Google And Oracle Shut Down Their Computers Due To Heat Wave

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  • Just after 18:00 BST, the company reported that “there has been a cooling-related failure in one of our buildings”.
  • Getty Images 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 operators were wary of the unprecedented temperatures.

The cooling systems at Google and Oracle’s London data centres failed as the UK experienced record temperatures on Tuesday as reported by BBC.

Online services 

The brains behind many online services are banks of computers housed in enormous, highly secure buildings known as data centres.

However, the heat produced by the concentrated computer power is so intense that cooling is necessary.

Both businesses claim that the issues have been fixed.

Just before 6:00 BST, Oracle, a sizable American database software and technology company, reported overheating issues.

The company stated on a status page first seen by The Register that two cooler units in the data centre “had a failure when they were compelled to operate above their design limitations” due to unusually high temperatures in the UK south (London) region.

“As a result, the data centre’s temperature increased, forcing several systems to shut down as a safety precaution.”

In a Wednesday morning update sent just after 10:00 BST, the business said the problem had been fixed.

In addition to Britain, a Google Cloud data centre in London experienced overheating.

Multiple backups 

On the company’s computers, Google Cloud enables use by other companies.

The business said shortly after 18:00 BST that “one of our buildings has experienced a cooling-related problem.”

The company said that it had powered down some of the equipment in order to prevent damage to them and a protracted outage.

The issue was resolved by Wednesday morning BST, and the business claimed that just a “small group of our clients” were impacted.

Data centres are constructed with multiple backups, including a lot of cooling capacity, because the data handled might be quite valuable to their clients.

The failures at large, well-resourced corporations like Google will have surprised some because experts the BBC spoke to on Monday didn’t think modern data centres would encounter problems.

Climate scientist’s warning 

Operators were cautious, though, because of the unusually high temperatures.

Redcentric’s Paul Hone told the BBC that the company had implemented its disaster recovery plan on Monday. Redcentric runs data centres in Harrogate, London, Reading, and Cambridge in addition to other locations.

Although data centres are built to handle hot weather, Mr Hone continued, the heatwave’s temperatures would be “beyond design assumptions for a lot of data centre operators.”

In the end, Tuesday went off without a hitch for Mr Hone.

However, more cooling requires more electricity, which could result in more carbon emissions.

Tech companies are investigating greener cooling options and computer systems that use less electricity and produce less heat as a result of climate scientists’ warnings that extremely hot days will become more frequent.

In 2020, Microsoft tested an underwater data centre off the coast of Orkney. The natural cooling given by the nearby seawater contributed to the attraction.

 

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Source: BBC

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