Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran’s 1st Cloud Data Center Launched

Afranet has been asked by the government to provide the infrastructure for social media application Telegram to move its servers to Iran.
Afranet has been asked by the government to provide the infrastructure for social media application Telegram to move its servers to Iran.

Iran’s first cloud data center was launched on Sunday.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi was present at the launch of Afranet Cloud Data Center, IRNA reported.

Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand.

It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (such as computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort.

Nearly 400 billion rials ($11.5 million) have been invested in the project to provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers that may be located far from them.

At the event, it was announced that the cloud data center has 20,000 virtual servers and Iranian entrepreneurs can use the company’s services free of charge.

A virtual server is shared by multiple website owners such that each owner can use and administer it, as though they had complete control of the server.

In line with Iran’s High Council of Cyberspace that had recently ruled that popular online messaging networks have a year to move their servers to Iran, state representatives have been negotiating with several companies active in this sector in Iran, including Telegram.

Telegram, with 20 million active Iranian users, is the most popular social media application in the country.

In recent months, the Iranian government and Telegram have been devising schemes in this regard.

At the launching ceremony of the cloud service, Afranet CEO Fereydon Qasemzadeh said his company is one of the private firms tasked by the government to provide essential infrastructure for implementing the scheme.


  Third Local Search Engine

Another web-related development was the announcement this week that the third indigenous Iranian search engine will be coming soon.

Alireza Yari, the head of ICT’s research center, announced that the ministry is starting its collaboration with “an unnamed company” for developing Iran’s third indigenous search engine.

During the last three years, two indigenous search engines—Parsijoo and Yooz—were launched with governmental support.

The first official Iranian search engine Yooz (Cheetah in Persian) was unveiled in February 2014. (meaning Persian Search) was launched after nearly two years of research and development. The search engine became fully operational in September 2015.

Iran has also been recently negotiating with Russian officials about the possible entry of Yandex.

Yandex is a Russian multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products. Yandex operates the largest search engine in Russia with about 60% market shares in that country.

After President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, his administration pledged major reforms to the ICT sector both in terms of quality and service prices.

For developing local search engines, the state has allocated over 170 trillion rials ($52 million) for a five-year period.

The budget is expected to cover the expenses of setting up the engines, developing the infrastructures, offering legal support, conducting research and development, extending customer service and undertaking maintenance.