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OVHcloud opens new datacentre in Strasbourg at site of March 2021 fire

A year and a half after a fire at its datacentre campus in Strasbourg destroyed one of its facilities and damaged another, OVHcloud has opened a new server farm at the site

Eighteen months after a fire wreaked havoc at its Strasbourg datacentre campus, French infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider OVHcloud has opened a new €30m server farm on the site.

The facility, known as SBG5, is the first to be built by following the principles of OVHcloud’s “hyper-resilience” plan, which it made public 50 days after the Strasbourg fire in May 2021, and has enhanced fire-suppression measures in place too.

The incident, which is understood to have been caused by a faulty uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit, resulted in the company being pursued for compensation by affected customers which lost data, due to alleged shortcomings in OVHcloud’s disaster recovery processes.

The firm has since sought to revamp its internal backup procedures, which previously saw it host its data backups in relatively close proximity to where the data originated or send them off to an alternative location 100km away.

Through the roll-out of its hyper-resilience plan, OVHcloud has committed to storing its internal backups offsite in a specially dedicated region comprised of four datacentres.

“The [SBG5] site counts 19 isolated rooms benefiting from masonry to compartmentalise segments offering a fire resistance of up to two hours,” the company said in a statement. “The seven energy rooms and three battery rooms are located outside of the building.”

As well as promoting its disaster recovery capabilities, OVHcloud has also talked up the new site’s sustainability credentials. As such, the firm claims the site consumes one glass of water to cool down a single server during 10 hours of use thanks to the use of a closed-circuit system that limits fluid waste and dry coolers for temperature regulation in its server rooms.

Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHcloud, said the opening of SBG5 was a show of its commitment to “meeting the highest security standards” while also delivering on its sustainability goals.

“The opening of SBG5 is a strong symbol of this industrial strategy, which allows us to champion the European values of an open, trusted and sustainable cloud to our customers around the world. Our local anchorage and our constant investment in the territories allow us to strengthen our position in the employment areas to bring in new skills,” he added.

The SBG5 launch event, attended by French government ministers and representatives from the European Commission, also saw the cloud firm commit to opening 15 further datacentres by 2024 at existing sites and new locations, which will be built according to its hyper-resilience principles, the company said.

Among them will be the creation of an availability zone containing three datacentres in the firm’s Paris region, which will go live in the first half of 2023, and the deployment of OVHcloud’s first datacentre in India, located in Mumbai.

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