Using the cloud ensures business continuity in crisis

Mansoor Sarwar, Regional Director at Sage Middle East.
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Updated 28 May 2020

Using the cloud ensures business continuity in crisis

Business leaders dedicate the bulk of their time to strategizing for growth and longevity by equipping their organizations with the data and technology required to get things done smarter and faster. However, as is often the case, one small crisis like a security breach or a natural disaster can significantly compromise your business data and disrupt business continuity. To ensure your organization is capable of weathering such events with minimum interruption, you need to put proper safeguards in place and develop an effective business continuity plan.

Here are six benefits of moving core business lines to the cloud for business continuity purposes and the contingent risks if you have not already migrated.

Faster recovery time

One of the advantages of operating in the cloud is that you can back up your entire server. All the information, systems and applications are grouped into one software block or to a virtual server for easy recovery. This can be managed in minutes compared to older software with questionable restoration times.

Lower setup and recovery costs

Recovery efforts for cloud-based operations are more cost-efficient to implement and execute than traditional backup methods. Traditional backup involves the relatively expensive step of setting up physical servers at a remote location.

No location ties

Choosing the right physical location for a disaster recovery facility is critical because if the facility is affected by the same disaster, important information may be lost forever. 

With cloud technology, you can rest assured that your backup facility is located in another part of the world if disaster strikes.

Easier recovery of fixed assets

What about the fixed assets of your business — tangible things like desks, chairs, and equipment? You need to give your insurance provider an accurate record of purchasing costs and depreciation to start your recovery process. What if that data is damaged in the event as well? Safeguarding that information in the cloud can ensure quick recovery.

Coverage as the business grows

Compared to physical systems, cloud backup is virtually limitless. As your organization grows, your cloud solution grows with you without risking the additional data workload. In addition to saving money by only paying for the storage space you need, you also have the option of easily adding extra storage.

Better security against cyberthreats

Operating in the cloud enables you to back up and restore your business-critical files in case they are compromised. 

When it comes to physical security of their data and facilities, small and medium-sized businesses can only do so much to prevent breaches.  

On the other hand, cloud software vendors can employ stronger physical security measures at their facilities to ensure data safety.

• The writer is the regional director at Sage Middle East.


YORK’s sustainable cooling solutions in Grand Mosque

Updated 05 August 2020

YORK’s sustainable cooling solutions in Grand Mosque

HVAC company Al-Salem Johnson Controls (YORK), which operates the “Ajyad” and “Al-Shamiya” cooling stations located in Makkah’s Grand Mosque, ensured that pilgrims performing the Hajj rituals this year did so in a cool and pleasant atmosphere inside Al-Haram.
“YORK is proud to serve the guests of Allah in Makkah Al-Mukarramah by accompanying the pilgrims in their Hajj rituals and providing a fresh and cool ambience throughout their Hajj journey, especially in Makkah’s Grand Mosque,” the company said.
According to YORK, the total cooling capacity of the two cooling plants is 159,000 tons (equivalent to the cooling required for 15,000 medium-sized apartments). YORK chillers pump the chilled water to more than 1,000 Saudi-made air handling units (AHUs) located inside the Grand Mosque, which then distribute 100 percent fresh and cool air that reaches every corner of Al-Haram. The chillers’ latest technologies and the AHUs’ highly efficient filtration system help to maintain the required temperature and humidity levels necessary for ensuring a comfortable ambience for the pilgrims.
The cooling capacity is regulated by the number of pilgrims and worshippers inside the Grand Mosque. Thus, owing to the reduced number of pilgrims this year, the total cooling capacity was halved to nearly 80,000 tons (equivalent to the cooling of 8,000 medium-sized apartments), provided through 63 YORK chillers located inside the Ajyad and Al-Shamiyah cooling plants.

LIGHTLIGHT

Owing to the reduced number of pilgrims this year, the total cooling capacity was halved to nearly 80,000 tons, provided through 63 YORK chillers located inside the Ajyad and Al-Shamiyah cooling plants in the Grand Mosque.

The company has designed a highly efficient and smart ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration system for Al-Haram, taking into account the crowded nature of the location as well as the ability of the cooling stations to adapt to the Grand Mosque’s ongoing expansion project.
The Al-Shamiyah plant, which is one of the two world’s largest cooling plants of its kind, contains 24 YORK OM centrifugal chillers. The chillers have been customized and engineered especially to meet the requirements of the Grand Mosque. Its special industrial design helps in long-term operation with high efficiency, while the variable-speed drive (VSD) technology contributes in reducing the annual energy consumption by about 30 percent, in addition to reducing the amount of sound.
These chillers feature “smart control,” which enables the chillers to estimate the rate of congestion inside Al-Haram by calculating the difference between the temperature of the water that is pumped to and from the mosque. Accordingly, the chiller increases or decreases the cooling capacity in proportion to the size of the crowds inside the mosque. The plant offers sustainable cooling solutions as its chillers use a chilled water system with an eco-friendly refrigerant.
In addition to the more than 100 operation and maintenance technicians stationed around the clock inside the Grand Mosque to ensure the efficient operation of the cooling stations and quick handling of any untoward incidents, the company dedicated an additional response team during Hajj to quickly respond to any maintenance requests or emergency situations.