KFU builds world class data centre

King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia has deployed a Tier 3 data centre to support operations

Tags: BT Al Saudia (www.btalsaudia.com.sa/)King Faisal University (www.kfu.edu.sa/Sites/Home/en/)Saudi Arabia
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KFU builds world class data centre KFU has put in place a high level data centre and network to support students and administration, says Al Zahrani.
By  Samer Batter Published  February 22, 2016

Under the Deanship of Information Technology, the King Faisal University has utilized best practices and new technology to provide the highest levels of service provision, resulting in significant improvements to both its academic and administrative systems.

The university has also aligned its IT strategy with Saudi Arabia’s ‘Afaq’ program, a 25-year plan to develop the higher education sector in the Kingdom, as well as with the second executive plan of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. HE Mohamed Bin Saeed Al Zahrani, Dean of IT at King Faisal University highlighted some of the achievements made by the University in terms of infrastructure and IT systems, and the progress made with its IT strategy.

What are the major infrastructure projects that the deanship of it of King Faisal University has implemented?

There are many projects that have been carried out by the Deanship, the main one that stands out of is the design and implementation of a new data centre on campus. Built according to meet international standards in this field, the King Faisal University data centre has received recognition as a Design Certificate Tier-3 for its design, as well receiving certification as a Tier-3 Facility from the Uptime Institute, making it the first university in the Middle East to achieve such recognition.

In that project, the networking infrastructure was updated with the latest hardware and solutions, to link the network of the University with its facilities outside the campus, including the community college in Abqaiq and a research station on Qatar Road, using a virtual WAN Link, in addition to using IP VPN and upgrading the communication infrastructure.

As for the wireless network infrastructure, the Deanship has upgraded and developed the wireless network for all the university’s buildings, with 500 wireless access points deployed to connect any device to the network. In terms of speed of internet connection, the network was upgraded to reach speed of 2.4 Gbps. BT Al Saudia was selected to implement the project.

Why did King Faisal University select BT Al Saudia for this project?

The King Faisal University conducted a study of future needs of the data centre, in the light of the expansion in the premises of colleges for the new campus, and we identified that we would need high specifications from our IT systems to ensure the stability and continuity of work in our data centre. Therefore, we didn’t hesitate in assigning this job to an international company with extensive experience in the field, BT Al Saudia, whom we consider to be an ideal strategic partner for us.

What was the cost of the project?

The cost of the project reached about 50 million Saudi riyals ($13.3m). The data centre received the international Tier 3 certification for the construction level, which ensures that the facility has been designed and delivered to meet the highest international standards.

What systems and applications have been implemented for the University?

The deanship has executed and implemented several IT systems for administrative and academic purposes; including ERP for finance and administrative tasks, which automates the financial and administrative affairs in the University. Additionally, we have upgraded the information management system of students and faculty members to the latest version. We also have developed the automated academic advisor system to help students to register for courses according to the plan of study and through integration with the study system plans (CAB).

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