Global Switch which is known to be the largest purpose built data center in entire Europe is facing customer grievances owing to two data center outages in past three months. The first one happened in June when a lightning strike was reported to trigger an outage of almost 300 milliseconds. The second data center outage was reported at Global Switch 2 data center in East London on September 10, 2016. The company is being questioned by customers who have faced problems due to the recent glitches.
It has been reported that GS2 customers including Claranet, Tagadab and EX Networks majorly suffered due to the data center outage. The site was made to operate on mains without any power back up for two days post the fault. GS2 faced a major fault in high-voltage circuit breaker for one of its DRUPS (Diesel Rotary Uninterruptible Power Supply) devices.
What caused the outage?
GS2 being a large data center uses an inline UPS while at the same time facilities being powered from energy stored in UPS systems, one that is topped up from the mains. In this way it remains protected from any issues arising from the mains supply. In general, the building has 4 independent power supply systems dedicated to different floors and spaces.
The high-voltage circuit breaker which malfunctioned was an essential component of H1 systems. The same supplied power to 3 floors. As soon as the circuit breaker came down the system made a switch to mains but only after a period of 222 milliseconds. The power outage time was enough to trigger shutdown procedures for GS2 customers.
- Interestingly, a group of Chinese investors are presently in talks with Reuben brothers (owner of GS) so as to acquire half of the company. The deal is presently being estimated to be worth more than £2bn. After such outages and customer complaints, Global Switch will have to ensure that incidents like this does not repeat in near future.
- Notably, major US Airlines, Southwest and Delta underwent data center outages with estimated cost of outages being $177mn and $150mn, respectively.
Most Common CAUSES of Data Center Outages: (As per a research conducted by Ponemon Institute)
- IT equipment failure
- UPS system failure
- Other root causes
- Water, heat or CRAC failure
- Generator failure
- Accidental/human error