Europe lightning causes major cloud outage for Microsoft, Amazon

Europe lightning causes major cloud outage for Microsoft, Amazon

Credit: KING

Europe lightning causes major cloud outage for Microsoft, Amazon

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 11:02 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland -- The European cloud computing networks for Microsoft and Amazon experienced a major outage Sunday after lightning struck in Ireland, knocking out power to a large Dublin-based data center, reported TechFlash.com.

The incident made many sites using Amazon’s EC2 cloud and Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) experience a lengthy bit of downtime. While BPOS was only out for a few hours, users of the EC2 cloud are still waiting for their services to be restored. It is expected they may have to wait for up to two more days before things are back up and running, according to Techflash.

Amazon reported that the lightning hit a transformer near the Dublin data center which resulted in an explosion. The explosion caused a fire that temporarily knocked out all utility service and created the total outage. The data center is Amazon’s only European data location, meaning EC2 customers have no other alternative Amazon locations to fall back on.

"Due to the scale of the power disruption, a large number of EBS servers lost power and require manual operations before volumes can be restored," said Amazon. "Restoring these volumes requires that we make an extra copy of all data, which has consumed most spare capacity and slowed our recovery process."

This outage was not a first for customers of Microsoft’s BPOS. Over the past year the cloud service has seen several brief interruptions.

No U.S cloud services were directly affected by the power outage.

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