DUBAI, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- As cloud computing spreads fast in the Middle East, Chinese telecom-tech giant Huawei aims to lead the development in the Gulf Region, albeit the market is still in its early stages.
According to a Middle East and Africa (MAE) study conducted by global research firm IDC, 73 percent of the surveyed chief information officers and information technology directors said cloud computers offer significant and measurable benefits, whilst the majority also expects that cloud computing will cut IT costs by 30 to 40 percent in the next three to five years.
COST-EFFICIENT AND ENERGY-SAVING
Cloud computing is defined as the sharing of IT recourses like data and information through a pool of hard and software (the cloud data center).
"It is a cost-saving and energy-efficient use of enterprise capital, because cloud computing reduces the number of servers at a company or it even makes expensive servers disappear," said Joe So, vice president of sales enterprise for the Middle East at Huawei in Dubai, which launched cloud solutions in the region just a year ago.
Outsourcing data to a cloud and sharing non-sensitive data with other participants can go so far that some firms participating using the cloud simply over the internet without any additional investments in servers or extra hardware.
At the ongoing five-day telecom congress Gulf Comms, which kicked off Sunday in Dubai, Huawei occupied one of the largest exhibition stands in order to lure new customers. On the occasion of the trade fair, Huawei launched on Monday the CloudEngine series, a "one-stop-shop" for firms eager to benefit from the latest data warehouse technology.
A cloud allows resources to be shared by different departments of a company or even by different legal entities. So said that to share data resources in a cloud does not mean that firms will face an increased danger of computer virus attacks or breaches of confidentiality.
"Huawei's high-end security firewall solutions enable secure data centers without compromising network performance and data processing speeds," So said, adding that "the technology adds value to nearly all sectors such as the oil and gas industry, banking, healthcare and education."
"The CloudEngine series potentially expands the life of enterprise networks from five to 10 years," said Huawei's So.
Huawei, headquartered in Shenzhen of China's southern Guangdong Province, already operates with its cloud solutions with customers in 33 countries. To date, it has built 260 data centers worldwide, 35 of which are cloud computing data centers.
In the first half of 2012, Huawei generated globally sales revenues of 16.16 billion U.S. dollars, representing a year-on- year increase of 5.1 percent.
As part of the launch in Dubai, the company also unveiled a mobile cloud center, which cools, powers and has a fire suppression system to ensure that organization's assets are maintained and that there is business continuity.
According to IDC, the market for cloud computing is still in its early stage and most market participants generate profits with it. Global data storage and network specialists like Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, EMC2, Germany's Siemens or Japan's NEC also entered into the world of cloud technology and show their solutions at the Gulf Comms in Dubai.
CHANCES AND CHALLENGES
While competition is already growing in the cloud technology, So claimed that Huawei was currently the only vendor which offers complete cloud solutions.
According to IDC, 14 millions of new jobs will be created until 2015 thanks to the cloud wave, including over two million in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In the United States, IT experts with cloud responsibility achieve today with an average of 102,000 dollars per year, the highest annual income in the IT industry.
But where there is light, there is shadow. Many IT system admin employees who are responsible for server management at companies are worried to lose their jobs, simply because where servers disappear, their responsible staff is no longer needed.