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This article was published on February 21, 2010


Spotify brought down by aircon failure

Spotify brought down by aircon failure
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

SpotifyMusic streaming service Spotify has explained a fault that brought down its service yesterday. Server failure? A hacking attempt? No, the air conditioning.

For several hours yesterday Spotify users were frustrated to discover that they couldn’t listen to music via the service.

The company has now explained just what was going on at their London data centre to cause the fault. In a blog post today they write:

“Saturday evening there was a power outage at a large data site in London where we host some of our servers. The backup power kicked in as planned, however, one of the big air conditioners in the data centre did not start properly.

Heat is a major issue in large data centres and without this cooling unit the temperature rose very quickly and our servers shut down to protect themselves from over heating.”

This is far from the first time that air conditioning faults have brought down web services (a similar problem affected Last.fm last year, for example). However, it’s a reminder of just how fragile the web services we rely on truly are.