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Google Cloud and Oracle servers suffer cooling breakdowns during UK heatwave

Google Cloud and Oracle servers suffer cooling breakdowns during UK heatwave


Temperatures in the UK reached a high of 104 degrees Fahrenheit

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google Cloud and Oracle servers located in the UK struggled with cooling-related outages Tuesday as the country experienced record-breaking heat that reached as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Both companies blame temperature for the unexpected shutdowns.

On its Google Cloud status page, Google notes it has experienced a “cooling related failure” in one of its UK-based data centers. “This 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,” Google states. The company adds that it has also “powered down” some of its machines to prevent any further damage.

As pointed out by The Register and Bleeping Computer, Oracle has a similar message for customers on its status page but directly cites “unseasonal temperatures” in the UK as the cause of the outage. The software company shut down some of its machines to prevent system failures earlier today, but its latest update indicates that service is slowly coming back online. Oracle says temperatures in the data center “have reached workable levels,” but it’s still working to repair its cooling system.

While it’s unclear how many users both outages are affecting, the outages could cause issues for users that use Oracle and Google Cloud services to host their websites.

The UK’s infrastructure just isn’t built to handle extreme levels of heat, which is unusual for the country, even in the summer. In addition to crippling data centers, the heat disrupted travel throughout the country, melting the runway at London Luton Airport and causing railways to bend and break. It also sparked wildfires across several areas in the UK, including London, Kent, Cornwall, and Pembrokeshire. As the effects of climate change continue to ripple across the globe, scorching heatwaves may become something the UK will be forced to adjust to.