Google Data Center Hit by Natural Disaster
NEW YORK — Lightning struck one of the data center of Google four times last week, causing a tiny but permanent loss of data. An electrical storm on August 13 “caused a brief loss of power” to some of Google’s cloud storage systems in a Belgium facility. Backup power kicked in automatically and quickly, Google says, but a small fraction of data were unrecoverable.
The data center powers the Google Compute Engine, a service for business customers who rely on Google’s massive servers to perform high-powered computing tasks. No consumer-facing services, such as Gmail, YouTube or Google Drive, were affected.
In its incident report, Google says that less than 0.000001% of its Western Europe permanent disk space was lost.
Google said it was “wholly responsible” for the outage, and it urged affected customers to consider duplicating and storing their data through other services that it provides. The company said it lacks redundancies in its Compute Engine system.
“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.
Aaron Trubic, managing partner of technology communications at Proper Villains, thinks Google did the right thing.
“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.”
Google says it’s in the process of improving its systems, adding: “the durability of storage is our highest priority.”
“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.”