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Heat wave in UK forces Google and Oracle centers to Shut down

The infrastructure of our digitized world is apparently not attuned to climatic developments. That has now been demonstrated in the UK, where Google and Oracle had to close in the current heat wave. Temperatures in the East of England rose above 40 degrees in some places yesterday.

This is an exceptional value for the British Isles, which are normally characterized by a mild Atlantic climate. No one who has ever had to work out cooling concepts for data centers expected this – and it is now having consequences. Both Google and Oracle had to shut down parts of their server infrastructure, a British magazine reported The register. Operators chose to shut down various services and deny cloud customers access to their virtual machines rather than risk overheating the hardware in the data centers.

Failures instigated action

In any case, it was clear, to begin with, that the systems would not be able to withstand the heat wave. “As a result of unusual temperatures in the region, part of the cooling infrastructure at the UK South (London) data center has been down,” Oracle announced yesterday afternoon. “As a result, some customers may not be able to access or use the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure resources hosted in the region.”

Something similar was also heard from Google. “There was a cooling failure in one of our buildings that house the Europe-west2-a zone for the Europe-west2 region,” the company said. “To prevent damage to machines and a prolonged outage, we have closed off part of the zone and are limiting the GCE Preemptible Launches. We are seeing a regional impact on a small portion of the newly launched Persistent Disk volumes and are working on redundancy for those affected replicated Persistent Disk devices.”

Mark Goodman

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