OVH, Strasbourg datacenter fire: thousands of offline sites and services

A major fire hit one of OVH's Strasbourg datacenters last night, damaging the drive and servers it hosts. The fire, whose origin is still unknown, was extinguished in the early morning and fortunately there were no victims. Thousands of web pages and related services still unreachable.

OVH: fire in the Strasbourg datacenter

At 00:46 on Wednesday 10 March a terrible fire hit one of the OVH datacenters located in Strasbourg, knocking out the unit's servers. This was confirmed by the company itself with an official statement on its website, specifying that the fighters have put out the fire and that there has been no casualty . The damage seems to be confined to the SGB2 datacenter and not to the other 3, which however are currently off pending the complete recovery of the emergency. The flames hit 3 of the 4 buildings in Strasbourg completely destroying the servers of one of them, while the others remained inaccessible for hours.

Firefighters at work to put out the fire that hit OVH's Strasbourg datacenter. Source: Inmeteo
Firefighters at work to put out the fire that hit OVH's Strasbourg datacenter. Source: Inmeteo

Restart of the remaining servers is not scheduled for today: it will be necessary to wait for the complete cooling of the buildings to restore services and understand the true extent of the damage. Among the offline web pages there was also the government website, which only came back online at 10 this morning. The sites of the city's airport and several newspapers were also blocked for hours.

We apologize for the difficulties that this fire has caused, and we undertake to communicate with the utmost transparency the causes that generated it and the relative consequences. We are evaluating the impact of the accident and will communicate as soon as possible, with the utmost transparency, the progress of the analyzes and the implementation of the solutions.

OVHCloud press release

Octave Klaba, founder of the company, posted a series of Tweets on the progress of the emergency, asking OVH customers to activate the Disaster Recovery Plan in order to safeguard their data . At the moment there is no information about the origin of the fire: it will be necessary to wait for the green light of the fire brigade to be able to investigate. The fire broke out in one of the rooms of the SGB2 and then made its way into the other 3 buildings. Fortunately, the damage did not extend, but the building where the fire originated is now totally ruined. In SGB1, the second most affected, 4 rooms were destroyed, while the other 8 were not damaged. Fortunately, among these there is also the network room , which houses the central infrastructure. In the latest update Klaba announced that all servers will be restarted by March 19th .

OVH among the leaders of web hosting

OVH is one of the largest French web hosting and cloud computing companies in the world. It is the largest in Europe and its datacenter is the largest in terms of surface area. Founded in 1999 by Octave Klaba, the company has grown very rapidly, and was valued at more than $ 1 billion in 2016 . The 2018 data show 27 datacenters scattered in 19 countries around the world, with more than 300,000 servers. Partners and customers include Michelin, Capgemini, Louis Vuitton, Auchan, Irontec.

Just a few days ago the company announced that it had taken steps to enter the Paris Stock Exchange. OVH's goal is in fact to increase its visibility in order to compete with Amazon and the other giants of the market, increasing their investments. The French company had already moved by entering into several partnerships with companies in the sector, with the ambition of reaching 1 billion in turnover by the end of 2021.

OVH article , Strasbourg datacenter fire: thousands of offline sites and services comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .