Set up in 2006, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) is a master developer of ports and industrial zones. By developing transformational industrial zones and managing Abu Dhabi’s ports and maritime facilities, ADPC is a major driving force behind Abu Dhabi’s increasingly sustainable and broad-based economic future .
Currently, Abu Dhabi has five ports and 13 others under development, the main one being Khalifa Port, which is slated to open in September 2012. The role of Khalifa Port is to accommodate Mina Zayed’s traffic as well as the new cargo generated by Kizad, set to become one of the world’s biggest industrial zones. Khalifa Port will become one of the biggest ports in the world when all phases are completed.
ADPC’s IT organisation caters to the needs of these ports and industrial zones, with around 600 plus network users. Being part of Abu Dhabi government’s initiative to reduce carbon footprint in the Emirate, ADPC has been making efforts for a more green IT environment, which translated into a fully-fledged server virtualisation project.
ADPC’s primary goal was to achieve a 100% virtualized server environment including all its critical infrastructure servers and services eliminating single point of failover on the systems level in the head Office in addition to the site office.
By doing so, ADPC was able to move a step ahead in virtualization and consolidated from 60 physical servers to five running around 65 virtual machines. This project simplified the management of applications and improved its performance, in addition to enabling the infrastructure to cope with the increasing business requirements in the foreseeable future.
Following ADPC IT Vice President direction to go 100% virtual and with the support of IT Management and the rest of the IT team, the project was a big success. Some of the virtualized servers/services include domain controllers, Exchange servers, Sharepoint, SQL DB servers, etc.
With the help of VMware, ADPC is now in the process to implement a cost-effective disaster recovery (DR) strategy based on VMware Site Recovery Manager and EMC Clariion SAN replication technologies.
Saif Salem Al Ketbi, ADPC’s VP of IT says the company has reaped many benefits from the virtualisation project. “We have been able to save on resources, reduce power consumption by 40 percent, and also the flexibility to move servers between our two data centres. Another benefit is having a test environment that simulates the live environment which helps us testing and developing new applications and products.”
Post-virtualisation, ADPC’s IT teams is now busy building a tier 3 data centre in the Khalif Port which will have a capacity to host 120 racks. “Khalifa port will feature the latest technology and is designed to accommodate the largest ships. It will go live with an initial capacity to handle 2 million TEUs, and will be the first fully automated port in the world,” says Al Ketbi.
He adds that the virtualisation model in two other data centres will be replicated in the new facility. “We will use 25 percent of the capacity of the new data centre for ports and industry zones and we will emerge as a cloud service provider offering IT services commercially. When this new data centre becomes functional, the other two will become DR sites for us.”
Being at the cutting edge of technology, ADPC is all set to play a crucial role in the future prosperity of Abu Dhabi by supporting the vision of the Emirate in developing ports and logistics hubs.