Lightning Strikes on Google Wipe Data From Cloud
But only a tiny amount
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2015 6:32 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Mark it down: 2015 is the year Mother Nature officially declared war on the cloud. Lightning struck a Google data center in Belgium four times in rapid succession last week, permanently erasing a small amount of users' data from the cloud, the BBC reports. The lightning caused power failures and damaged a number of the disks used to store data. While most data from the affected disks was able to be recovered, Google reports that data stored on 0.000001% of the disk space is gone for good, according to a statement. Google took full responsibility for the loss of data and apologized to its customers for the "exceptional" event, reports NBC.

Nothing from Gmail, YouTube, or Google Drive was affected, notes CNNMoney. The BBC reports data centers require more lightning protection than most buildings, as multiple lightning strikes don't have to hit the same spot to do damage and could cause trouble just by hitting a telecommunications cable connected to the building. Data centers typically have a system of lightning rods to protect them, but it is still possible for lightning to get through—though experts say the chance of it erasing data is very low. According to its statement, Google is continuing to improve its infrastructure to protect cloud users. "The durability of storage is our highest priority," the company states.