Innovative modular design meets challenges of new data center vision for National Bank of Abu Dhabi

April 22, 2013 – IDC Architects has been awarded the Preliminary Engineering and preparation of equipment pre-purchase packages for an innovative modular data center concept developed for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).

Computer simulated image of new design of National Bank of Abu Dhabi

NBAD is proceeding with development of a new data center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to serve as the Information Technology hub for the bank's regional and international operations. NBAD is the leading financial institution of the U.A.E. operating in 13 regions, with aggressive goals to expand to 35 global regions by 2020.

NBAD initially commissioned IDC Architects to create a Visioning Study proposing a robust data center solution. The solution is based on the principles of modularity, flexibility and expandability consistent with NBAD's "Bank-in-a-Box" modular data center concept as envisioned by Mr. Saher Arar, NBAD's Senior Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer. The success of that initial effort led to NBAD's award of this new phase of work to IDC Architects to move the project forward.

Mr. Arar commented "Bank-in-a-Box is a revolutionary concept which provides the bank with the ability of rapid expansion to support our aggressive growth strategy and at the same time improve our customer banking experience. Having a modular, flexible and cost-effective data center solution is central to this concept."

The proposed solution is to replace NBAD's current production data center in Abu Dhabi with a new state-of-the-art primary production facility. Mr. Arar and his NBAD team developed an IT strategy tailored to NBAD's current and future cloud goals. IDC Architects will provide their patent-pending modular data center (MDC), engineering and project management expertise and oversight for delivering this cost-effective, industry-leading modular data center facility.

The approach reduces first cost, long-term operating cost, and time to start up, as well as being easily adaptable to multiple locations around the globe.

Key to this approach are modular, pre-assembled data centers which are self-contained mechanical, electrical and IT units, factory fabricated and transported as a single package for field installation (plug-and-play). These modular units allow for maximum scalability, flexibility and fast deployment. MDCs can also be rapidly attached together on site to form "PODs" which can quickly scale up or down to meet a specific client's changing data management requirements.

This modular data center concept offers a host of advantages over conventional data center designs, including lower initial capital investment; smaller footprint reducing electrical power and cooling demand; faster time to market (modular data center construction requires about half the time); superior reliability, since modular data centers are factory-built and tested; superior flexibility, since modular data centers can be added or deleted as capacity needs change; superior energy efficiency; and superior "geo independence" since duplicate modular units can be quickly deployed anywhere in the world.

Our project manager is John Mogannam/SJC.

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