Google and Oracle’s servers have been hit by the heatwave in the UK

On Tuesday 19th July, Google Cloud and Oracle servers located in the UK had to constantly struggle with service interruptions caused by the difficulty of cooling the server rooms . The problem was caused by the outside temperature: the country experienced, for the first time ever, a record heat of 40 ° C. Both companies definitively blame the temperature for the unexpected arrests.

United Kingdom

As for Google, the company itself, on its Google Cloud “status page”, announces that it has encountered a “cooling failure” in one of its UK-based data centers . “This caused a partial outage of capacity in that area, leading to the shutdown of VMs [virtual machines] and the loss of machines for a small group of our customers,” says Google. The company adds that it has also "shut down" some of its machines to prevent further damage.

Oracle also has a similar message for its customers on its statue page, but directly cites “off-season temperatures” in the UK as the cause of the outage. The software company applied the same prevention technique as Google and shut down some of its machines to prevent system failures. After a few hours, Oracle said that temperatures in the data center "have reached practicable levels," as they continue to work to repair their cooling system.

The UK is not used to extreme temperatures

The UK's infrastructure isn't simply built to handle extreme levels of heat , which is unusual for the country, even in the summer. Indeed, the UK is currently experiencing an extreme heat wave and some of its infrastructure is unable to withstand it. One example is London Luton Airport, which had to suspend departures and arrivals the day before the aforementioned incident, after the heat caused a "small section" of the runway to rise .

In addition to paralyzing data centers and melting take-off and landing runways, the heat has also caused railway tracks to bend and break . The temperatures at the track level on Tuesday reached temperatures of 62 ° C. Speed ​​restrictions have been imposed across the country to slow trains. The anomalous heat has also triggered fires in several areas of the UK and created problems with train power supplies.

Why are data centers so sensitive to high temperatures?

Data centers are advanced and specialized buildings that house important server equipment that allow companies to access and transfer their important data. With the demand for instant data transfer steadily increasing, most modern businesses and organizations now rely on large, off-site data centers to manage their data on the cloud rather than using their own on-premises data centers, which can be large and expensive to run. Data centers use huge amounts of power and electricity to keep running around the clock, but why does it need cooling?

Computer equipment designed to handle large amounts of data every second can emit large amounts of heat . The large amounts of computer equipment housed in a data center are very powerful and can emit very high levels of heat. In addition, they are grouped in the smallest possible space to try to house as much equipment as possible, and if the data center in question is running 24/7, overheating can be very damaging .

In fact, high temperatures and electronics do not get along . These could cause crashes, short term or long term damage. This involves repair or replacement, which can cause significant delays for companies that need to access their data. This is why data center cooling is so critical to the functioning of the data center .

The article Google and Oracle Servers Failed Due to UK Heatwave Was Written at: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .