Google & Oracle Turn Off Servers In The Heatwave

The infrastructure of our digital world is not keeping up with climate change. As record temperatures hit much of the Britain on Tuesday 19th July, tech giants Google and Oracle suffered outages as cooling systems failed at their data centres in London. When the temperature reached  40.3C (104.5F) in eastern England, the highest ever recorded, data centers couldn't take the heat.

Selected machines were powered off to avoid long-term damage, causing some website resources, cloud services and other machinery to become unavailable, taking numerous websites offline.

Data centres are large highly secure buildings that hold banks of computers and are the powerhouses behind many online services. But the concentrated computing power generates heat so powerful that cooling is essential.
Both companies say the problems have now been resolved.

Oracle published a notice about the problems on Wednesday 20th July. "Following unseasonably high temperatures in the London region, two cooler units in the data centre experienced a failure when they were required to operate above their design limits," the company wrote in a status update. "As a result, temperatures in the data centre began to climb, which caused some systems to shut down as a protective measure," said Oracle. The company said the issue was resolved, in an update posted on Wednesday morning.

Overheating also hit a Google Cloud data centre in London. "... there has been a cooling-related failure in one of our buildings". In order to prevent damage to machines and an extended outage, the firm said it powered down some of them. The problem was fixed by 07:00 BST on Wednesday 20th July and the company said that only a "small set of our customers" were affected, they said

Because the data processed can be highly valuable to their customers, data centres are built with many back-ups, including plenty of cooling capacity,  but with warnings that very hot days will become more frequent in Britain, technology firms are speeding up the exploration of greener cooling solutions and computer systems that consume less power and generate less heat.

Google:     Oracle:     BBC:      The Register:    ResearchSnioers:    Press United:     Yahoo

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