California: Essential Twitter data center knocked offline by heat extremes

Sep 13, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

As heat extremes in California continue, Twitter has reportedly been left without one of its key data centers in Sacramento. First reported by CNN, an internal company memo outlined that the company experienced the loss of its Sacramento data center region on September 5th, with Carrie Fernandez, the company’s vice president of engineering, stating that due to the outage, the social media giant is now in a “non-redundant state.” In a concerning statement, Fernandez says that although the giant’s Atlanta and Portland facilities are still operational, if one of the two is lost, the company “may not be able to serve traffic to all Twitter’s users.”

The memo continues: “All production changes, including deployments and releases to mobile platforms, are blocked with the exception of those changes required to address service continuity or other urgent operational need.” 

Reports have said that this memo aligns with the claims made by Twitter’s former head of security and whistleblower, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. In his whistleblower disclosure, Zatko said that Twitter had “insufficient data center redundancy,” meaning that “even a temporary” but overlapping outage of a small number of data centers would “likely result in the service [Twitter] going offline for weeks, months, or permanently.” 

Zatko testified before a US Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday regarding his allegations against the company.

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