A fire in the Global Switch data center in Paris causes the fall of Google services in Europe

In the last few hours, the telecommunications provider company, Global Switch, has alerted about a fire that occurred in one of its two data centers located on the Paris campus. There are indications that the fire could have been caused by a water leak in the battery roomalthough it is still under investigation.

As a consequence of said altercation, the company has been forced to cut off the power supply as a safety measure, as the water intrusion has caused several clusters to fail. Thanks to the rapid intervention of the Fire Brigade and the proper functioning of the building’s fire-fighting systems, greater evils have been avoided, since no one has been injured.

All this generates serious problems for Google, which is seeing how many of its services are interrupted as a result of this event. Other websites, companies and individuals that maintain relationships with Global Switch are also affected, such as the pages of some French government institutions. However, the company has been working urgently to restore them.

The fire that occurred in the Global Switch data center highlights the need for take extreme precautions in these spaces that are so essential for communications, not only to avoid economic losses, but also to prevent information chaos.

The affected

Affected customers include services managed by Corubevoie, Lille, Saint Brieuc, Cannes and the SaƓne-et-Loire department. Similarly, the website of the Lyons airport and the portals of the French consulates and embassies are damaged.

It has also transpired that Ecritel, the local hosting provider that uses the data center, has been affected, and as a result, many of its services are not available. In the same way, important interruptions have been detected in the games of Orange and Ubisoftalthough investigations have not yet determined if there are relationships in this regard.

Global Switch’s Parisian data center is characterized by having one of the highest electrical densities in France, as its surface area is of 50,000 square meters and brings together several buildings connected to each other. The data center that the company also has in Madrid has 21,922 square meters.

Serious problems for Google

Google has publicly reported that this incident is a general lack of availability of its services in the western European area for a long and unlimited time. In this way, he recommends to his clients that they carry out a failover to other regions if they were really affected. Although the true extent of the damage and the precise number of interrupted services are still unknown, one of the most serious consequences would be the loss of data stored on their machines.

Background on fires

It is not the first time that fire has become the protagonist in data centers, especially during the summer, when the high temperatures in Europe become a significant risk for the industry and encourage the appearance of technical failures.

At the end of March there was a fire in a data center in Francein this case of the company Maxnod, being on that occasion of greater magnitude than the one suffered by Global Switch. The center was completely destroyed and several injuries were reported. To this day there are still no exact figures on the incident, although it is suspected that it was a fault in the battery system. A fateful end for Maxnod, which only has that data center.

Perhaps one of the best known fires is the one that occurred in 2021 in the OVHcloud data center in Strasbourg (France). The fallout from that incident is still ongoing, as it was revealed that OVH stored backup servers in the data center and accidentally wiped some of the available drives in the wreckage. The event even affected several online services in Spain.

In South Korea, a fire originating in a lithium-ion battery caused a power outage. KakaoTalkwhile the data center of equinix in Madrid was also affected by a small fire in the power room in February 2022.

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