Twitter Data Centre Suffered Outage Due to California Heat, Service Operating Without Redundancy: Report


Twitter’s data centre in Sacramento, California was recently taken offline due to a heat wave in the region, according to a report. An executive of the microblogging service reportedly stated in an internal memo that an outage at another cata centre might prevent Twitter from providing access to some users. The company is yet to officially announce details of the incident, which is said to have occurred ahead of the deadline for shareholders to vote on Elon Musk’s deal to acquire the service.

According to a report by CNN on Monday citing an internal memo to engineers from Twitter Vice President of Engineering Carrie Fernandez, Twitter lost access to its Sacramento (SMF) data centre on September 5, due to extreme weather, resulting in the “total shutdown of physical equipment.”  Fernandez also reportedly warned that an outage at another location could prevent Twitter from serving some users.

Due to the outage at the data centre in San Francisco, the company is reportedly running in a “non-redundant state’, according to the memo which references data centres in Atlanta and Portland that are operational. Redundancies are multiple data centres used by large firms to ensure that their services are available to users even if one data centre is inaccessible.

The report of the outage comes ahead of the deadline for Twitter shareholders to vote on Elon Musk’s Twitter $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,49,900 crore) takeover deal on Tuesday.

Twitter’s former security chief, Peiter Zatko, is also set to testify before a US Senate Committee on Tuesday, over his allegations of poor security practices at the company. Zatko had previously alleged that the service did not have sufficent data redundancy, which could take the service offline temporarily or permanently, according to the report. 

While the company is yet to officially provide details of the data centre in California, a company spokesperson told CNN in a statement that there were no disruptions affecting the ability to access Twitter and that the company’s teams were equipped with tools and resources needed to ship updates and provide a seamless experience, as per the report. 

Until Twitter restores access to the data centre, the memo has blocked any major changes to the company’s product, as per the report. These include deployments and changes to mobile platforms, and any non-urgent production changes, according to the memo.

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