to provide a first-of-a-kind Cisco training facility for individuals and education institutions in the Middle East, Europe and Africa region.”

The lab, which is hosted by DIC’s eHosting Centre, allows up to 25 classes to work simultaneously on the networking equipment that is physically present in the lab, but from any location around the globe.
Classes will still be led by instructors, but they will be able to complete ‘hands on’ training through a web interface. This is especially important for developing markets where training centres cannot afford lots of equipment, and where it is more difficult to ship equipment purely for the purpose of classroom training.

One of the main problems with remote training is bandwidth, but the eHosting Centre has been able to provide a high level of service to overcome this, Ghabrial said. “We have a lot of bandwidth, thanks to the e-Hosting Centre, so we don’t have a problem with this—we even have multiple classes running this week.”

The centre will cater to all levels of Cisco training, including CCIE, CCNA, CCDA, CCDP, CCNP and CCIP, and will have capacity for training on high-end equipment used by Telcos, ISPs and enterprise level customers.

“Synergy Professional Services has performed remarkably over the last few years, placing itself in the top handful of Cisco Learning Partners across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Synergy has the technical capabilities and depth of expertise in Cisco solutions to make this project a success. The setup will help us raise the bar of the technical expertise available to our customers not only in the Middle East but also in the European and African regions,” said Ghazi Atallah, regional director of Cisco Middle East.

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