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OVH makes foray into APAC cloud market

With its regional headquarters in Melbourne and datacentres in Singapore and Sydney, the French cloud supplier plans to go after startups and enterprises

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French infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) supplier OVH has expanded its footprint in Asia-Pacific (APAC) with new datacentres in Sydney and Singapore, along with a regional headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.

The recent investments are part of the company’s efforts to tap the booming APAC public cloud market, especially in mature economies, where public cloud spending is expected to hit $10bn by 2017.

Although the market for IaaS in the region is currently dominated by the likes of Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Alicloud, as well as smaller regional players, OVH is confident of delivering a differentiated IaaS offering powered by its hyperscale infrastructure comprising 270,000 physical servers hosted in 20 datacentres around the globe.

“We deliver a hosted dedicated cloud infrastructure with the commercial attributes of the public cloud – very fast provisioning, full elasticity up and down and zero minimum commitment,” said Laurent Allard, vice-chairman of OVH’s board of directors. “We do this with the bare metal cloud servers, as well as in the VMware space with SDDC [software-defined datacentre] on demand.”

Noting that cloud adoption is still nascent in the APAC region, Clement Teo, principal analyst at Ovum, said there are growth opportunities for new market entrants. Cloud suppliers such as OVH, in particular, could support the infrastructure needs of large European enterprises that are expanding into the region, he told Computer Weekly.

Besides targeting large enterprises, OVH – which was started 17 years ago in the garage of its current CEO, Octave Klaba – is also eyeing startups, which Allard said will be the big companies of tomorrow.

To reach more startups, OVH has introduced its Digital Launch Pad (DLP) programme in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Through the DLP, which has already enrolled 700 startups globally, the company will support local startups at each stage of their development and offer free cloud computing resources ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 per company.

Teo said going after startups is a sound strategy, especially if the startups are gaming companies that need to scale up quickly. “OVH could also look into providing a marketplace for developers to pick and choose the services they want to deploy,” he added.

OVH’s expansion plans do not stop at two regional datacentres. The company will hire 80 full-time staff for its Melbourne regional HQ within three years, including highly skilled employees covering technical pre-sales, technical sales, customer support and marketing.

“Later in 2017, we will review the need for additional footprint across the region based on customer feedback and requirements,” said Allard.

The company is also looking to extend its certifications for its Singapore datacentre in the next few months, including alignment with cloud usage guidelines set out by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and local security standards such as Multi-Tier Cloud Security.

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