Breaking: Fire in Ufone’s Data Center, Knocks VAS Services

We are just told by highly reliable sources that one of Ufone’s data center, located in Islamabad caught fire today evening, around 5 PM. We are further told that fire has resulted into fatal destruction of infrastructure and the building.

A source heading a technical team at Ufone confirmed us that this particular data center was responsible for VAS services, including SMS and blackberry services.

Initial reports say that spark in backup battery was main cause of this fire. Latter on, for some reason fire control system didn’t go though to tackle the situation.

Customers in north region (Punjab/NWFP) may not send SMS during the recovery process, however, some VAS may damage country wide customer base.

Ufone is planning to recover the infrastructure immediately; however, it may take as long as 24 hours to initially deploy the machines from other data centers and the data recovery.

One of Ufone’s spokesperson confirmed us that Fire has damaged data center, however, no casualties were reported. He said that Ufone’s staff is fully equipped for recovering the things at earliest.

Update: We are told by sources at Ufone that CRBT and SMS delivery services are impacted. Provisioning services are also reported as partially impacted. Call Center wont be able to retrieve CDRs and other customer information to extent. Front desk staff/ franchises might face issues for sales / complaint booking.

Entirely possible that these activities are performed manually for a day or so, until system is fully restored.

Recovery plan includes setting up machines at alternate locations, however, backing up data will be most crucial part. Freeing up resources such as less-critical tasks or internal monitoring is also being rolled out.

Update 2: SMS Services are restored in North, all incoming-outgoing SMS are behaving normally.

Update 3: After 23 hours, almost 90 percent system and services are up and running now. Rest of the systems are still in recovery process.

Update 4: ProPakistani has learned that building design poorly supports exit paths, it was fortunate that accident happened during weekend, otherwise many employees would have trapped. Earlier reports have also pin pointed other flaws including the design and rescue.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • They’re still having issues with SMS, most of the messages sent are either being delivered late or fails…

    Plus for a week or so, there is this problem of sending multiple copies of the same text when using the unlimited 80 rs package!

  • Main shaam se sms package on kernay ki koshish ker raha ho… Package na hi on horaha hay aur na hi paisay kut rahay hay package on honay k… Ufone bohot hi ghatiya ja raha hay….sochnay pe mujboor hogaya ho k warid le lo aab…

  • hmmm so what we learn is that ufone does not have any back up servers or stuff … i heard they always had one on some disaster site where they were running a replicating server ???? …

  • meine apna sms package activate kia ta magar nahi hua aur taqreeban 1 baje meine check kia to mere balance mere account mein wapas ae te.

    • easy for you to say :) FYI …each record is duplicated several times for the backup and not under one roof

  • I have been following this news from yesterday , My company is involved in Fire protection, i visited this data centre last year for fire protection job, unfortunately this project was awarded to a cheaper brand and we can all see the results !!

  • Well it happened bcuz I was harassed by a Ufone customer call center agent and then when I complained against him my helpline 333 was blocked and a customized automated response switch was put against my line who played a joke and dropped the line every time I tried the helpline.
    I reported the case to PTA, FIA and local Police and the Provincial Govt. and thats why they burned down the place. HOW ELSE A CORPORATE MULTI-BILLION BUSINESS COULD GO INTO FLAMES ON ITS OWN.
    I hope that the Gov.t authorities protect my constitutional legal rights before the ufone ass is dragged in courts.

  • datacenter executives kahan thay???????
    if ufone claims that they have tier 3 or tier level 4 datacenter then there should be the presence of datacenter operator @ 24×7.

  • Dear All,
    the said issue has been fixed now..
    there is no issue in any VAS activity or others however backup has been restored to overcome the issue.
    and fire is such thing which is not in any one hands to control so keep using the services of Ufone and enjoy….

  • The past two days were really terrible! Ufone’s postpaid services totally crashed. I was not able to call anyone neither could I recharge my account or anything!
    Really felt like unleashing my fury on them, but then I got to know about the fire, which is rather unfortunate! I think we should cut them some slack! although caused ‘A LOT’ of inconvenience!!
    And I hope they fix their intermittent problem of SMS that seem to be delayed for hours!

  • Hope more and more organizations are becoming aware of importance of disaster recovery plans that include off site backup at multiple locations. I think serious considerations ought to be made to ensure business continuity by setting up fail over sites; so even if one DC catches fire, business is as usual through the other site.
    Perhaps deploying a smaller footprint outside of Pakistan could be a viable alternative.

  • close