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Recent Incident at Google Data Center Highlights Cloud Alone Can’t Protect Your Data

Lightning Strike

In a recent blog post called The Cloud Is Not Enough we discussed why it is important to take additional steps to protect your data to ensure disaster recovery. Just a few days ago a Google data center located in Belgium was repeatedly struck by lightning causing data to be wiped from their hard drives.

While some of the damaged disks did become accessible after some time had passed, a number of customers had lost their data and files permanently.

In a Statement released on August 18 2015 on its Google Cloud Status report it says that less than 0.000001% of PD space was impacted with permanent data loss. The Root Cause is described as four successive lightning strikes on the local utilities grid that powers the European data center.

Although an event like this is rare, it is possible that “cabling struck up to a kilometer away can cause enough of a shock to a data center to fuse everything in it” according to Justin Gale, project manager for the lightning protection service Orion.

As we highlight in our other recent article, placing your data into the cloud alone is not enough to protect you from data loss. Nor does it guarantee adequate Disaster Recovery. Additional steps need to be taken such as:

  • Placing data and or copying it to additional geographically separate data centers
  • Backing up to a local site within your business
  • Implementing a SanLess Storage solution
  • Creating a hybrid cloud

Bottom line – reliance on the cloud is not enough to protect you from data loss and disruptions. Take steps to ensure your information is backed up properly.


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