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SCHNABEL on DatacenterDynamics Judges' Panel for APAC Awards 2016
SCHNABEL is a member of the Judges' Panel for the DatacenterDynamics Awards Asia Pacific 2016. The judging will culminate in an Awards Ceremony on 09-November-2016 in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

India DatacenterDynamics Converged 2016
SCHNABEL will speak at DatacenterDynamics Converged 2016 at Bangalore. The event is scheduled for 20-July-2016 and 21-July-2016.

SCHNABEL in the Core IT Working Group for Indian Standard on Data Center Energy Efficiency
Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) USA, and under the guidance of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), has taken up the Phase II initiative of developing a composite policy framework for energy efficiency in Indian Data Centers. SCHNABEL, as a member of the Core IT Working Group since 2015, is providing several inputs in the formulation of a metric for reporting the energy performance of Data Centers.

SCHNABEL's Client's Data Center Certified LEED Platinum and Tier III
SCHNABEL's Client's Data Center was certified Tier III for Design Documents by the Uptime Institute on 20-April-2015. The same Data Center was subsequently certified LEED Platinum under the LEED BD+C V4 for Data Centers in April 2016.

SCHNABEL Contributes to the Upcoming TIA-942-B Standard
As a member of the TR42.1 Sub-Committee under the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), SCHNABEL formally submitted recommendations in January 2016 towards the update and drafting of the TIA-942-B Data Center standard.

SCHNABEL's Take on NxtGen's HDDC
Ms. Shaheen Meeran, Managing Director of SCHNABEL, gives her views on NxtGen's state-of-the-art High Density Data Center (HDDC) at Bidadi, Bengaluru. The video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWZK2l-SNn0

SCHNABEL Provides Inputs to the Upcoming ASHRAE Standard for Data Centers
SCHNABEL contributes to the BSR/ASHRAE Standard 90.4P Energy Standard for Data Centers. SCHNABEL's observations related to electrical losses and PUE were accepted in principle by the ASHRAE Committee in December 2015.

SCHNABEL and IDRBT Hyderabad
SCHNABEL delivered a training session on Data Center Design and Planning at the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT, established by the Reserve Bank of India) on 03-February-2016 at Hyderabad.

SCHNABEL on DatacenterDynamics Judges Panel for APAC Awards 2015
SCHNABEL was a member of the judges' panel for the DatacenterDynamics Awards Asia Pacific 2015. SCHNABEL judged the category Data Center Transformation Project of The Year. The awards were presented on 16-September-2015 at Singapore.

SCHNABEL joins the BICSI Data Center Subcommittee
In early 2015 SCHNABEL joined the BICSI Data Center Subcommittee that authors and updates the BICSI-002 Standard for the design and implementation of Data Centers.

India DatacenterDynamics Converged 2015
SCHNABEL will speak at DatacenterDynamics Converged 2015 at Bangalore on the topic 'Maintaining High Availability and Uptime Anywhere, Anytime'. The presentation is scheduled for 15-July-2015.

SCHNABEL Joins the TIA TR42.1 Sub-Committee
SCHNABEL joins the TR42.1 Sub-Committee under the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), and will contribute to the next version of the global TIA 942 Data Center standard that will be developed later in 2015.

SCHNABEL on DatacenterDynamics Judges Panel for APAC Awards 2014
SCHNABEL DC Consultants India was on the Judging Panel for the DatacenterDynamics APAC 2014 Awards. SCHNABEL judged the category 'Future Thinking and Design Concepts'. The Awards ceremony was held on 17-October-2014 at Singapore.

SCHNABEL Delivers Keynote Address at the BICSI India District Conference Bangalore
SCHNABEL delivers Keynote Address at the BICSI India District Conference and Exhibition-Bangalore. The event was held at the Sheraton Bangalore Brigade Gateway, on 12-September-2014. Event details are available at https://www.bicsi.org/event_details.aspx?sessionaltcd=CN-india-1409.

Bangalore DatacenterDynamics Converged 2014
SCHNABEL chaired a track, as well as made a presentation on the topic 'The Data Center Complements: Availability and Efficiency' at the DatacenterDynamics Converged event at Bangalore on 18-September-2014 at the Sheraton Bangalore Brigade Gateway.

SCHNABEL Continues as Invited Lecturer at IDRBT Hyderabad
The association between the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (under the Reserve Bank of India) and SCHNABEL DC Consultants India continues, with a lecture being delivered on 06-August-2014 on the subject of Data Center Design and Planning for bankers.

SCHNABEL's Client's Data Center Certified Tier IV for Design Documents
On 21-July-2014, SCHNABEL's design for a Client's Data Center was certified Tier IV by the Uptime Institute.

SCHNABEL Commences Project Delivery in Southeast Asia
With the commencement of a Data Center planning project in Southeast Asia in early 2014, SCHNABEL achieved a significant milestone for extended geographical reach.

SCHNABEL Crosses the 3 Million Square Feet Mark
By April 2014, SCHNABEL had addressed 3,100,000 square feet of Data Center built up area across India and the Middle East. This milestone was achieved in less than 7 years of project delivery from India.

SCHNABEL Delivers Keynote Address at the BICSI India District Conference Mumbai
SCHNABEL delivers Keynote Address at the BICSI India District Conference and Exhibition-Mumbai. The event was held at the Westin, Mumbai, India on 11-April-2014, and witnessed several expert sessions on Data Center trends. Event details are available at BICSI Mumbai 2014.

The BICSI Corporate Buyer’s Guide Features SCHNABEL for the Fourth Year
SCHNABEL DC Consultants India featured, fourth year running, in the prestigious international BICSI Corporate Buyer's Guide 2013.

Bangalore DatacenterDynamics Converged 2013
SCHNABEL chaired a track, as well as made a presentation on the Sustainability Index for Enterprise Data Centers at the DatacenterDynamics Converged event at Bangalore on 21-November-2013.

Mumbai DatacenterDynamics Converged 2013
An insightful panel discussion was conducted on the future of colocation market in India with senior industry representation by Mr. P. Sridhar Reddy (Chairman and Managing Director, CtrlS Datacenters), Mr. Nitin Mishra (Senior Vice President, Netmagic), Mr. Varoon Raghavan (AVP, Tata Communications) and Mr. A. S. Rajgopal (Managing Director, NxtGen Datacenter and Cloud Services). The panel was moderated by SCHNABEL.

Mr. Kiran Karnik Retires as Non-Executive Director from the SCHNABEL Board
Mr. Kiran Karnik, after 5 years as Non- Executive Director with SCHNABEL, formally retired from his position on the Board of Directors on 01-November-2013. Mr. Karnik continues to be a guide and well-wisher to the Company, and stays informed of developments in the Data Center industry in India and abroad.

Express Technology Senate Abu Dhabi
SCHNABEL attended the Express Technology Senate Abu Dhabi from 03-October-2013 to 06-October-2013. A panel discussion on the Relevance of Current Standards in the Enterprise Data Center was convened by SCHNABEL, with a lively discussion by eminent CIOs on the second day of the event.

Green Banking Guidelines Developed with IDRBT
SCHNABEL participates in the IDRBT (Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, under the Reserve Bank of India) Green Banking Working Group. The resulting Guideline- including a chapter on Green Infrastructure and Data Centers- formally launched for use by the Indian Banking Sector on 02-August-2013.

SCHNABEL Continues as Invited Lecturer at IDRBT Hyderabad
The association between the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (under the Reserve Bank of India) and SCHNABEL DC Consultants India continues, with a lecture being delivered on 29-July-2013 on the subject of Data Center Design and Planning for bankers.

SCHNABEL Prepares for Celebrations - Five Years in India
SCHNABEL DC Consultants India prepares to celebrate a significant milestone in March 2013. With the completion of five years of operations in India and 2,800,000 square feet of Data Center built up area addressed across the country, the mood is upbeat.

NxtGen Datacenter & Cloud Services Advised by SCHNABEL
Mr. AS Rajgopal, CEO of NxtGen Datacenter & Cloud Services Limited, in an interview to CRN on 3-December-2012, talked about his organisation’s business plans, and association with SCHNABEL as a DC Consultant. The interview can be read at Building Cloud.

SCHNABEL Continues as Invited Speaker at IDRBT Hyderabad
The association between the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (under the Reserve Bank of India) and SCHNABEL DC Consultants India continues, with a lecture being delivered last on 05-November-2012 on the subject of Data Center Design and Planning. The program was targeted towards Data Center management and best practices for the banking fraternity.

SCHNABEL is Knowledge Partner and Event Chair at India Data Center Infratech Conference
SCHNABEL DC Consultants India was invited to be a Knowledge Partner at the India Data Center Infratech Conference, convened for the first time in India by Noppen. The event was held at the Marriott Juhu at Mumbai on 27 and 28-September-2012. The first day of the event was also chaired by SCHNABEL, with several interesting presentations made by distinguished speakers and industry members.

Mr. Juergen Schlichting Re-appointed as Chairman of the Board
On 24-September-2012, Mr. Juergen Schlichting was re-appointed as Chairman of the Board and Non-Executive Director of SCHNABEL DC Consultants India Private Limited. Mr. Schlichting has served previously as the Head of the Supervisory Board of SCHNABEL AG in Germany from 2007 to 2011. He also held the office of Chairman of the Board, SCHNABEL DC Consultants India from 2007 to 2009, before resuming this position in 2012. Mr. Schlichting is based at Lucerne, Switzerland, and travels frequently to India on official responsibilities.

With Mr. Schlichting chairing the Board, Mr. Kiran Karnik continues as Non- Executive Director as does Ms. Shaheen Meeran as Executive Director.
Data Center Design
Data Center Gamble
Technology investments in the area of Data Centers are at an all time high in the region as businesses and IT managers alike spend effort, time in building and consolidating new age Data Centers.

The first part of this series looked at some of the major areas of spend during the initial stages of designing and building a Data Center.

However, much of this desire to buy and implement only the best dwindles as one moves up from the physical infrastructure layer of the Data Center to some of the more sophisticated products, solutions and management areas.

�The Middle East does adopt a conservative outlook towards aspects of higher technology in the Data Center, especially when it comes to management investments. In many ways, they reflect the trends that were seen in more mature markets about ten years ago,� says Rakesh Kumar, research VP for server I&O at Gartner.

There are two parts to this slightly immature attitude towards Data Center technologies, as one goes beyond the basic infrastructure layer. The first is the lowkey interest - and consequently spend - in certain technologies that are seen to be not of immediate relevance. This often includes physical security and storage. The other covers a restrictive mindset that continues to look at the running and maintaining of Data Centers as single points of technology rather than as the several parts of a whole.

Rakesh Kumar, research VP for server I&O at Gartner.

Locking Down
Middle East enterprises are acutely aware of securing their data. There is not a single enterprise that would operate any part of its network without the necessary firewall, IPS and antivirus solutions installed and fully functional. Not often though do they pay equal attention to aspects of physical security.

�There is a general lack of interest in elements of physical security in the enterprise. Most of the big organisations here are clued into the aspects of digital security, but only around 10% of them realise that protecting the room in which your data resides is as crucial as protecting the data itself,� says Gilles Ortega, MENA country manager for Axis Communications.

�The technology and the ability to deploy appropriate physical security solutions have not been widely available until recently within the region. The region�s integrators generally have not had the product and deployment knowledge required to assist Data Center managers and designers to understand and solve physical security technology solutions,� points out Gary Highton, MD for Mayflex in the Middle East. Another crucial factor is that since the Middle East boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world, enterprises do not think instinctively of physical security in the Data Centers. The good news though is that the prevailing attitudes are changing and part of this is due to the advancements in physical security technology itself, which is increasingly being tied to backend networks, software and digital security.

�There are innumerable options for physical security these days. There are access control technologies, which include biometrics and there are networked cameras which help in monitoring and control,� adds Ortega.

�Physical monitoring is now becoming more involved in IP monitoring systems and this can include visual, environmental and equipment condition monitoring � covering air-conditioning, UPS, gas systems and flow rates � along with access control and power control. Systems can also be tuned to track changes conducted even by approved personnel within the Data Center across the various systems,� says Mayflex�s Highton.

Vendors also point out that there is an increase in manufacturers and distributors who can provide appropriate solutions, technical support and necessary training in the areas of physical security in the region. This in turn is expected to help Data Center managers become more aware of the potential issues and lead to a higher investment in the are of physical security.

Gilles Ortega, MENA country manager for Axis Communications.

Store Them Up
Mention storage in the region and almost always you will hear SAN. It is no exaggeration to say that most enterprises look to SAN as the answer to their storage requirements in and out of the Data Center. Though there are a few NAS and DAS structures in the region these are, more often than not, used as complementary elements to a base SAN de-ployment.

Industry vendors point out though that many of the SAN solutions being put in place are being brought in as individual solutions to fill a particular storage need as and when it arises. Moreover, a large part of existing SAN deployments in the region are being grossly mis-managed with regards to capacity, according to vendors.

�Most enterprises lack proper visibility into their storage environments. One of the rea-sons is that many buy storage from various vendors at different points in time and this makes it difficult to manage all of them as a comprehensive whole. In such a situation, when companies believe they are using close to 80% of storage capacity, in reality they might only be using around 40%,� says Omar Dajani, systems engineering manager for Symantec MENA.

A comprehensive and open management platform that is vendor agnostic and goes across various storage solutions, can help enterprises in addressing this perceived overutilisation of storage. Such a console can provide the correct state of storage utilities and help get more out of existing solutions instead of the regular practice of buying more storage to fill the gaps.

Industry vendors point out that this lack of comprehensive management is not restricted to storage solutions alone but extends across the many solutions of the Data Center; a lack, they say, that could endanger the longterm plans and data reliability of Middle East enterprises.

Omar Dajani, systems engineering manager for Symantec MENA.

Management Basics
Talk to any of the big industry vendors on the general topic of Data Center management and you are likely to hear about virtualisation, the crucial necessity of energy management and the importance of keeping data lifecycle in mind while managing a Data Center. Prod them a bit more about regional details and they are likely to tell you a different story.

�We are still witnessing poor management in Data Centers. Datacentre management evolution has been sluggish in the Middle East,� says Michael Caracache, technical support manager and product specialist at AMP NetConnect.

�The most important part of running a Data Center is end-to-end lifecycle management that would cover availability and performance, change and configuration as well as service. With complex solutions it would be useless to manage per system. In general, most regional Data Centers lag behind in this trend of consolidation and end-to-end management,� says Faisal Fouad Aljundi, senior solution architect for telecoms at HP.

Enterprise efforts or absence of the same, in high end information management is tied into another interesting market dynamic � the tendency to buy and implement solutions in the Data Center as silo structures.

Cherief Sleiman, chief technologist for the MEA at Cisco Systems says: �Enterprises here fail to look at the Data Center and its solutions as a business-integrated and overall process. They do not take a comprehensive and well-rounded view of the IT architecture and tend to invest in solutions to address specific needs at specific points.�

�Conversely, they should work at understanding the underlying concept of their business, their strategy, the goals they want to achieve over time and build a Data Center which is capable to encompassing and aiding operational efforts towards reaching those targets.

�When you build with the long term strategic picture in mind, enterprises will get Data Centers that are more manageable, work more effectively and are infinitely more scaleable while getting more investment returns from their IT purchases,� he adds.

Kumar from Gartner agrees with Sleiman: �I have noticed that Middle East enterprises still tend to make a lot of their Data Center buying decisions on the basis of apparent cost. They have a very short term view of IT functions and spend, and buy based on a need as it arises. This affects long term planning and cuts out the ability to look beyond and make decisions.�

Apart from a mindset that approaches Data Center functioning as a constant evaluation of cost, enterprises also tend to ignore the need for a comprehensive management platform that is device and vendor neutral and provides them a consistent and clear picture of all that is happening across the systems.

Vendors warn that such a constrained view of Data Centers can adversely affect not only management, but also the performance of the enterprise over the years. Moreover, enterprises in the region place a lot of faith in the mechanical and technical survival rate of their investments � so much so that they fail to hire the right personnel to man the Data Center facilities.

�IT investments inside the Data Center are like having a car. You need to give it good service at the right points in time to assure yourself of continued performance levels from the vehicle,� says Kumar.

�Even when the right technical people are hired as part of the IT team to man the Data Center there is no proper linking between facilities management and the IT team. They remain split and there is a clear demarcation between the two groups. This is tied into the fact that energy consumption and management is not given much importance in the region,� says Herbert Radlinger, channel manager MEA for Schnabel AG, a global consulting firm for Data Center design.

Add to this a lack of best practice implementation in overall management, and its easy to believe that enterprises might well be waiting for a disaster to happen.

Enterprises in the region only need to look around for some help though. Consultants like Schnabel and most other big vendors, do often render assistance to organisations in setting up the basics of Data Center management and establishing a structure and proc-ess with which enterprises can plan long term without any undue surprises.

�It is essential for enterprises to consider best practice guidelines such as those set down by the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and take into consideration more international standards in the running of their Data Centers. More important maybe, they have to address basic issues early such as what kind of a company they are and what they want to be eventually,� says Jul Johansen, solutions manager for Dell in the region.

He points out that not only is it necessary for enterprises to get certified on the right standards but that they should put in efforts to continue and follow up on these practices in order to achieve the most benefits. Dell itself is working on a system, called Project Hybrid, to address challenges across IT infrastructures and how enterprises can rethink technology to gain the most advantage for their business.

The Nay Sayers
Vendors predict that continuing mis-management of Data Centers and enterprise igno-rance of best practices could soon lead to a state of ineffective use of technology within the enterprise at best and the eventual collapse of the entire IT infrastructure and loss of data at the worst.

But amidst all the doomsday predictions, there are those who believe that the tide is turning and more of the larger enterprises and projects in the region are beginning to shine the light in the right direction.

�It is true that until about 2004 most Data Center considerations in the region were around point solutions and putting them together one at a time. But over the last 12 to 18 months I have seen many projects that indicate the trend is changing. People are beginning to plan and implement on Data Center solutions in the right manner across the GCC,� believes Dajani from Symantec.

However, he does agree, there are still a lot of holes to fill and a considerably long way to go before Middle East enterprises can reach the maturity level of markets like Europe and the US.

�When building a Data Center, organisations not only have to implement an effective management system but also take care to put in place common platforms across systems. Not having six operating systems, six applications for the same functions and six different management interfaces will certainly help in management. Common frameworks, architecture and platforms, which are built on open standards are the best way ahead for enterprises,� continues Dajani.

�There are Data Centers in the region that will be breaking out at the seams due to increasing complexity in the next 18 months. CIOs and Data Center managers need to pick up the word and march on the level of urgency required in implementing international standards in Data Center operations. They really should not be waiting for a time when the Data Centers run out of space or till their various applications come to a complete halt. That would be my advice,� he concludes.