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NEOM’s partnership with Oracle cloud infrastructure will power the cognitive ecosystem

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will help build and test business-critical applications, address local data residency and latency requirements in NEOM.

NEOM’s partnership with Oracle cloud infrastructure will power the cognitive ecosystem
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

NEOM—Saudi Arabia’s giga-project—will unlock the game-changing potential of technology by building the world’s first cognitive ecosystem of hyper-connected, predictive, and proactive solutions.

To support the development and rollout of these innovative technologies with the required infrastructure-–-in terms of latency, storage, security, and accessibility-–Tonomus, NEOM’s multinational cognitive technology conglomerate, announced a $500-million data center earlier this year in partnership with digital infrastructure developer Ezditek.

“As the region’s first next-generation hyperscale data center, ZeroPoint DC is instrumental in powering the ecosystem of cognitive, human-centric technologies that Tonomus is developing,” says Fabio Fontana, CEO of ZeroPoint DC.

“It is fundamental to the design and build of technologies crucial for the creation of cognitive communities such as THE LINE, which will leverage AI and cognitive technologies that analyze residents’ needs, harness big-data analytics to predict and personalize services, offer intelligent solutions and enhance human lives and experiences,” adds Fontana.


NEOM’s location is a key asset. ZeroPoint DC will support three data centers with a capacity of 36MW and significant room for further expansion, connecting the Middle East with Africa, Europe, and the Red Sea corridor, and driving economic growth.

The hyperscale data center will be fueled by 100% renewable energy, including solar, wind, and hydrogen.

Its strategic location at the nexus of terrestrial and subsea cables will deliver quick and reliable connectivity for customers.

Shortly after the announcement of the project, which will provide fast, effective, high-capacity connectivity, computing power, and data storage required for NEOM and partner businesses, Tonomus named Oracle as ZeroPoint DC’s first tenant. The partnership with the world’s largest database management company will support the increasing demand for cloud services and provide a broad set of infrastructure, platform, and application cloud services that meet global security standards.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) will enable cloud innovation while transforming Saudi Arabia’s cloud ecosystem, building the foundation for a digitally advanced knowledge-based economy. “This will further unleash the potential for businesses to collaborate and flourish,” says Fontana, adding that the partnership will offer a “dynamic digital workbench” for users to build and test applications.

OCI will also be fundamental to ensuring seamless cloud service delivery to NEOM residents.


Building the world’s first cognitive community means harnessing the latest digital technologies, and OCI, according to Richard Smith – Oracle’s Executive Vice President, Technology– EMEA – offers a platform of cloud services to make this goal a reality securely and at scale.

“In reality, this means accelerating agility and business innovation. From a technology point of view, this includes a superior performing HPC infrastructure, fully autonomous databases powered by machine learning, big data solutions, and next-gen augmented analytics tools,” adds Smith.

The partnership will enable ZeroPoint DC to perform one of its primary functions-–support for business-critical applications in an efficient, secure and scalable way. “The data center will become the vehicle for OCI to be used to its full potential and create the infrastructure and opportunity for hyperscalers to establish regional roots and provide cloud services,” says Fontana.

Data-driven decisions are one of NEOM’s objectives, and leveraging the OCI analytics platform makes this objective achievable, Smith says. “It drives KPI monitoring and the build-up of a complete analytical solution for new business areas.”


Crucially, OCI will help address local data residency, meaning that data governance can become streamlined, and latency requirements will be eased. “This will reduce operating costs for ZeroPoint DC,” adds Fontana.

Agreeing with Fontana, Smith says OCI will help to reduce infrastructure costs and ignite agility, allowing NEOM to respond quickly to business needs. “Together, we will launch new services faster, improve operations, stay ahead of ever-rising cybersecurity risks and comply with KSA’s local cloud regulations and policies.”

NEOM is building a completely innovative digital platform for different sectors, including financial services, healthcare, mobility, water, and energy, and data residency is a mandatory requirement. “OCI Jeddah region and Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer both run in Saudi Arabia, which helps achieve the data residency requirements and gives NEOM complete control over data and data security,” says Smith.

With cross-border partnerships and NEOM’s aim to be a global destination, Oracle’s dual-region cloud strategy will enable customers to deploy resilient applications in multiple geographically disparate locations without having sensitive data leave the country. “This will simplify data governance and streamline jurisdictional ownership,” says Fontana.

“All the aspects of Tonomus’ partnership with Oracle are intended to meet regulatory and compliance requirements by safeguarding the sovereignty, security, and privacy of sensitive data.”

Clearly, the partnership with Oracle represents the first chapter of Tonomus’ robust Cognitive Connectivity Hub strategy. The duo of high-performing cloud services and strategically placed data centers will service NEOM residents’ needs while attracting innovative businesses and industry disruptors to pilot their ideas at scale.

“The roll-out of ZeroPoint DC will create levels of computation and connectivity performance that are unrivalled in the region, while optimizing resources and allowing for further investment in research and development,” says Fontana.

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