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Data frazzled at Google center after lightning strikes it four times

Cloud storage options are growing all the time, and many big tech firms are investing heavily in the platform as they encourage us to ditch our hard drives and entrust all our data with them instead. However, from to time the massive centers holding all the data suffer technical issues, or visits from Mother Nature.

Take Google, for instance. A lightning strike hit one of its centers in Belgium in recent days. The company said data had been erased from some of its disks after lightning hit one of its data centers not once, not even twice (it never strikes the same place twice, right?), but four times.

Related: Apple’s solar-studded data center in Arizona catches fire

The affected center is linked to Google’s Compute Engine cloud service, which undertakes computing operations for business customers, so fear not – all your Google Drive, YouTube, and Gmail files have not been frazzled.

In fact, CNN reported that while data on a number of disks has been permanently lost, that data was still recoverable from back-ups on other servers (that’s right, folks, always back up your data!).

Related: Microsoft services outage caused by overheating data center

And even then, the data affected by the lightning strike amounted to a mere 0.000001 percent of its Western Europe disk space, so if your business was caught up in the incident then you were very, very unlucky.

Google said it has an “ongoing program” aimed at improving the durability of its storage hardware to deal with such incidents. While the event is a clear reminder of the kinds of challenges that face cloud computing operations, it’s certainly reassuring to know Google was able to deal with the damage and restore all lost data for the affected businesses.