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Mon 1 Jan 2007 03:10 PM

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Online completes data center roadshow tour

Value added distributor delighted with response to its roadshow as it takes the data centre message to resellers around the GCC states

Online Distribution has completed the first ever series of data centre-focused roadshows in the Middle East, recording attendance from some of the top names in the region.

The roadshow took in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Dammam, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, as Online and five of its vendor partners discussed some of the current issues in data centres and showed off the latest solutions.

"It's been very good - we've had an excellent response," reflected Venu Menon, divisional manager at Online Distribution.

"In Riyadh we had a crowd of 92 people attending the presentations and in Dammam we had 43, which was very good as there was an Aramco event going on at the same time - we actually still had the chief advisor for Aramco's new data centre there."

Fahad Al-Zarah, who attended the Riyadh event representing a major government organisation in Saudi Arabia, said: "All the vendors on the roadshow were talking about one subject - data centres. Other roadshows can be a mix. There is information about networks, and a lot of other areas as well."

Online's vendors at the events included APC, Ortronics, Corning, Avocent and APW, and representatives from each discussed some of the critical issues around data centres, as well as various aspects of their data centre-oriented solutions. "It's good to collect all the companies involved in data centres," added Al-Zarah. "Here in Saudi Arabia everybody is talking about data centres, building data centres. When you say data centres, it is not one subject - it is networking, it is UPS, it is choosing the right cabinet and the cooling system," he concluded.

Online's Menon hailed the roadshow a success: "We were looking at the event purely as a technology roadshow. We have a very convincing and formidable set of vendors who can talk about a range of different issues in the data centre - containment, cooling, power, cabling - we have it in those five vendors we represent in the region."

Data centres remain a major topic area in the region at the moment with one APC expert at the Online events predicting that up to 35 data centres will come online in Saudi Arabia alone in 2007.

According to research house Gartner, by 2008 nearly 50% of data centres worldwide will lack the necessary power and cooling capacity to support high-density equipment.

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