Lightning Zaps Amazon, Microsoft Cloud Services in Europe

Paul Lilly

There are certain risks involved with living in the cloud, with at least one of those being weather related. Underscoring this point, a lighting strike in Dublin over the weekend led to a power failure that knocked out data centers for Amazon and Microsoft, bringing the two companies' cloud services offline, ComputerWorld reports .

Lightning struck a transformer near Amazon's data center, causing an explosion and fire that prevented the online retailer from revving up its backup generators. This led to a total power outage affecting one of Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) Availability Zones in its Dublin data center, Amazon's main European center for its cloud services.

"We know many of you are anxiously waiting for your instances and volumes to become available, and we want to give you more detail on why the recovery of the remaining instances and volumes is taking so long," Amazon said on late Sunday. "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 ... While many volumes will be restored over the next several hours, we anticipate that it will take 24-48 hours until the process is completed."

The lightning strike also affected access to Microsoft's BPOS services, which was brought back online in the wee hours of the morning. Amazon's cloud service has since been restored as well.

Image Credit: Flickr veggiefrog

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