UK heatwave led to Google, Oracle cloud servers being shut down


LONDON: Record high temperatures in the UK on Tuesday led to Google Cloud and Oracle servers having to be shut down, the companies have revealed.

Cooling-related issues arose on the day Britain registered its hottest day on record, with temperatures soaring above 40°C.

An Oracle Cloud status message said: “As a result of unseasonal temperatures in the region, a subset of cooling infrastructure within the UK South (London) Data Center experienced an issue. This led to a subset of our service infrastructure needing to be powered down to prevent uncontrolled hardware failures.”

Oracle, an American database software and technology firm, was forced to power down some of its “non-critical hardware” in a move, “taken with the intention of limiting the potential for any long-term impact to our customers.”

On its status page, Google Cloud announced it had switched off some of its machines to prevent any further damage after reporting a “cooling-related failure” in one of its UK-based data centres which caused, “a partial failure of capacity in that zone, leading to VM (virtual machine) terminations and a loss of machines for a small set of our customers.”

Even though current infrastructures in the UK are not built to support such extreme temperatures, modern data centres are designed to prevent potential disasters. As such, some people were surprised to see companies such as Google and Oracle experiencing difficulties.

Addressing the firms in a tweet, one social media user said: “How can a company as large as Google still have their server down? Business has no access to emails and website is down.”

In 2020, as part of an experiment to exploit natural resources as cooling solutions, Microsoft carried out a test with an underwater data centre off the Orkney Islands, in the North Sea.

With scientists warning that extreme heatwaves will become increasingly frequent, tech businesses are rushing to find alternative greener solutions that consume less power and generate less heat. – Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia/Tribune News Service