McDonald’s Saudi Arabia Expands its Data Center Operations Powered by R&M infrastructure


In line with its ongoing success and expansion in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh International Catering Corp., the developmental licensee for the McDonald’s Corporation in the Central, Eastern, and Northern regions of Saudi Arabia, has invested in a new data center fitted with state-of-the-art connectivity infrastructure from Reichle & De-Massari (R&M).

This Riyadh-based data center will serve as the IT operations hub for over 130 food outlets across the Kingdom and will host applications that are vital to services offered to the quick service restaurant giant’s customers and employees in the country.

According to Waleed Naseer F. Al Saud, VP, Business Support, at Riyadh International Catering Corp (RICC), the data center is the ‘brain’ of the organization’s IT infrastructure and is critical to delivering applications such as email exchange, ERP, reports, data base, web applications, digital signage, and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB).

In order to ensure its new data center leverages the best physical connectivity solutions, McDonald’s selected R&M, a vendor known for its innovative Swiss-quality cabling solutions. Waleed Al Saud said, “To maintain the highest quality in our food and service, we have to ensure that our back-end operations and applications are also of the highest quality. We therefore needed a connectivity infrastructure that was very high-performance, reliable, and capable of scaling to support the rapid growth that we have been enjoying in Saudi Arabia.”

Guided by We Care Technology, R&M’s local partner, McDonald’s engaged with the Swiss manufacturer. The quick service restaurant giant benefitted from R&M’s strong presence in the Kingdom as the vendor’s consultants also helped frame the BOQ for the project. This Level-1 support from R&M also extended through the design, implementation and training phases of the project. Members from the local integrator and McDonald’s IT team received in-depth trainings on the installation and management of all the solutions deployed through R&M Academy. This has also enabled McDonald’s to avail of the 25-year system warranty on the cabling infrastructure and systems supplied by R&M.

The new data center now boasts a number of cutting-edge R&M solutions including Cat6A cabling, HD patch panels, OM3 fiber optic cabling, server cabinets, as well as R&M’s copper and fiber optic raceway systems. These overhead raceways have been implemented to ensure the bend radius of the fiber optic cabling is well maintained and controlled within standard limits, to avoid any degradation in performance during daily moves, adds and changes.

The technology highlight however is the R&MinteliPhy Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) solution which has been used for real-time visibility as well as seamless monitoring and management of the entire physical network. With features such as easy and up-to-date documentation, remote management of infrastructure work orders and simplified asset management, R&MinteliPhy allows McDonald’s to better plan and manage future infrastructure expansions so it can extend its branch network without being held back by IT constrains.

The R&MinteliPhy system was designed to allow full infrastructure management of McDonald’s data center and office cabling cabinets at their Head Office in Riyadh. With this system, a single analyzer at the end-of-row cabinet controls all cabinets in that row, which will help McDonald’s IT team to save critical space in that data center. The system is currently monitoring more than 1000 Cat6a and fiber optic links in the data center and is ready to be linked with remote locations as well for full future management.

Manzoor Ali, Managing Director KSA, & Bahrain at R&M said, “As per McDonald’s request, the R&MinteliPhy system was also used to monitor – via SNMP – other devices in the network for more integration with the Building Management System (BMS) and active equipment. We also issued a 25 years system warranty to the customer after thorough testing and checking of all links. Two months after the installation and testing was completed, an extensive training was held for all the technical leaders as a part of R&M Academy.” This training has given the teams information about cabling standards, along with planning, installation and testing. The R&MinteliPhy system was also focused on heavily during the training and it featured demonstrations to familiarized attendees with the different features of the system. Along with this an in-depth knowledge transfer of the R&MinteliPhy hardware and software components was also delivered.

“Since the data center is the backbone and we have many mission-critical applications serving office employees, it is important for us to invest and maintain our world-class datacenter. R&M has provided us with comprehensive training on their products and on infrastructure standards for both office cabling and data center. They offer a 25-year warranty which guarantees performance, reliability and quality,” said Waleed Al Saud.