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Cloud Computing Server Farms? In Doha?

Government-Funded MEEZA Lands New Business, Seeks More

Doha, Qatar is known in the business world as having served as the location as the launching point of current WTO negotiations. The "Doha Round of Talks" began in November 2001, and continue. The country remains a serious place about business. Although its oil revenues have triggered an impressive construction boom, it has not gone over the top with megaprojects as in neighboring Dubai; the emirate of Qatar has a stated commitment to build an information-savvy society.

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Cloud Computing was therefore a topic at hand at a recent conference in Doha. One of the key presenters was MEEZA (the Arabic word for "advantage"), a government-funded joint venture that provides managed data services, delivers SaaS, and has developed a large data center called M-Vault 1 that is located at the Qatar Software Technology Park (QSTP, and designed to deliver an annual uptime of 99.98%. (There's actually a YouTube video about the M-Vault 1.)

Vodaphone is among the clients at the data center; Meeza says it is also focusing on potential SMB clients throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The company also says it is planning to build additional data centers.

The recent tech conference in Doha also had discussions about enterprise mashups, retail and mobile commerce, social networking, and enterprise eLearning portals. The Cloud Computing presentation was delivered by Karl Roe, MEEZA's director of strategic alliances. (Among MEEZA's alliance is one signed a year ago with Fuego Digital Media QSTP-LLC, a software-on-demand company headquartered at the QSTP. Fuego is building the ‘Fuego OnDemand’ Service to provide simple Web-based business applications in Arabic, English and French to what it refers to as "the 5.3 million small and medium-size enterprises (SME) across the 22 countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region."

With an average of less than 3 inches of rain per year, there are not many clouds in Doha's sky; but on the ground, it appears that Cloud Computing is starting to catch on here, as it is throughout the world.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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