DFM website to be hosted by Datafort

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has switched the main hosting for its website from Etisalat’s eCompany business unit to managed hosting firm Datafort following an incident which left the site offline for part of a day’s trading.

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By  Diana Milne Published  March 12, 2006

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has switched the main hosting for its website from Etisalat’s eCompany business unit to managed hosting firm Datafort following an incident which left the site offline for part of a day’s trading. DFM said last month that it would shortly be launching “a new improved” website, which will be hosted by Datafort with eCompany acting as a secondary “fail over” host in the event of a problem with the main site. The announcement followed an incident on February 26 in which the DFM site went offline for over 30 minutes during the day’s trading. DFM said the incident was due to a data line failure at eCompany. According to DFM’s operations manager Hassan Al Sarkel, DFM discovered that the website — which provides real time information to investors about prices on the DFM — had come offline towards the end of that day’s trading. After DFM staff had checked to see if the problem was related to its own IT infrastructure, the firm alerted eCompany. By the time eCompany had investigated and fixed the problem, more than half an hour had passed, Al Sarkel revealed. “We were not happy because first of all a company that hosts you should have their [own] monitoring system and they should know about the problem prior to us calling them and saying there is a problem,” he said. “The problem was that, for the last half an hour, our website was not available for the public and of course if something like this happens your image is ruined,” he emphasised. The main issue for DFM was not only monetary loss, Al Sarkel said. “I think something more important than money, which is the continuation of our service to the public, and also you put your reputation on a bad standing,” he stated. He added that a similar problem had occurred last year concerning a configuration issue within eCompany’s network system. When asked about DFM’s decision Etisalat told IT Weekly that the firm currently subscribes only to eCompany’s co-location service, which means that all maintenance and monitoring of the customer’s infrastructure should be done by the customer itself by its own technical staff. According to Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, general manager of eCompany and Etisalat Dubai, DFM would have received a more “robust” service had it subscribed to eCompany’s managed services portfolio, which provides 24 /7 monitoring and support. “Customers availing of such a service can definitely expect a more robust degree of technical support as opposed to a co-location service,” he claimed: “In fact our roster of clients in cludes private enterprises, multi- nationals and government orga- nisations — like Abu Dhabi Securities market who have their primary sites hosted with us — and they are very satisfied customers,” he stated. Currently DFM has launched a beta version of its new site, which is being hosted by Data- fort while the previous site remains hosted by eCompany. It is currently gathering feedback about the new site from visitors and hopes to launch the final version of the site from two locations — eCompany and Datafort — within the next two to three months. Al Sarkel said the fact that DFM’s main site was being hos- ted by Datafort, with backup from eCompany in the event of an emergency, would give it added security. “Unfortunately before this problem happened and because we faced some difficulties before, we decided we cannot rely on one vendor to give us this service; we have to rely on another vendor, which has a different resource of the internet,” he added.

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