Heatwaves in Europe putting IT at risk, effective cooling systems needed to avoid outage of services, says GlobalData

Following the news that Tuesday’s record-breaking temperatures in the UK caused a Google Cloud data center in London to experience outages due to cooling issues, impacting customers;

Sarah Coop, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

“Rising temperatures, such as those experienced in Europe this week, aren’t good news for our IT systems. Data centers, which provide the ‘brain’ of many company IT systems, can only operate efficiently between certain temperatures (typically between 15°C and 32°C). Any higher, and there is a severe risk of overheating—meaning, at best, reduced latency and minor outages, and at worst prolonged outages and downtime for customers. As Europe reached highs of 40°C, that is well into the danger zone.

“Given that climate change will mean more frequent extreme weather events, data center outages like the one experienced by Google Cloud will also become more and more common.

“Data centers underpin organizations’ IT infrastructure. As COVID-19 forced many companies to migrate to the cloud, which typically relies on off-premise data centers, this tech has become indispensable to business operations. Uptake of this technology is expected to more than double by 2030, with GlobalData forecasting that the data centers market will be worth $948 billion by 2030, up from $466 billion in 2020.

“Many companies are now facing extra costs to cool equipment in heatwaves, which will be driven up further by rising energy prices amid the Ukraine conflict. While costs can be absorbed for one-off heatwaves, a longer-term solution is needed, as data centers continue to grow in importance. It is imperative that effective cooling systems are bought as part and parcel of a data centre, or companies are risking disruption to customer’s services. Further, these should preferably be powered by renewable energy, and deploy energy efficiency techniques.”

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