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Are data center vendors taking companies for a ride?

The volume of data center projects continues to rise in the Middle East, but experts believe that the education level that's required to run and maintain these centers is fairly low, allowing vendors to take advantage of smaller businesses.

Last month, TechXact rolled upon the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, and CNME  had the opportunity to speak exclusively to the president and vice president, both of whom expressed their concerns over the level of understanding in regards to utilising large data centers.

Dr Saiid Paryavi, IDCA Lecturer and Sr Vice President of TechXact, a common speaker and lecturer in data center technologies, believes that large projects are underway in the Middle East, as well as globally, but many companies aren't fully aware of the tasks at hand.

"Traditionally, data center projects start with an IT need, but perhaps that's not always the right solution," he said.

"It's common that they won't even know what the data center is for. In one city in the Middle East, which I won't name, the Mayor's office commissioned the building of a data center, after it was complete they came back and asked us what to do with it."

Dr. Paryavi believes that the lack of understanding of data center management means that companies are building oversized data centers and not fully utilising them. This is especially true, he claims, in the Middle East where companies are more willing to spend on larger projects.

"I've seen projects where money is not an object, and they want the biggest and baddest center out there. However, they're only using a small part of it, and this is very common in the Middle East compared to the US and Europe where they're trying to economise."

TechXact President, Mehdi Paryavi, claims that this lack of awareness around data center projects gives vendors the chance to exploit certain companies by upselling and over pricing.

"The last ten years has been driven by vendors," he said.

"They build a new cooler, and you follow. They build a new UPS, and you follow -- but they never provided a complete package, which was what everyone needed. In order to be able to take a step back and begin constructing your own data center, you need the expertise, and that's very hard to come across."

"Vendors realise that these expertise don't exist. They treat you well, and then jump all over you. They upsell to you, sell you boxes you don't need, they take advantage of you. Everyone is looking for excess profits."

He believes that where data center technology and management has evolved, perhaps the training hasn't.

"It starts with administrators and engineers being given a data center and being told to manage it. Because of the worldwide weak economy and lack of job security, people are too scared to go forward to management and tell them that they don't understand -- they can't handle two megawatts of power, they've never had an electronics course in their lives. Even the janitor needs to be aware of what he's sweeping up. One small cable cut and he could be costing the company millions of dollars."

TechXact was in the country to raise awareness of data center project management, offer advice and training on how to utilise these centers and the best tools with which to do it.

The company believes that the true problem is the lack of understanding in the region, its certified licensing is therefore available for regional, as well as global, customers.

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