Data Centre Fire Blamed For Russia Google Outage

burning data fire security disaster code © artshock Shutterstock

Fire in a French data centre causes outage of Google and YouTube services for people in Russia, as well as disruption for other online services

Russia has denied that an outage of Google and YouTube services in the country are related to its recent speed restrictions on Twitter.

Russia on Wednesday warned it was slowing down the speed of Twitter in retaliation for its alleged failure to remove banned content. And it threatened a total block if the American platform did not comply with its deletion demands.

However, the Russian news agency TASS reported that the Twitter slowdown was not responsible for the access problems Russians were experiencing trying to access YouTube, Google and other servers, registered in Russia on Wednesday.

Flame fire © Giorgio Clementi -

Data centre fire

Instead, the outage was caused by a major fire in a SBG2 data centre located in Strasbourg (France) and which is owned by French cloud service provider OVH.

TASS cited ‘Federal Service for Supervision in Telecom, IT and Mass Communications’ for confirming the data centre fire.

“The issues with access to international services of Google, YouTube and a number of others that users in Russia could have faced on March 10, were caused by an accident in a major European datacenter in Strasbourg,” the Federal Service told TASS.

The data centre accident “is not connected to the agency’s actions on restriction of speed of access to the Twitter social platform in Russia,” the watchdog added.

The fire at the SBG2 data centre was so severe that the entire facility has been completely destroyed.

Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor also confirmed in a tweet that the Google  disruption was due to the fire.

It is not clear how the fire started, but all four data centres at the site have been closed. There are no reported injuries among the three OVHcloud staff on site, or the firefighters themselves.

100 Firefighters

Data Center Dynamics reported that the fire broke out just after midnight, on Wednesday morning, and took six hours to bring under control, with more than 100 firefighters at the scene.

The five-story, 500 sq m SBG2 data centre was destroyed, while SBG1 was seriously damaged.

The SBG3 and SBG4 data centres were protected by the firefighters, but remain closed, Data Center Dynamics reported.

And it was not just Google services in Russia that were impacted by the fire.

The fire also reportedly impacted the French government, cryptocurrency exchange Deribit and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

And the computer game Rust was also impacted.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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