Saudi ministry goes for security control system from Sphere

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of the Interior (MoI) has adopted a new network management system from Dubai start-up Sphere Networks, which will cover up to 25,000 nodes

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By  Administrator Published  December 29, 2006

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of the Interior (MoI) has adopted a new network management system from Dubai start-up Sphere Networks, which will cover up to 25,000 nodes.

The Ministry has deployed the system to manage the network infrastructure in its public security division, which is responsible for a number of security functions within Saudi Arabia, including the newly-drafted cybercrime laws.

“Using Sphere’s software we can monitor all the nodes we’re using — thousands of nodes,” explained Dr Abdulrahman Al-Shenaifi, senior advisor on IT and security to the MoI.

“It has a command and control system built into it which allows network administrators to really look at all the activities in the network arena. It does this in an advanced, but manageable way because networks are a complex phenomena,” he said.

Al-Shenaifi said the system would cover some 10,000 nodes within the next few months, and up to 25,000 nodes within a few years, as the division expands.

Mohamed Hamedi, CEO of Sphere, said the deal was in the “hundreds of thousands” of dollars range, without disclosing a specific sum.

“The solution had to be able to handle different vendors — mainly HP ProCurve and Cisco — and it needed to scale, to go over 10,000 nodes,” he said.

“It needed to be flexible; [administrators] need to be able to manage other things through the system — they want to deploy security and traffic management — they wanted one single window to manage the network,” he added.

Al-Shenaifi said that the software allowed IT administrators to do more effective analysis of how the network is functioning as well as allowing the organisation to manage a number of remote sites from one central network operations centre (NOC).

“When we compare Sphere to other brands, we find it to be very user-friendly. I find it very sophisticated, yet simple to manage,” he said.

Based in Dubai, Sphere was founded just over one year ago.

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