Google lost a small fraction of data store in its Belgian data centre after the building was struck by lightning four times in a row. The facility is equipped with redundant systems that are meant to deal with the possibility of lightning strikes, which shows just how much damage was done.
The affected systems were storing data dealing with the Google Compute Engine instances; which allow Google’s enterprise customers to run virtual machines in the cloud. While the failsafe managed to prevent anything going wrong after the first lightning strike, four pushed it beyond the limit and several storage drives began reporting I/O errors.
At the most, only 5-percent of the drives were actually affected by the incident; and Google has been able to restore them to working condition. Overall, the company has said that only 0.000001-percent of the data in the facility was completely lost to the storm. However, considering the amount of data that Google works with on a daily basis, this could still potentially be terabytes of information.
Google is now in the process of moving away from the the storage hardware configuration that allowed the failure to occur, and is taking precautions against it ever happening again. Considering that the chance of a person being struck by lightning over his entire life time is 0.00008-percent. The chance of that happening four times in one night requires quite a bit of angering the the god of thunder.