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A cooling system is vital for data centers nowadays with thousands of servers that generate heat, aligned closely. If the cooling systems do not work, then the servers will simply overheat, damaging the machines. Therefore, on cooling failure, procedures are set in place to shutdown the servers when the temperature rises above a certain level. It is important to prevent machines from getting damaged and causing losses.
The severe weather conditions in Texas may be coming from Gordon, a cat 1 tropical storm that was near the Texas coast at the time of the outage. The outage affected many of Azure cloud services for its South Central US data center including App service, backup, cloud services, Office 365, and others. You can find an update on the Azure status page.
The outage affected developers who use Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services. They have been unable to access their accounts. The Microsoft developer Blog states: “Users located in South Central US will be unable to access their account until the underlying issue is resolved.”
Microsoft stated on their Azure status page: “A severe weather event, including lightning strikes, occurred near one of the South Central US datacenters. This resulted in a power voltage increase that impacted cooling systems. Automated datacenter procedures to ensure data and hardware integrity went into effect and critical hardware entered a structured power down process.”
As of now, services are partially recovered. The latest update at the time of writing on Microsoft’s blog says: “Mitigation efforts continue, as we work on getting the Azure resources in South Central US online. For more details about the issue please refer Azure Status Dashboard : https://status.azure.com”
You can visit the Azure page for status updates.