Brand-Rex scales the heights at Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower

Brand-Rex has been awarded a project to provide network infrastructure for the prestigious Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower, further demonstrating its strength in the Middle East region and in particular its commitment to the Qatar market.

Currently undergoing construction in the prestigious West Bay district of Doha in the state of Qatar, Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower will be a state-of-the-art hotel and residential apartment building. As the most recently developed area of the city, West Bay is home to some of its tallest and most impressive buildings, with 40 storeys within its striking design, Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower will be in good company.

Located close to the beach in what is the diplomatic centre of Doha, the area attracts some of the city’s top executives and government officials. Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower’s owners will be looking to appeal to this demographic and therefore the project’s design consultant, MZ & Partners, is making every effort to ensure that it contains the very best building services infrastructure, incorporating the latest technology.

The consultants, MZ & Partners and main contractor SAK Trading & Contracting recognised early on in the design phase that in order to create an ‘intelligent building’ the correct IT network infrastructure would be vital. They demanded a network cabling system capable of supporting network speeds of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, in order to support a diverse array of building services technology including wired and wireless Internet, IP security and access control.

After completing a tender process, local IT expert, Zerone Technologies, was awarded the contract to specify, design, supply and install a suitable network infrastructure. The company’s senior sales manager, Sourabh Singh, explains, ‘We have developed an excellent reputation for our ability to provide best in class technology for a range of projects and boast a dedicated and highly motivated service oriented team. After listening to the requirements of MZ & Partners I had no hesitation in recommending a solution from Brand-Rex comprising 10GPlus copper for the horizontal connectivity and premises distribution cables (PDC) from the company’s FibrePlus portfolio for the backbone.’

Zerone Technologies has worked with Brand-Rex for many years and, as a Premier Partner, is able to issue its globally renowned 25-year system warranty. Singh comments, ‘We have completed many installations of 10GPlus and have always been thoroughly impressed with its capabilities. The warranty means that our customers have peace of mind that their chosen solution will perform as expected for the lifetime of the installation.’

10GPlus is a 3P (Third Party Testing) approved cabling system that not only meets and exceeds the performance outlined in EIA/TIA for Category 6A, but also meets and exceeds requirements in ISO/IEC for Class EA. The 10GPlus system therefore has unparalleled levels of certification and is manufactured in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 9001:2008.

After discussing the relative merits of shielded and unshielded cable, it was decided to use the latter. Asked why, Alaa Habanjar, country manager for Qatar, Kuwait and Levant?at Brand-Rex, replies, ‘Although there was some initial concern regarding the ability of unshielded twisted pair to achieve 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance due to alien crosstalk issues, Brand-Rex 10GPlus U/UTP has a unique Reuleaux shaped cable that reduces interference from adjacent cables and incorporates very highly balanced pairs. Its performance is also independently verified in 100m length testing for both the cable and the channel configurations.’

As well as installing 10GPlus, the specification also called for a fibre optic cabling backbone. Sourabh Singh says, ‘We wanted a solution that offered high levels of resilience and, due to the building’s use, an outstanding level of fire safety performance. The PDC range from Brand-Rex met all of these requirements and more.’

The Brand-Rex PDC products are compact and provider excellent tensile performance. The cables are based on a 900?m tight-buffered fibre. The universal construction enables them to be used internally and externally without the need for transition cable joints. With a low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) construction, they will be installed in the entire backbone of Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower’s network and directly terminated at a consolidation points.

With the building programme currently on schedule, the project will be completed by 2016. The final word goes to Zerone Technologies’ Sourabh Singh, who concludes, ‘The network cabling infrastructure we are installing using products from Brand-Rex will ensure that Al Abdul Wahab Gholam Tower is able to offer its occupants the very best communications platform, while maximising the potential of its building services technology.’


745 words

Brand-Rex is a global operation, designing, developing and manufacturing the most sophisticated, high performance copper and fibre cabling systems for communications and extreme environment applications. Headquartered in Scotland, the company is committed to being a trusted market leading provider of best-in-class communications infrastructure solutions. As well as developing products and systems of the highest quality, the company is entirely carbon neutral and offsets all the CO2 created by the manufacture and distribution of its products. For more information visit

For further press information please contact:
Katrin Naefe on: +44(0)1295 256138
Phil Turtle on: +44 (0) 7867 780676
Turtle Consulting Group

Brand-Rex Appoints Aldo Strawbridge to Top Regional Post for Middle East

Aldo Strawbridge Brand-Rex Middle East Regional Sales DirectorFollowing recent growth in the Middle East, data networking solutions provider Brand-Rex, is delighted to announce the appointment of Aldo Strawbridge as Regional Sales Director.

Taking up his post in August, Aldo will be based out of the Brand-Rex Regional HQ in Dubai. With partners in 12 countries throughout the region, he expects to spend much of his time visiting customers over the first few months to gain a detailed understanding of their needs and challenges.

Aldo Strawbridge said, “Information and communication technology is at the heart of every organisation’s activities. In the Middle East we are seeing a significant increase in demand. A major driver is the requirement for new infrastructure solutions resulting from the convergence of CCTV, building management, security and access control systems to Internet Protocol (IP). Instead of deploying five or six separate cabling networks through the entire building, just a single converged network is needed. This leads to significant cost savings and improved system integration. Brand-Rex has been developing IP/Ethernet structured cabling solutions for over two decades and is at the forefront of converged network solutions.”

Aldo will join Brand-Rex from NEC UK where he previously held the role of Director of Sales and Service Operations. Aldo has been involved in the telecoms industry for over 35 years and brings with him experience of the Middle East market, having previously worked for Lucent Technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Announcing the appointment, Brand-Rex CEO Martin Hanchard said,
“I am delighted to welcome Aldo to the Brand-Rex team. His extensive business development and industry experience will be pivotal to help drive our plans to extend our reach throughout the Middle East and to continue to provide our customers with excellent support and service. Brand-Rex has been active in the Region since the 1990’s and has an impressive track record of reference projects including Dubai’s Silicon Oasis HQ in UAE, Bahrain Financial Harbour and Hamad Medical City in Qatar”

Aldo Strawbridge welcomes contact from customers and prospective customers and partners. He can be contacted at or via the Dubai Regional HQ on +971 (4)454 8644


Data Center cooling in the Middle East

No matter how you look at it, the Middle East seems to be just about the worst place to locate a heat intensive environment such as a data centre. To understand what data centre owners were doing to improve their environments, Network Middle East spoke to James Coughlan, director of Cannon Technologies, Middle East.

What Innovations are you seeing in data centre cooling in both the green and non-green spheres and how do they work?

We are not seeing any new innovations here in the Middle East around cooling but we are seeing a significant take-up in existing, proven technologies. The four main technologies we see are aisle containment, in-row cooling, chilled water and, for the smaller data centres with a limited number of racks, DX (Direct eXpansion) cooling.

Aisle containment is focused on the cold rather than the hot aisle. The main reason being that a power failure would quickly lead to a significant heat surge in the hot aisle and this brings the risk of thermal runaway. By containing the cold aisle and working to the Ashrae guideline of 24C, there is room to deal with an emergency without minimal risk to equipment.

In-Row cooling allows for very targeted cooling and is especially effective at dealing with power intensive workloads such as blade servers which create large amounts of heat.

Chilled water is increasingly being seen in high power environments such as blade servers. In the Middle East, this technology has limited use because of the problems of cooling the water. Where it is used, it can require expensive CAPEX investment to ensure that the water can be effectively cooled and that often means using coolants such as Glycol rather than a cooling tower.

Direct expansion is often favoured by data centres with a limited amount of equipment. It is relatively easy to install but has two significant drawbacks. The first is that the equipment is complex and this means that there is a high overhead in maintenance. The second is that it uses coolants which need to be carefully handled.

Free-to-air cooling seems to be very popular, can you explain the various options and how they work?

There are a number of competing technologies in the free-to-air market ranging from using just the external air to cool through to evaporative cooling solutions.

Free air cooling works by bringing in cooler air from outside the data centre and using it as input air for devices. For this to work effectively you need a number of things.

1. A location where the outside air is below 24C all year round.
2. Has wide open spaces to prevent air being blocked off by buildings.
3. Is free of dust and particulates (no sand or pollution from vehicles).
4. Is designed with a very large plenum, up to 5m, below the hardware to create a large chamber.

Another alternative is evaporative cooling. This works by using heat exchanges, rather like large radiators, through which hot water is passed and then cooled by air flowing over the surface. When the air temperature rises, water is sprayed into the surface of the cooling structure and as it evaporates, it draws the heat away. As with the example above, it relies on the outside temperature not rising so high that it starts warming rather than cooling the water.

Would free-to-air cooling or evaporative cooling work in the Middle East region or does the climate prevent this type of green cooling?

There are several challenges to using free-to-air or evaporative cooling here in the Middle East. In the summer, the daytime outside temperature can be as high as 50C while in the winter, in the main cities, it rarely drops below 20C. While night time temperatures are lower, the cost of deploying a solution that has a limited runtime would be justifying the CAPEX because the ROI would take a long time to be realised.

It is not just the temperature that is a challenge here. The Middle East is a harsh environment in many ways. Sand scours surfaces, damaging metal, blocking filters and causes problems for fans and electronics. The extreme heat can cause electronics and their casings to overheat and can even result in some components melting.

All of this combined makes free-to-air or evaporative cooling an extremely difficult technology to cost, deploy and maintain.

If no, what kind of green initiatives in cooling can local companies implement to lower their energy costs?

The most cost effective approach in this region is aisle containment. This is easy to deploy or retrofit to an existing facility. By containing the cold aisle, the input air can be delivered effectively to the hardware and the exhaust air can be vented to the atmosphere. The aisle containment prevents cooled air being wasted and delivers the most cost efficient delivery mechanism.

This solution also provides flexibility for data centre owners to use other cooling technologies to solve specific problems. For example, in-row cooling can be delivered to deal with blade servers in one aisle while other cooling might be used elsewhere to cooling storage or other servers.

What issues or difficulties are faced in the Middle East region with data centre cooling?

The heat and the harsh environment are the two main challenges with data centre cooling. There is, however, another issue that is often overlooked when talking about cooling in the Middle East and that is the cost of energy. Energy is plentiful and subsidised because the oil is a state resource.

Costs per kWh across the region average out at around 6 pence (UK). As a headline figure, that might not seem that much less than a very large UK, European or US carrier might pay on a long term contract. However, once you strip out sales taxes and, in places such as the UK, carbon emissions tax, it works out at less than 50% of the cost in other areas.

This low cost of energy means that the main impetus for energy reduction – cost – has little to no impact here. As a result, solutions that require a high CAPEX in order to deploy are not favoured because the benefits and ROI are seen as being extremely marginal.

The most common solution that we do see being deployed is aisle containment. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it can be deployed across existing and new facilities. The second is that it is simple to install and doesn’t require a re-engineering or redesign of the existing facility.

Globally, what are you seeing as the most popular forms of data centre cooling?

This very much depends on where the company is located, the type of equipment they need to cool and other factors such as energy costs and taxation.

Greater utilisation of hardware through virtualisation and cloud is driving power density in racks. In-row cooling is particularly suited to this type of issue as it can be deployed to target that heat increase as it occurs.

Where the outside temperature is low enough, free-to-air and evaporative cooling are growing in popularity but they do need to be carefully thought out and deployed where the temperature supports them for the vast majority of the year. If not, the costs of secondary cooling will eliminate any savings.

An increasingly attractive solution to many data centre owners, especially as it can be used to retrofit an existing facility, is aisle containment. It is a relatively cheap solution that can be quickly deployed either on its own or in combination with other cooling solutions and delivers almost immediate benefits.


TEXPO Agreement Signals Continued Growth Of Cannon Technologies In The Middle East & Pakistan

Cannon Technologies has taken another significant step in its planned expansion into the Middle East & Pakistan, after signing an exclusive partnership agreement with TEXPO.

The collaboration with TEXPO, the global technology infrastructure provider will cover the distribution of Cannon Technologies’ market leading T4 Data Centre Solutions to end users across Pakistan, as well as other parts of the Middle East.

Headquartered in Dubai, TEXPO is a well-respected business working across Pakistan, much of the Middle East and the US, and is well-known for its expertise in data centre project implementation.

Company CEO Dr Sarfaraz Alam was recently honoured at Power 100, an event which commends the 100 most powerful and influential leading Pakistani men and women in the world.

Commenting on the new partnership, James Coughlan, director of Cannon Technologies Middle East, says: “Our agreement with TEXPO is part of our expansion plan in the Middle East and Pakistan. We are proud to associate our products with TEXPO, a business with a similar outlook to us in areas such as innovation and customer care, and which has a superb track record as a technology infrastructure provider. We both believe that this partnership will be a step in the right direction towards growing our business and servicing our client base in Pakistan.”

TEXPO’s CEO, Dr Sarfaraz Alam adds: “We’re at the centre of a fast growing market that demands innovative and robust IT solutions. Cannon Technologies has long been a market leader when it comes to developing ideas that make data centres run more smoothly and more efficiently.

“Data centres are now the hub of so many successful businesses and we’re confident that this partnership will help to bring a new level of reliability to the market. And by opting for Cannon Technologies innovative products, we can provide great value for money to our customer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Pakistani markets.”

TEXPO will distribute the full range of Cannon’s T4 Data Centre Solutions, including Free Form Aisle Cocooning, an advanced technology which provides cost-effective air cabling containment as a single integrated solution, and features vertical closure panels, support for legacy technologies and a low energy footprint.

Other products include a range of mini-data centre side mount cooling units, as well as the award winning ServerSmart Cab server cabinets, which offer unparalleled cooling capabilities and provide the perfect environment for universal housing of 19-inch servers.

TEXPO will also be increasing the penetration of the recently updated Cannon T4 Data Centre Manager (T4 DCM) software suite. The latest version means the network operations centre (NOC) can monitor a company’s entire global data centre portfolio as a single bar on the monitor screen and allows preventative or restorative action to be instigated in seconds.


Cannon Technologies Set To Fulfil Middle Eastern promise

Growing demand across the Middle East for Cannon Technologies’ market-leading range of data centre solutions has led to a new partnership with value added distributor CEREBRA ME.

CEREBRA Middle East is one of the region’s fastest growing value added distributors. CME has significant channel coverage in territories such as the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Afghanistan,.and has recently set up a branch in KSA, increasing their market penetration.

Commenting on the new partnership, James Coughlan, director of Cannon Technologies Middle East, says: “With the recent release of several major new T4 Data Centre Solutions, including advances in Aisle Cocooning, and the continued growth of the market across the Middle East, we decided the time was right to start working with a new distributor.

“We’ve adopted new business models to help drive our sales in the region and with its experience and knowledge of the Middle East, CEREBRA are excellently positioned to help us meet this growing demand, and ensure that we continue to offer an exceptional level of service.”

Industry figures* reveal that in 2011/12, there was a 47% growth in investment in the Middle Eastern market for T4 data centre solutions, with the sector now worth $1.5bn a year.

“The figures demonstrate a considerable investment is being made to upgrade existing data centre stock,” adds Coughlan.

Among a raft of new data centre solutions developed by Cannon
Technologies is its range of ServerSmart Cab server cabinets, which offer unparalleled cooling capabilities and provide the perfect environment for universal housing of 19-inch servers.

Next week 17th October, James Coughlan of Cannon Technologies will be presenting a paper on High Density, High Resilience Data Centres at the Data Center Optimization Seminar being held in the Seven Sands Ballroom and the Dubai World Trade Center.

The Middle Eastern market will also be able to take advantage of new developments to the long established Cannon T4 Data Centre Manager (T4 DCM) software suite. The latest version means the network operations centre (NOC) is able to monitor a company’s entire global data centre portfolio as a single bar on the monitor screen and allows preventative or restorative action to be instigated in seconds.

CEREBRA will also be distributing a new range of min-data centre side mount cooling units, as well as promoting Cannon Technologies’ Free Form Aisle Cocooning – advanced technology which provides cost-effective air cabling containment as a single integrated solution, and features vertical closure panels, support for legacy technologies and a low energy footprint.

CEREBRA’s CEO Asit Ahuja adds: “Cannon Technologies’ products are a natural fit for our growing solution portfolio as they cater for a whole range of organisations, from SMBs up to enterprise class customers. The partnership will certainly enhance our ability to provide a complete range of data centre solutions and services to our channel partners and customers.”

* Figures from the Datacentre Dynamics Industry Census 2011