ISLAMABAD: Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms inaugurated the Cloud Data Centre at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad on Thursday. The Centre aims to facilitate universities to become part of the world-class research environment. Building of the Centre has been donated by Huawei Technologies.
The Minister was accompanied by Mr. Sun Weidong, Ambassador of China in Pakistan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC. Vice Chancellors of various public and private sector universities and other notables were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
In view of the rise of internet and web-based technologies as more strategic tools than ever before, HEC has established the Centre to improve productivity, enhance business processes, and accelerate change. Data centres are the strategic focus of IT efforts to protect, optimize and grow the business.
HEC’s Cloud services aim at increasing efficiency, productivity and collaboration between the universities of Pakistan and reduce costs by using an optimized IT infrastructure. This data centre will provide services like Virtual Data Centres (VDC), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Safe Campus Central Solution and Central Surveillance, Unified Communication and Shared Services, Storage as a Service, and Training as a Service.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal congratulated HEC on the launch of Centre and termed it the backbone of infrastructural and technological development of universities in the current digital age. “It is our responsibility to provide our new generation with good learning opportunities, as we have to make the country an Asian Tiger under Vision 2025 by joining the world’s top 25 economies.”
Reiterating the resolve to strengthen universities, he said that innovation has become a ‘currency’, adding that innovation requires creativity and it is the universities where creativity comes from. “Turning around a country is a complicated and challenging process, but it is not an impossible journey,” the Minister stressed.
The Minister said that the 21st century is the century of economic ideologies and Pakistan needs to overcome its political instability to make economic uplift. He said that the nation need to follow the slogan of ‘Working harder, better and smarter’ to strengthen its economic muscle.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC said that the launch of Cloud Data Centre is a way forward to realizing the HEC dream of linking up universities through fast and effective technologies. He said that HEC is committed to facilitating the universities for the welfare of society and the socio-economic uplift of the country. He said that HEC is fully cognizant of responsibility to develop human resource in the country so as to make the future prosperous. “The sky is the limit,” he underscored. Following the establishment of Cloud Data Centre, he announced, the HEC is planning to set up R&D Centre in the near future.
The Chairman said the HEC, despite passing through various hardships in the last years, is now efficiently performing its obligations with the generous government support. The Government has set the growth of higher education in the country as a first priority, the Chairman maintained.
Appreciating Huawei Technologies for donating building for the new Data Centre, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that the HEC-Huawei joint endeavours were started back in 2006, adding that since then, the two sides have been working on various initiatives for the promotion of technological advancement in Pakistan. He said that under an agreement between HEC and Huawei, the latter would train people in the new technologies that will be introduced.
Mr. Anwar Amjad, Director General IT, HEC briefed the audience about the goals set for the coming years and narrated the history of technological development initiatives of HEC. He also described the salient features of Cloud Data Centre, a modular data centre, which has a total of 20,000 cores (CPU), 20 BP storage capacity, 30 TB RAM, 100,000 VDI and 5000 Could V-Hosts.
Earlier, the Huawei Technologies was engaged for deployment of state-of-the-art Modular Data Centre based on Hybrid Cloud on leading technologies. The facility will extend a rich and collaborative platform to Higher Education Institutes for hosting their services over the offered infrastructure and research collaboration platform locally in Pakistan.
Public sector across the world has taken a note of the benefits derived in the private sector and it is striving for the best practice. Government organizations are redefining their businesses to deliver improved citizen services. Cloud services are about focusing an organization on becoming world class with processes that deliver the highest levels of performance than just centralization or consolidation of similar activities in one location. Staff Report
Caption: Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms accompanied by Chinese Ambassador Mr. Sun Weidong inaugurates the Cloud Data Centre at HEC Islamabad on Thursday. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC are also present.