Google Lost Data After Lightning Hit Its Stations

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  • 6 years ago
  • Posted: August 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Everybody hates lightning because of it’s frightening streak and loud bang. Besides it being a threat to people, Google tends to suffer even more. A heavy storm caused a brief loss of power to some Google’s cloud storage facilities. Backup power kicked in automatically and quickly, Google says, but a small fraction of data were temporarily unrecoverable.

Google’s massive servers that perform high-powered computing tasks powers Google Compute Engine, a service for business customers. The good news is no consumer-facing services, such as Gmail, YouTube or Google Drive, were affected.

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Google says that less than 0.000001% of its Western Europe permanent disk space was lost, but because the data was replicated across multiple servers, customers did not permanently lose data. Charley David, who works at Azendoo, a French startup, says his company’s services were down for 12 hours.

“Google recovered a small part of our data for us, but we had to manually recover the biggest part by ourselves,” David said. Luckily, Azendoo had data backed up in another Google data center, and fully recovered from the incident five days later.

“We are responsible for the outage, and we urge the affected customers to consider duplicating and storing their data through other services that it provides.” Google said.

“Google Compute Engine instances and Persistent Disks within a zone exist in a single Google data center and are therefore unavoidably vulnerable to data center-scale disasters,” the company said.

“As small as an overall issue it may be worldwide it highlights the need to distribute data across multiple data centers as a silo of one can be vulnerable,” Trubic said. “Google knows this and I think this particular zone may be just last in line for that ‘upgrade’ in procedure.”

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Google says it’s in the process of improving its systems, adding: “the durability of storage is our highest priority.” Reports CNN.

“We have conducted a thorough analysis of the issue … and we are working to improve these to maximize the reliability of GCE,” Google said. “We apologize to all our customers who were affected by this exceptional incident.”

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“Lightning hits are tame compared to some more interesting problems data centers face, including rats nests in generators and people shooting at fiber optic cable.”Joe Beda said.

Google’s quick action after the incident was complimented by a number of people including Joe Beda.

“Data center gets seriously thrashed and only 0.000001% of data gets lost,” Beda tweeted. “Proud of the #GCE PD team.”

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