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December 18, 2015

Glasgow data centre failure brings Scottish emails to a standstill

News: Effects of the failure expected to be experienced until next week; Council looks to sue those responsible.


Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, has this week experienced a total council email outage after IT servers were "accidently" sprayed by fire extinguishers.

Glasgow City Council is now said to be looking to sue those responsible with running the IT facility, the Evening Times reported this morning.

The email network went down on Tuesday after an air conditioning unit "catastrophically" malfunctioned releasing gas, which then set off the "fire suppression" system, which sprayed a non-watery substance over the IT systems.

The incident damaged a server, with the council’s main switch board number also down for a brief period of time.

The data centre is based in a ground floor unit of the City Park business centre in Glasgow.

A spokesman said: "The catastrophic failure of an air conditioning unit has damaged some of our IT equipment.

"Our email system is down but vital services, particularly those for vulnerable people, are being delivered manually."

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The council went on twitter to warn citizens of the problem and alert them, that "if you have emailed us since yesterday morning we have been unable to deal with it" due to the incident.

Until the system is fully back up again it could mean that one of the largest councils in the country was unable to receive or send any email for nearly a week. Engineers from IT firm Access are working to fix the issue.

One source told the Evening Times: "Senior management have been telling staff they expect the issue to be fixed by Friday. But others are now saying Monday, with everyone from Access in across the weekend to make sure it doesn’t run any longer.

"The phones going down had some impact on routine work but the pressure is being felt most by those in social work who rely on email more than most."

Yesterday night, a council statement said: "The council switchboard is now operational again. Emails are still not being received nor sent due to IT issues at Glasgow City Council."


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