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The European cloud operations of both Amazon and Microsoft were yesterday affected by a lightning strike on equipment belonging to the Irish utility company responsible for providing electrical power to both Dublin data centers. Rich Miller at Data Center Knowledge quotes Amazon’s status report at the time, providing an explanation as to why backup generators on-site failed to do their job. Storms happen, and electrical equipment will get damaged by lightning, but it must be embarrassing for both Amazon and Microsoft that neither backup generators nor alternative power suppliers were able to prevent a prolonged outage. And who thought it was a good idea for two of Europe’s largest data centers to rely upon electricity flowing through a single location? Services at both data centers are gradually being restored, although it may be a few days before everything is back online. Even my music is affected.