Google denies data centre fire caused Russia outage

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image copyrightReuters
image captionFrench cloud computing company OVHcloud suffered a fire at its Strasbourg facility

Google has denied that recent problems with its services in Russia were the result of a fire at cloud provider OVH data centres in Strasbourg.

The Russian authorities had directly blamed the blaze for disruptions to Google and YouTube.

Google believes an unrelated networking issue was responsible for the problems, which lasted for about two hours.

It suggests it is a coincidence the two events were in the same timeframe.

In a statement Google said: "At 02:00 Pacific Time on 10 March we became aware of an upstream network issue that partially impacted internet service for users in Russia.

"We believe the cause of this incident was a misconfiguration of the routers at a local third-party internet service provider.

"Following extensive investigation we have no evidence to indicate that the fire in OVHCloud's data centre, or Google's own infrastructure, was the root cause of this incident."

Russia's media watchdog the Federal Service for Supervision in Telecom, IT and Mass Communications - also known as Roskomnadzor- told news agency TASS that access to Google, YouTube and a number of other services were "caused by an accident in a major European data centre in Strasbourg".

It went on to say that it was "not connected to the agency's actions on restriction of speed of access to the Twitter social platform".

Russian president Vladimir Putin recently gave the watchdog the power to block social media platforms if they discriminated against Russian media. Twitter was recently slowed down for failing to remove 3,000 posts relating to suicide, drugs and pornography.

image copyrightReuters
image captionOne building was destroyed and another damaged

The fire in Strasbourg destroyed one data centre and damaged a second.

Cloud service provider OVH has 1.6 million customers across 140 countries but it is not believed any Google services to Russia are routed via OVH.

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