Lightning strikes Google Belgium data center and initiates data loss

Google, the internet juggernaut which stays miles ahead in technology has admitted that it’s helpless when it comes to the rage of Mother Nature. The web services giant has admitted that around 0.000001% of data was wiped out when a lightning stuck four times on its Belgium data center in this week.

Generally, data centers require more lightning protection that most other buildings. But with four successive strikes, no data center in the world would be safe from getting disrupted. And this is what has happened to Google’s Belgium data center.

Justin Gale, project manager for the lightning protection service ORION, said lightning could strike power or telecommunication cables connected to a building at a distance and still cause disruptions. In this case, the lightning struck the facility directly in a place where storage servers where operating and that caused damage to the computing hardware and other power components resulting in data loss.

The Belgium data center of Google offers Google Compute Engine services where Google clients can store data and run virtual computers in the cloud.

Presently, an official statement from Google is awaited on which clients were affected or what type of data was lost. But the company admitted in its recent blog updates that only 0.000001% of disk space was permanently affected in this disruption.

Although automatic auxiliary systems restored power quickly, and the storage systems are designed with battery backup, some recently written data was located on storage systems which were more susceptible to power failure from extended or repeated battery drain.

Google admitted that it would continue to upgrade hardware and improve its response procedures to make future losses less likely.

The company has a business continuity plan in place and so the backup meant for disaster recovery will help in restoring the lost data for the company within a couple of days.


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