ASPGulf Media & Resource Centre - Get updated!

News and Events

Microsoft Azure had more downtime in 2014 than main cloud rivals

Jan 21, 2015

Microsoft Azure suffered more downtime than its main rivals in 2014, with almost 54 hours of downtime for its two main services, according to detailed analysis.

Azure Object Storage was down for 10.89 hours and Azure Virtual Machines experienced 42.94 hours of downtime globally in 2014. Azure had 241 outages in total.

In comparison, the analysis from CloudHarmony showed Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced fewer than five hours downtime in total for its storage services – Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) – with 35 outages.

Google’s cloud storage was down for less than 15 minutes in 2014 and its cloud computing platform suffered just under four hours offline. SoftLayer – now part of IBM – had a total of 11 outages with just under 15 mintes downtime for its storage service.

In Europe, AWS EC2 was down for 19 seconds and S3 was down for little more than two minutes. Google experienced no downtime for its cloud storage in Europe but its cloud computing services were down for 2.22 hours.

Microsoft Azure suffered the most downtime in Europe, with 5.97 hours for its cloud compute service and 1.31 hours for its storage service.

As prices tumble and more businesses put their IT in public clouds, the continuity of services will increasingly come under the spotlight.

More on cloud computing

  • Benchmark tests shed light on Google, AWS SSD claims
  • Microsoft Azure failure puts websites offline
  • Lightning takes down Amazon and Microsoft cloud services
  • Price cuts and posturing in the public cloud war
  • Research shows full extent of cloud computing price war


Commercial technology partner at law firm Kemp Little, Paul Hinton, said as more large companies start using the cloud, suppliers are having to offer more legal guarantees. However, large companies are now negotiating better terms around this.

"Any serious IT team using cloud will not use it for important information, unless it has backup protections for the data, which can undermine the business case for cost reduction by using cloud," he said.

According to an RBC Capital report, AWS's price per GB Ram was $42 in October 2013 and fell to $25 in December 2014.

In the same period, Google’s price dropped from $52 per GB Ram to $32; IBM SoftLayer reduced its price from $55 to $32; and Microsoft Azure fell from $46 to $34.

Downtime incidents

In November 2014, Microsoft Azure's storage service suffered a massive outage that sent websites crashing.

Microsoft admitted this was because a process to deploy updates progressively and in small manageable chunks was not followed.

The process, known as flighting, is used to run health checks as the update is deployed.

Microsoft corporate vice-president Jason Zander said: "The standard flighting deployment policy of incrementally deploying changes across small slices was not followed."

Natural disaters have also caused major cloud outages at the large suppliers. In 2011, Amazon and Microsoft's European cloud services were down for a weekend after a lightning strike caused power failures at their datacentres in Dublin.

The lightning strike took out the main power supply and affected part of the phasecontrol system that synchronises the backup generator plant, causing a disruption to the service of Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform for the second time that year, as well as affecting Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite.

Source: TechTarget


Google wipes a/cs of 150,000 email users by mistake

Mar 2, 2011

LONDON: Search giant Google has confirmed that about 150,000 Gmail users around the world have had their accounts , including every email,
application, contact and calendar information, deleted.
The problem first arose on Sunday when thousands logged onto their accounts, only to find all their personal information had been erased, reports
the Daily Mail. Many found their accounts had been effectively reset, as they were greeted by the message Google welcomes new users with.
Their frustration found its way onto online message boards where they complained that everything had been lost. "I have lost ALL on my
emails/folders etc from Gmail. Why would this happen? How can I restore everything?" wrote one frustrated user.
Meanwhile, Google is spending several frantic hours trying to restore the service, used by an estimated 200million people. 'We've already fixed problem for some individuals. Our engineers are working as quickly as possible and we hope to have everything back to normal soon. We're very
sorry for the inconvenience to our customers," a Google spokesman told the Huffington Post.




ASPGulf deploys managed Exchange for Gargash Insurance

May 1, 2010

ASPGulf successfully deployed enterprise level messaging platform for Gargash Insurance with Hosted Exchange 2007 and Blackberry Enterprise Services. For the past two years, Gargash Insurance was using hosted POP3 messaging services from ASPGulf and it was confining the organization’s ambitious growth trajectory. At the time of upgrading the messaging platform with Hosted Exchange at ASPGulf Data Centres, Gargash Insurance actively considered Google Apps, Hosted Exchange from North America and in-house hosting for feasibility as alternatives. Being from a mission critical industry such as insurance with prohibitive guidelines and practices, “flexibility + audit control + affordability” was of prime importance and these critical requirements gave an edge in taking a decision in favour of ASPGulf. Being an existing service provider, ASPGulf’s unique service levels were familiar to Gargash Insurance which also facilitated the decision process.

Gargash Insurance is one of the leading insurance broking and advisory consultancy services provider, representing all major insurance companies and offer end-to-end insurance services from individuals to large organizations. Gargash Insurance users from their multiple locations access their collaborative messaging platform using Outlook Anywhere, Outlook Web Access and Blackberry Enterprise Server. This gives total mobility to the users where they can administer and practice the organization’s own policies both at work station as well as PDA levels. As a DR solution to the Exchange deployment, the existing POP3 messaging platform is maintained at ASPGulf’s alternative DC facility to collect mails in event the primary Exchange outage exceeds the threshold window. ASPGulf is also offering a dedicated email security service for filtering out email borne anomalies such as Anti Spam, Anti Virus and Malware threats; thus routing more refined mail traffic to their corporate network.



ZafinLabs partners with ASPGulf to offer NBAD Star Loyalty Programme on outsourced model

April 25, 2010

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, has launched its NBAD Stars© Loyalty program, which allows credit cardholders earn NBAD Stars on every eligible credit card purchase and collect great rewards that offer choices and flexibility; and this program is available to all NABD customers through a dedicated portal

From May 2nd, NBAD Credit Cardholders – Classic, Gold, and Platinum – will automatically earn NBAD Stars on all purchases made on their NBAD Credit Cards. NBAD Stars Loyalty applies to existing Credit Cards and newly issued ones. In addition, NBAD Cardholders can earn bonus NBAD Stars at selected Partners that range from air lines, travel agents, hotels, restaurants, retailers and more. The NBAD Stars programme is built on the basis of a coalition model so it allows consumers to accumulate Stars not only from NBAD but from its NBAD Stars participating partners as well.

“NBAD strives to bring to the market innovative and pragmatic products that distinguish our Bank in the market. The NBAD Stars Loyalty programme is an example of NBAD analysing and exploring consumers’ demands and finding the right partners for a service that truly serves consumers,” said John Malouf, NBAD’s General Manager of Consumer Banking in the Domestic Banking Division. “As a financial institution with the vision to become the Number One Arab Bank, NBAD has made consumers its primary focus and continues to produce products that makes banking with NBAD rewarding. Our customers expect us to always develop market-leading products.” To claim their rewards, NBAD Cardholders can redeem their NBAD Stars from the wide range of NBAD Stars partners.

The above program is provided on an end-to-end outsourced model by ZafinLabs (, a Dubai Silicon Oasis based company on their miRevenue application in close partnership with ASPGulf. The primary production site and the Disaster Recovery (DR) site is provided at ASPGulf two different DC facilities with auto fail-over configured for any DR invocation. ZafinLabs opted to partner with ASPGulf based on the positive market feedbacks, ASPGulf’s proactive and consultative approach during the entire engagement.


Abu Dhabi Culture & Heritage offered redundant architecture

November 12, 2009

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the government department that manages Cultural & Heritage scenario in the emirate of Abu Dhabi has its online presence managed and hosted from ASPGulf’s state of the art Data Centre. Since the department undertakes and simultaneously manages multiple events which has international audience, service availability was of prime importance. ASPGulf teamed with the ADACH IT Team, web application developers and offered a high available web hosting platform with primary web infrastructure deployed from ASPGulf Data Center facility. The solution was architected based on various parameters which was in sync with department’s IT strategy while not compromising on security or service standards. After conducting profound analysis through several meetings with the ADACH team, ASPGulf team succeeded in creating an innovative architectural concept for ADACH in building up a suitable mirror site infrastructure. The architecture constitutes of fully managed mirror sites to for user load distribution and DNS Fail Over implementation for addressing the network and internet availability.

About ADACH:

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is the institution in charge of conserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi. Established in October 2005 as an authority of the Government of Abu Dhabi, it is administered by a board of directors chaired by H. E. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan.



ASPGulf renews commitment to quality by recertifying ISO 9001: 2008

October 19, 2009

ASPGulf has successfully re-certified ISO 9001:2008 for the second term after three years from when it was initially audited. The objectives for certification were higher customer satisfaction, effective processing, improved services, and addressing changing market needs. The ISO 9000 certification standardizes, organizes and controls operations; it provides consistent dissemination of information and a platform for continual improvement. ASPGulf are focused on providing customers reliable services they can depend on.

Quality Management

Clients are increasingly becoming quality-conscious and it has form a part of their due diligence to know up front whether the services that are offered meet their needs. A certified Quality Management System demonstrates your commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. ASPGulf a subsidiary of Al Bawardi Technology Group was the first data centre in the Middle East to achieve official International Standardization Organization (ISO) 9001:2000. Now with expansion of three Data Centre foot prints in UAE, ASPGulf has further reassured to Clients, Partners, well-wishers and the community itself of its commitment to quality by getting this re-certification.

About ISO 9001

An ISO 9001:2008 certificate proves that your Quality Management System has been certified against a best practice standard and found compliant. Issued by a third party certification body/registrar, the certificate lets customers know they can trust that you have implemented the necessary internal processes to meet obligations. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the source of the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families of quality and environmental management standards and some 14 000 International Standards for business, government and society. ISO is a network of national standards institutes from more than 140 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry, business and consumer representatives.



ASPGulf re-introduces hosted Exchange with 2007 edition

August 15, 2009

ASPGulf has successfully re-launched messaging industry’s front runner Microsoft Exchange 2007 on a shared platform. Exchange 2000 was delivered on Citrix platform back in year 2000 when the company was launched and our Client/users ever since have been migrated to latest versions with the re-launch. Exchange 2007 is deployed on Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) which offers higher service availability and on state-of-the-art hardware infrastructure. The rich in-house Exchange skills combined with the redundant architectural deployment offers a robust and trouble free messaging experience to our Clients. The service also includes a perimeter level security on the messaging which filters and protect the mailing system from any form of malware, spam and viruses.

About Microsoft Exchange

MS Exchange is by far the largest corporate messaging platform across the world (from 29% in 2005 to 39% in 2009 Installed Base). Its unique user friendly features at the same time meeting corporate business requirements such as emails, Calendar sharing, Global Catalogue, Public folders, Active Sync, and its integration with host of other applications either MS or non MS type have attracted SMB to Enterprise users to move on to MS Exchange as a corporate platform. Hosted Exchange Is ideally aimed for SMB segment where they do not invest on HW, SW and Skill set as it is deployed on fully redundant infrastructure and completely managed by ASPGulf’s highly experienced and certified team of professionals.



ASPGulf acquires CH2M Hill as one of its Client at the new Data Centre

January 1, 2009

CH2M Hill headquartered near Denver, Colorado, an employee-owned global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, management and operations for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $5.8 billion in revenue and more than 25,000 employees, CH2M Hill is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2008).

The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of energy, water, transportation, environmental, nuclear and industrial facilities. The firm has long been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer, including being named by FORTUNE as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For and one of America's Most Admired Companies (2008).

Ch2M Hill in one of its government Client, Emirates Nuclear Energy Commission (ENEC) located in Abu Dhabi is hosting their complete backend server infrastructure comprising of HP Servers, Sun Servers and EMC Storage in a redundant and virtualized environment mode housed on two 47U Racks. The managed and hosted application suite includes GIS, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server portal, Exchange 2007, Oracle Apps, Primavera and some bespoke vertical applications.

Currently ASPGulf is providing managed services to CH2M which consisted of the following:

  • Rack space including Power and Data center environment with connectivity
  • OS Management (windows and Linux)
  • Daily backup and weekly backup and offsite storage
  • Security Management
  • Remote Hands
  • Co-ordination with HW vendors of Ch2M
  • Network Management
  • Monitoring of HW, CPU and Disk and connectivity with Alerts to client by email
  • Helpdesk 24 x 7
  • Co-ordination and management of MPLS network with ETISALAT
  • DNS Management



Google wipes a/cs of 150,000 email users by mistake

Mar 2, 2011

LONDON: Search giant Google has confirmed that about 150,000 Gmail users around the world have had their accounts , including every email, application, contact and calendar information, deleted.
Learn More

ZafinLabs partners with ASPGulf to offer NBAD Star Loyalty Programme on outsourced model

April 25, 2010

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, has launched its NBAD Stars© Loyalty program, which allows credit cardholders earn NBAD Stars on every eligible credit card purchase and collect great rewards that offer choices and flexibility.....

Learn More

Rabid Support

Microsoft Red Hats Oracle Citrix Double Take VMWARE Plesk HP IBM BorderWare Cisco
Bookmark and Share
©2010 ASPGulf