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Home SCIENCE A Twitter data center had a weather-related outage

A Twitter data center had a weather-related outage

Earlier this month, Twitter’s data centers were put to the test by extreme heat in California. Over Labor Day weekend, when temperatures in the state reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit, one of the company’s key server farms in Sacramento suffered a weather-related outage.

Fortunately, the social media platform did not see any notable outages. But according to an internal memo obtained by CNN On September 12, if another data center had failed at the same time, many Twitter users would have experienced service outages.

Twitter is not the only company whose servers have become vulnerable to unprecedented high temperatures. Over the summer, Google, Oracle and Amazon Web Services struggled to keep their UK data centers operational as temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Google and Oracle specifically experienced problems with their cooling systems at their London facility, Protocol informed.

[Related: Whistleblower tells Congress that Twitter has a spy problem]

During this period, many companies turned off their high-power computers to prevent heat damage, according to new scientist. To keep services running, some facility operators have resorted to manually hosing down equipment to cool it down. Bloomberg explained.

data centers they are buildings filled with powerful computers that can run a wide range of services. It’s where data from applications, databases, and more is processed, stored, and distributed. It also has the necessary infrastructure for networking, powering and cooling the indoor environment.

[Related: Our infrastructure can’t handle climate disasters. We need to build differently.]

These facilities run their devices on electricity from the same grid that supplies nearby homes and businesses. Because large data centers process a large number of requests, they use a lot of computing power and generate a lot of heat. So to keep servers from getting fried, many facilities have a dispersed water-based cooling system that takes up extra energy. When it’s hotter outside, these systems have to work much harder, more forcing demand In the net.

To get around the cooling problem, some companies have been building new data centers in cold weather countries like Finland, Sweden other Iceland. Microsoft has even contemplated placing its facilities in the ocean (that project is currently still in the works). the research phase). But the challenge is that the computers will be located farther away from their users, slowing down speed of certain services.

[Related: Are ‘water positive’ pledges from tech companies just a new kind of greenwashing?]

Data centers have always had issues with sustainability. have been criticized for its voracious consumption of energy other unrestrained use of water. Now, with massive fluctuations in temperature and an increase in natural disasters brought on by climate change, many of these problems have become more pronounced. Drought-prone communities have rejected the development of new data centers in places like California and Arizona. Energy prices and high temperatures it will continue to hamper the day-to-day operations of Twitter and other corporations.

One solution would be to review the conventional design of server farms. During yearsgovernment agencies such as the Department of Energy have been advising engineers on ways to make these facilities more efficient energy. Other organizations have proposed using heat from data centers to power homes. As countries struggle to manage the climate change implications of energy use, big tech companies like Google and Amazon have promised to transition much of their operations, including for their data centers, to renewable energy. Twitter, in a post on earth day this yearit said it aims to use 100 percent carbon-neutral energy to power all of its data centers by the end of this year.


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