Competitive Edge

Muscat, June 4, 2019

Muhammed Nafie

Oman Data Park has recently introduced the Sultanate’s first Virtual Data Centre (VDC) –Nebula, at an Iftar gathering under the patronage of Dr Salim bin Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO – Information Technology Authority. OER speaks to ODP CEO, Maqbool Al Wahaibi about this new paradigm of cloud based services and the competitive edge it offers to the company. Excerpts from an interview:

ODP’s latest product, Nebula is the Sultanate’s first Virtual Data Centre (VDC). What is unique about this product? 
Nebula is ideal for various workloads such as critical production, backup and disaster recovery or purely for test and development. Whatever the need may be, this new ODP service is at par with international VDCs. But its unique selling point is that Nebula is offered locally and therefore satisfying all local government regulations surrounding customer data, accompanied with strong ICT skillsets available domestically. 

What are the salient features of Nebula? And how are the corporates in Oman going to benefit from it? 
Nebula will make it easier for corporates to set up their data centres. Earlier, setting up a data centre involved a lot of strenuous efforts such as procurement and testing which might last for months. With Nebula, you can set up the entire data centre as well as all ancillary services in less than a day. Companies can now be agile and go to the market quickly, without waiting for months for their data centre to be up and running. 
Nebula also gives corporates flexible choices by eliminating capex and offering attractive opex- based solutions. We are helping them minimise their operation costs. It’s offered at very competitive prices based on Pay-as-you-go, Allocation or Reservation based models. Since it’s virtual, they don’t have to procure any assets. It will shrink their total data centre costs by at least 40 to 45 per cent. 
In addition to affordability, Nebula offers an enormous amount of flexibility. We are providing the services on hourly basis. Therefore, corporates don’t need to enter into a long-term contract with us. They can avail the services for a few days, a couple of weeks or for some months. 
This flexibility will also help corporates to test some of their critical applications. Nebula allows total self-care to the customer so that they have full operational visibility and control over the infrastructure, network security as well as scalability and automation. Nebula will enable customers to control their own CPU, memory and storage levels as well, and adding load balancers, micro balancers switches and routers etc. to the customer’s network. This enables the customer to be at a unique position to be agile and respond to their market needs without having the burden of capex. 
The costumers will have the option to upgrade and downgrade as and when they want. They will have their own dashboard so that they can upgrade or downgrade their data centre specs. They can also procure more processing power as and when they want. 
Furthermore, all of these benefits are enabled with real time metering so that the customer is aware of their own VDC activity (computing, storage, networking and security) usage. Nebula also comes with ODP’s long standing 24×7 managed services making it ideal for any business entity. 

What are the key sectors that are going to benefit from Nebula? 
Nebula will serve a lot of corporate needs, especially the finical sector, utility sector, oil and gas, aviation, and logistics. We are constantly focused on being the cloud partner of choice for our customer’s digital enablement journey. The introduction of Nebula today paves the way for companies to apply proof of concept activities and agree on a migration plan before signing up. Oman Data Park already supports over 500 local and international entities, offering a full- eco-system of cloud solutions covering all types of businesses from government, oil and gas and banking to name a few. Based on convenient Opex-based models, the solutions are available in economical pay-as-you-go models that facilitate Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS) Data center as a service (DCaaS), Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS, Professional services as a service (PSaas) as well as Application as a service (Aas). 

How secure is Nebula? 
Nebula is designed with industry leading security and it will allow corporates to meet ongoing infrastructure requirements along with their compliance and security requirements. We will also be offering self-service based continuous risk management, forensics and compliance as a service. Hosted locally, Nebula also comes with its own state-of-the-art security services operated over our Tier III data centre. 

Can you talk about the competitive edge Nebula offers to ODP in the market? 
Nebula will provide ODP with a great competitive edge in the market, because we are the first to provide such a service in Oman and among the very few in the region. 
Having started with colocation services in 2012 and moving to various offerings under managed infrastructure (IaaS) and most recently the introduction of professional services (PSaaS), ODP has grown to be the market leader in Oman by giving our customers flexible choices by eliminating capex and offering attractive opex-based solutions. 
Supported by a highly qualified and professionally certified team of experts, this new service is a testament to ODP’s continued efforts aimed at helping and guiding customers towards their agile and digital transformation in perpetration towards fourth industrial revolution and Gig economy.