Amazon and Microsoft cloud services hit by lightning strike

lightning flash

Lightning strikes twice at Amazon and Microsoft. The US giants have their data centres in Dublin taken down after severe thunderstorms across the region. The outage follows the similar disruption that hit Amazon's US (East Coast) data centres in April

European customers of Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud services were faced with significant patches of downtime this weekend, due to lightning strikes on their Dublin-based data centres. The two Irish hubs provide Europe with Amazon EC2 services, along with Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).

Amazon reported the downtime over its public Service Health Dashboard

on Sunday, admitting lightning strikes had damaged power supplies and led to server failures. “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,” it read. “Restoring these volumes requires that we make an extra copy of all data, which has consumed most spare capacity and slowed our recovery process.”

Although it managed to bring some servers back to life within three hours, Amazon warned it could take between 24 and 48 hours until everything was back to normal.

Microsoft’s BPOS Service Health Dashboard is only available to users of the product with a login. However, the firm reported the downtime on Twitter,also blaming “power issues and claiming everything was online again four hours later.

Although the downtime was at a weekend and dealt with quickly, it brings to the forefront users fears over the unexpected loss of services. If these services had been running mission critical applications, the effects on businesses could have been serious.

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Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.