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Services restored at Australian data centre following heatwave shutdown

Wed 7 Jan 2015

heatwave

A heatwave that saw record-breaking temperatures reach above 44.4°C in Western Australia shut down an iiNet data centre in Perth on Monday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The data centre failed on one of the hottest January days on record since 1991 – a heatwave which has continued into the week. According to iiNet, these extreme temperatures paired with several air conditioner errors had meant that servers needed to be shut down at around 4:30pm AEDST to avoid any permanent damage.

As the second largest DSL internet service provider in Australia, thousands of customers were affected by the internet outage for between six and seven hours, including no access to emails or to corporate websites.

“We have had multiple air conditioners fail on site causing temperatures to rise rapidly – Multiple systems have been shut down on site to prevent permanent damage,” said iiNet representative Christopher Taylor on Monday night. “We have additional cooling in now, we will begin powering services back up once the room has cooled adequately – if we are premature the room won’t recover and risk the A/C failing again.”

iiNet has stated that although the extreme heat had required a shutdown of servers, redundancy plans had ensured that 98 percent of user internet service remained unaffected. Most services had resumed by 11:00pm AEDST.

This latest trouble for iiNet follows an issue with the company’s email platform in October of last year, which brought down the service for several days.

Although heat is a common concern for data centre operators, this is usually due to internal cooling or power infrastructure problems rather than external temperatures. iiNet has assured that it is conducting a full investigation into the issue and is “putting systems in place to avoid this happening in the future.”

“iiNet apologises to our customers for any inconvenience caused,” wrote iiNet CTO Mark Dioguardi.

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