DMI replaces EMC storage offering with HDS solution

Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), the UAE government-owned media conglomerate, is consolidating the storage and server platforms of its TV arm, Dubai TV, and its print unit, al-Bayan newspaper.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 24, 2005

Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), the UAE government-owned media conglomerate, is consolidating the storage and server platforms of its TV arm, Dubai TV, and its print unit, al-Bayan newspaper. The multi-million dirham project will see it switch from an EMC storage solution to one provided by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). The move to consolidate IT systems will help facilitate a broader plan to rejuvenate Dubai’s government-owned media, following the establishment last year of DMI by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the chairman of DMI. As part of the launch, DMI established a news production centre at Dubai Media City (DMC). The company is now looking to consolidate the data operations of al-Bayan newspaper and Dubai TV, said Faisal Bin Haider, IT manager at DMI. “Our main concern was to create a networks operations centre [for both organisations] and also to consolidate all of our servers and services,” he said. “For total cost of ownership (TCO), instead of maintaining different vendors, we’re consolidating all of our storage in one box,” he added. DMI has selected a 4TByte storage system from HDS, along with the vendor’s HiCommand Storage Services Management (HSSM) storage area management system. This will be used to run the HDS system as well as other Storage Area Network (SAN) devices for DMI. Although DMI had previously been using EMC systems, Haider said the decision was made to switch to the HDS offering because DMI felt it would be a more open solution. “HSSM is a standards-based application that can be used for heterogeneous [environments], so it will be able to manage our Hitachi and existing Sun storage [solutions],” he said. The HDS offering will be based at the al-Bayan offices in Dubai and will host a total of 17 HP Intel-based servers and four Sun Solaris servers. The servers will be used to host a content management system which will power DMI’s internet services, once the project is completed next month. The Intel servers will also host al-Bayan’s photo archive, which contains over one million photos, while the Sun servers will also be used as file and print servers, Haider said. The entire solution has been implemented by Mideast Data Systems (MDS), which is providing hardware, software and services as part of a three-year contract with DMI. “We’re providing 24 by seven, 365 days of the year support,” said Ali Awada, managing partner at MDS. “We have service level agreements in place with DMI,” he added. For HDS, which only began working with MDS in March (see IT Weekly 12- 18 March 2005), the deal represents a considerable coup. “From our perspective this is a significant win because DMI has very high visibility,” said John Bentley, HDS sales director for the Middle East. “Broadcasting is also one of the emerging markets that we’re going for and DMI is our first entry into the government sector here,” he added. EMC executives commented that the DMI deal was part of a bundled solution, rather than a storage-specific implementation. “EMC supports customer choice, and we are recognised by both analysts and end users for our commitment to interoperability and open systems,” said Mohammed Amin, regional manager, EMC Middle East. EMC is the market leader in the region, he added. “The region’s leading businesses... continue to choose EMC in part because of the openness of our systems.”

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