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