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Sun 2 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Al Yousuf invests in major upgrade

Sun Microsystems, has announced that regional conglomerate Al Yousuf has spent more than US$1 million for upgrading its existing data centre to a Sun-based solution to increase IT capacity and help reduce its operating costs.

Sun Microsystems Middle East & North Africa has announced that regional conglomerate Al Yousuf has chosen to migrate its existing Data Centre to a Sun-based solution in order to increase IT capacity and help reduce its operating costs spending in more than US$1 million for the upgrade.

Al Yousuf, the 51-year old business group, operating in different sectors ranging from automobiles to electronics, chose the Sun solution – including hardware, software, enterprise SAN storage, networking and training services.

Sun’s iForce partner Mideast Data Systems (MDS), which was involved in implementing the new infrastructure replaced Al Yousuf’s existing NCR servers and storage with two Sun Fire V880 and one Sun Fire 280 servers to support the new Oracle applications running on Sun’s Solaris 8 operating system.

“The fundamental benefit of Al Yousuf’s technology strategy is that it eliminates any ‘islands’ of information across all the different business groups to ensure that all of the company’s most vital data is stored and managed centrally. This consolidation enables Al Yousuf to deliver a consistent level of IT services and information availability to its diverse business and operations,” says Ali Awada, managing partner, MDS-Dubai.

To protect and manage the vast amount of data generated by its different branches and business units, Al Yousuf has implemented a Sun StorEdge 9900V-series enterprise storage system, powered by NetBackup solution from Veritas.

Previously, Al Yousuf managed a central data centre to host its in-house developed Oracle-based applications. In order to meet demand and continue to serve all of Al Yousuf’s divisions and business entities, the data centre required an upgrade in both performance and capacity.

Prior to the new implementation, all of Al Yousuf’s applications were developed in-house. The group’s plan was to migrate from Oracle database 7 to 9i, and with the acquired equipment, boost the data centre’s performance by a factor of 10.

“With more than 1,200 employees in the UAE, diverse business activities and management and user’s demands, Al Yousuf required a powerful, easy-to-manage IT environment We needed more processing power, which you don’t really get from changing the servers only, so the entire data centre infrastructure had to be revised,” says Mousallam Chatty, director of IT, Al Yousuf.

“After the upgrade, we could push the live system performance by 60 times. Some of the DSS queries used to take 7-8 hours, but now response time is down to seven minutes, while some of our OLTP queries which used to take three minutes, we brought it down to one second. That is 150 times faster on average,” adds Chatty.

The Sun infrastructure is forming the technology basis for the new Al Yousuf ‘smart’ commercial and residential development on the Dubai Creek, which will provide residents with full wireless network access from anywhere on the premises. Communications services will include voice telephony, unified messaging and data services.

“Al Yousuf's IT strategy should increase their ability to make informed decisions across its entire enterprise while reducing the administrative and operational costs associated with its IT division,” says Mehmet Iyimen, managing director, MENA, Sun Microsystems.

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