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Google’s outage on the UK’s hottest day of the year

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We’ve all heard the jokes about how us Brits can’t handle the hot weather but when the UK hit record highs in July this year, we have to admit that we really did struggle. No more so than our friends over at Google

Google isn’t a stranger to the occasional outage and website downtime, after seeing Google Maps go down in May earlier this year. But this time, the outage was apparently due to the soaring temperatures we were experiencing.

Where did this outage happen? 

Luckily for Google, this wasn’t a globally-felt outage and only UK-based. The Google Cloud data center in the capital initially reported the issue. 

Why did Google experience the outage? 

Google did acknowledge that there was an outage and claimed it was a “cooling failure” which we can only assume was due to the unprecedented 38 degree celsius heatwave.

This was Google’s full description as part of their incident report:

Description:

On Tuesday, 19 July 2022, a cooling failure in one of the buildings that hosts the zone europe-west2-a impacted multiple Google Cloud services. This resulted in some customers experiencing service unavailability for impacted products. The cooling system was repaired at 14:13 PDT, and we restored our services by 2022-07-20, 04:28 PDT. A small number of customers experienced residual effects which were fully mitigated by 2022-07-20, 21:20 PDT when we fully closed the incident. Preliminary root cause has been identified as multiple concurrent failures to our redundant cooling systems within one of the buildings that hosts the europe-west2-a zone for the europe-west2 region.

https://status.cloud.google.com/incidents/XVq5om2XEDSqLtJZUvcH

How long did the outage last for? 

According to Google’s official report, the outage lasted for 1 day and 14 hours which is one of the longest outages that the goliath search engine has ever experienced, albeit not many users were affected.

Was Google the only one to experience an outage due to the heatwave? 

Surprisingly, Oracle also experienced a similar situation due the rising temperatures.

An online report from Oracle stated:

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

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