A major central London data centre owned by Level 3 overheated in Sunday's sunshine, taking down major websites including the popular music service Last.fm.
Temperatures at the facility in Braham Street in the City topped 50°C at 7pm, after one of five chillers failed in the afternoon heat. According to data recorded at City Airport, the outside temperature peaked yesterday at about 23°C.
The other chillers were uable to bear the extra strain and the temperature rose uncontrollably. Servers shut down to cool and were gradually brought back online after about four hours.
Level 3 said today that engineers were still working to repair the faulty chiller, but added that the other four were now able to maintain a working temperature. It said it had informed customers of the problems.
The Braham Street data centre has a history of high profile outages. It also overheated in 2006, although that was during July, the hottest month, rather than at the beginning of summer. It has also been the repeated target of burglars.
The shutdown left Last.fm users unable to access their accounts, upload playlist data to their profiles or listen to streamed music. Days earlier the site's administrators had bragged how one of their servers had not suffered any downtime for more than three years. ®