August 18, 2022


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Oracle and Google’s English data centers are tripping

On Tuesday 19 July, Google and Oracle’s UK data centers experienced technical problems as extreme heat was recorded across Europe this week. On the same day the UK recorded its hottest day on record, two major players in the cloud market experienced cooling problems in their data centres.

London-based Google’s Europe-West2 region suffered a cooling-related outage that began at 7pm Paris time on July 19 and was resolved by 5am the following day. At the time, the British capital was being crushed by temperatures in excess of 40°C.

“One of our buildings with part of the capacity of the Europe-West2-a zone had a cooling-related failure. It has now been resolved,” said The page It lists the running status of the services.

The incident reportedly affected a few GCP customers Google Public Cloud, continuing to the Services Status page. They “may have experienced unusual virtual machine interruptions. During the outage, users were advised to work around the issue by restarting their applications in other European regions.”

Switch off to prevent disaster

At the same time, the cooling infrastructure at the Oracle UK South data center in London was also affected by high temperatures. OIC, The Oracle Public CloudIt was forced to shut down part of its infrastructure to protect against cascading hardware failures, its status page says.

“The move is intended to minimize the long-term impact to our customers,” it said. During the outage, OCI clients are said to be unable to access or use resources hosted in this region.

According to the oracle, “unseasonal temperatures” were to blame for his problems. These began shortly after 2pm Paris time on Tuesday and were resolved by 5am the next day.

Computer Weekly, MagIT’s media partner in the UK, has reached out to Oracle and Google for comment on this story. Both sellers said they had nothing to add at this time.

Disruptions are recurring

The period of extreme heat observed in Europe this week is, according to all observers, linked to the advent of climate change. The Uptime Institute, a data center resilience think tank, has been warning data center operators for years that they face new downside risks from this phenomenon.

In this case, the company published in 2018 A Dangerous research Not considering the risks climate change poses to data centers. According to this study, some patrons will be concerned.

Adam Bradshaw, commercial director of colocation data center provider ServerChoice, based in Stevenage, UK, marveled: “Although data centers are built to last All kinds of situations, their cooling systems, which the servers depend on to function, were pushed to their maximum capacity due to the record temperatures we experienced. The Google and Oracle outages due to a heat wave show that even the largest data center providers can fall victim to extreme weather. »

Energy consumption problem

The bad: A sector already hurt by rising energy prices threatens to make the added cost of keeping facilities cool during heat waves too much for some to bear.

“Energy is the most expensive thing in a data center. Energy prices were on the rise A big challenge For many players, that forces some to move into receivership. The added costs of a heat wave and the likelihood of a repeat of these temperatures in the coming years underline the need to reduce the financial pressure on data centers today,” he pleads. Dept.

In this case, the more electricity must be used to cool the IT, the less environmentally responsible a data center is and the more likely the owner is. Allowed by tax.

At the time of the outage in London, the French public cloud provider Scaleway to do He congratulated Twitter has to keep its state-of-the-art computer rooms at 26 degrees Celsius, which is 10 degrees below the observed outside temperature. And this, without the use of electricity, by injecting only fine droplets.

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