du, a telecom provider from the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), in collaboration with Cisco, has announced the launch of a Unified Cloud Fabric that combines du’s state of the art data centres across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a single cohesive multi-site, multi-geographical cloud using Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Cisco’s intent-based networking solution for the data centre.
Application innovation is at the heart of the digital economy and the UAE’s transformation. A new era of apps is redefining what data centres are and need to be capable of supporting. Today, the data centre is no longer a fixed place; it needs to exist wherever data is created, processed and used.
The announcement further propels du’s Digital Transformation by enabling the company to deliver consistent, highly available services to its customers with unprecedented speed and agility.
Relying on data created everywhere to deliver the best customer experience, this disbursed data must often be processed closest to the source – at the edge of the network – while maintaining uniform security policies, data privacy, operational simplicity and services with consistency and agility.
The two companies released a joint white paper (https://www.du.ae/about/media-centre/newsdetail/white-paper-eitc-inftastructure-outlook) several months ago outlining du’s technology road-map for Digital Transformation. The new services launch further strengthens du’s strategic collaboration with Cisco and marks an additional milestone in du’s execution on its 2021 technology vision.
“As du drives its transformation agenda to spur expansion into new growth areas, we see applications active at all points on the network, so the data centre can no longer be confined to a specific place,” said Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Infrastructure Officer, EITC.
“It must act as more of a vital nerve system situated where the data is or where the application is conveniently deployed, whether at the edge where new data is generated, or in the cloud where it’s processed. Wherever it makes the most sense to execute at speed.
“With Cisco’s intent-based solution based on ACI and by specifically leveraging Cisco Cloud ACI and Cisco ACI Multisite Orchestrator, we’re able to achieve exactly that, offering our end customers highly differentiated services that scale seamlessly across the UAE geography, meeting the needs of our customers.”
du’s key strategic pillars in driving change include the provision of a seamless customer experience across channels, innovative services and solutions, and agility in operations. Cisco provides the foundation for Digital Transformation through a new architecture that extends the data centre to everywhere where data lives and everywhere applications are deployed.
“The ICT landscape around the world is witnessing immense change, which necessitates transformational change from Service Providers. The Network virtualisation journey means workloads continue to be more distributed, from the core to the edge or remote locations of the networks. Therefore, data centers must compute where the data is for timeliness, locality, volume and scale,” said Ali Amer, Managing Director, Service Provider Sales, Middle East and Africa at Cisco .
“Cisco supports du’s transformation using Cisco ACI Anywhere architecture. With the ability to scale and deliver granular and consistent policy to any given location, Cisco ACI Anywhere brings a single point of orchestration across a geographically diverse set of data centres. With that, it creates a simplified, unified cloud domain that improves service availability and simplifies operations.”
According to Cisco’s survey of Middle East and Africa enterprise customers in 2017, five times as many visitors as the resident population visit Dubai during the six months of the tourist season.
This creates a need for flexibility in usage of resources to serve the seasonality, in addition to extreme network agility to offer workload mobility as tourists ebb and flow across the vast geographies of the UAE.
Cisco’s ACI Anywhere architecture enables operators to act immediately on data wherever it’s generated or consumed while maintaining consistent policy, with assurance, across the network in a secure manner. All of this must be delivered to apps and data, extending to wherever these go.
du has always striven to delight customers with simplicity and natural experiences across its three major customer categories: individual customers, business and government.
Leveraging its fibre optic network infrastructure and high-speed wireless Internet, du has launched a country-wide initiative called Wi-Fi UAE to provide Wi-Fi access to the public, in line with UAE Vision 2021 and is a strategic partner for Dubai government’s Smart Dubai initiative to integrate technologies like ICT and IoT into its infrastructure.