Question regarding backups and data center operation


I have read with concern the articles about the famous fire at the OVHcloud's SBG2 data center in Strasbourg that was about 2 years ago.

Several things concerned me enough for me to ask some questions about Linode, for which I am a customer.

When I opt in for backups, are the backups done only to the data center my instance is one (Like does a Fremont instance backup to only Fremont)? Or do the backup go other data centers? Like example my Fremont instance backs up to Atlanta or Newark?

So, if we lose Fremont, can I still get at my backups to spin up a new instance at another data center?

In addition, what frightened me very much to tears were three things that came out of the investigation. First of all, they were not able to cut power to the burning data center for three hours, which impacted the ability to fight the fires in and around the UPS area of the data center.

In addition that although they did have fire detection, apparently there was no fire suppression; neither gas flooding or water, which allowed the fire to spread.

And lastly, it came out that the floors of parts of that data center were made of wood, which ended up burning and spreading the fire.

I know that you (Linode) cannot discuss details for security reasons; I just want to know if you folks have taken the lessons from the OVH fire in making any necessary changes to Linode's infrastructure and processes.

Thank you

I Love You All

Mark Allyn
Bellingham, Washington

3 Replies

Hey Mark - the story of that fire still haunts me as well. As a Support person, I can only imagine the sort of communication with those customers they had to deal with.

You can see the certifications each of our data centers have on our website: Security at Linode. You'll see that Fremont has the SOC 2 cert, which would cover fire suppresion.

If you would like a copy of any certification, you'll just need to open a ticket with Linode Support. Different data centers have different requirements for obtaining a copy of the certification, though we'll do what we can to get it to you as quickly as possible.

As for the Backup Service - the backups are stored on different physical machines, though the machines are located in the same data center. The Backup Service is just one part of a well rounded backup plan. We recommend you follow a multi-tiered backup strategy for your services. We cover some of these options in our Backing Up Your Data guide.

Thank you, thank you! I am satisfied with your response and I will not bother opening the ticket to look at the certs.

I will start looking into a multi tiered backup plan.

I do have one question, and I strongly feel that you are unable to answer it. It seems that there was no definite cause of the OVH fire; ie; OVH never came out with a fill post-mortem report. Do you know if there was any final report on the cause?


I do not, nor would I feel comfortable offering any conjecture about what happened.


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