UK data centers can’t handle the heat

Multiple UK-based cloud data centers suffered outages this week, as record temperatures hit the country.

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As temperatures in the UK reached a record-breaking 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, data centers belonging to Oracle and Google Cloud reported cooling-related failures, causing issues for customers trying to access services.

Multiple Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services were disrupted, including networking, storage and object compute resources, all of which are powered by servers in the south of England, where temperatures were among the hottest on record.

A message appeared on Oracle’s status page at 4:41 p.m. BST stating: “As a result of unseasonal temperatures in the region, a subset of cooling infrastructure within the UK South (London) Data Center experienced an issue.”

As of 4:57 a.m. BST Wednesday morning, Oracle’s status page was still showing service disruption to a subset of Oracle Integration Cloud resources, with the company stating that “engineers are actively working to mitigate those remaining service resources.”

Google Cloud first identified an issue with its data center at 6:13 p.m. BST, informing customers via its status update page that there had been “a cooling related failure” in one of its buildings that hosts zone europe-west2-a for region europe-west2.

Google added that in order to prevent damage to machines and an extended outage, “we have powered down part of the zone and are limiting Google Compute Engine (GCE) preemptible launches.”

As of 4:45 a.m. BST, Google Cloud’s status page said that the cooling-related issue had been resolved but noted that “a small number of HDD backed Persistent Disk volumes are still experiencing impact and will exhibit IO errors,” with customers still experiencing issues being told to reach out to Google Cloud Product Support.

Data centers were not the only thing to suffer amidst the soaring temperatures yesterday. A lot of the UK’s infrastructure was not built to withstand 40-degree Celsius heat, causing airport runways to melt, overhead powerlines on railways to catch fire, train tracks to buckle, and wildfires broke out across multiple regions.

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