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IaaS challenger OVH to open first UK datacentre by May 2017

French hosting provider sets out plans to ramp up its UK presence with a series of datacentre builds over the coming year

French infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider OVH plans to open its first UK datacentre by the end of May 2017 in London, having taken over a site previously occupied by a telecommunications provider.

The facility is the first of three the firm is planning to launch in the UK, and will be designed to accommodate around 40,000 servers and occupy around 4,000 square metres, OVH claims.

The datacentre will connect to OVH’s existing point of presence (PoP) in London, via a double fibre network path for redundancy purposes. This, in turn, is directly connected to OVH’s other facilities in France, the Netherlands, Canada and the US via low latency network links.

To entice new OVH subscribers to use its UK-hosted cloud services, the company is rolling out a series of special offers tailored to the needs of the local market, as part of its Discover OVH initiative.

The company claims its UK customer list features a mix of startups and enterprises, which make up its one million-strong global subscriber base.

One of the other datacentres OVH is planning to open in the UK will be used as a failover site for the first and will be located on the outskirts of the capital, the company has confirmed. The third, meanwhile, will be sited far enough away from the first two to act as a recovery site.

To make this possible, all three sites will be linked together by OVH’s private vRack network.

Read more about UK datacentre expansions

The UK datacentre launch news is part of the firm’s ongoing effort to build out its global presence, having previously set out plans to build facilities in Australia, Singapore and Poland in October 2016.

While OVH may be less well-known than its public cloud competitors, the company takes a similar approach to kitting out its sites as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google by running its cloud on servers created in-house for cost-saving and performance purposes.

The firm is also the latest in a long line of public cloud providers to announce a UK datacentre build, with AWS, Google, Microsoft and IBM all either launching or confirming opening dates for local facilities in recent months.

The trend is thought to have been prompted by the growing demand from enterprise cloud users for cloud services hosted locally. This is in on the back of the the collapse of the Safe Harbour transatlantic data-sharing agreement in October 2015, and in anticipation of the roll-out of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018.

Furthermore, with enterprises increasingly looking to shift mission-critical workloads to the cloud, the demand for low latency connections to local datacentres is also thought to be a factor.

On the back of this, data from real estate consultancy CBRE, published in November 2016, shows the supply of European colocation capacity is falling as cloud service providers look for ways to rapidly expand their geographical footprint in response to growing demand for off-premise services.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)