How did the Strasbourg-based OVHCloud fire set the French web on fire?

How did the Strasbourg-based OVHCloud fire set the French web on fire?

Essential
OVHCloud’s site in Strasbourg (Boss-Rin) was in a major fire. It offers numerous websites outside of France. This has had a huge impact on many websites.

Thousands of websites were hit on Wednesday, March 10, after a spectacular fire that destroyed OVHcloud “data centers” overnight in Strasbourg, some of which customers now fear permanent data loss. In a statement, the company, one of the world leaders in “cloud” and web hosting, offered its “sincere apologies” to concerned customers, promising to implement solutions to the Strasbourg site’s unavailability.

The fire and the ensuing power outage had effects beyond French borders, reminding users that data provided in the digital cloud is physically stored in “data centers” and therefore vulnerable.

Throughout the morning, the French bitcoin trading expert Coinhouse, a very diverse framework such as the Center Pompeii or the public data access platform data.gouv.fr It has been reported that there are sometimes only temporary restrictions on accessing their websites or using email. In total, OVH reported that “12,000 to 16,000 customers were affected.”

Some have reported permanent data loss, such as the British video game studio Facebook, Rustin’s publisher. “We are now reading about replacing the affected servers,” he announced on Twitter. “Data cannot be recovered”. However OVHcloud pointed out that it could not confirm any definite losses: the company said that “there are many possibilities for having customers”, depending on the subscription backups or redundancies. The latter said it had begun a list of damage after its technical teams were allowed to enter the damaged premises in the afternoon. Meanwhile, OVHcloud has suggested launching their “disaster recovery plan” if its customers’ data is hosted in Strasbourg.

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The fire broke out at 12:47 a.m. at one of the 4 OVH cloud data centers set up in the industrial area of ​​Port du Rhine, east of the Alsatian capital, not far from the German border. It mobilized significant relief resources, including 115 firefighters and 44 machines, police officers and civil defense agents and German operational resources. “The fire quickly spread throughout the building. To prevent it from spreading to nearby buildings, we set up an important hydraulic device using a more powerful pump-boat (Rhine, drawing water from the editor’s note),” Damien Harrow said. Commander of relief operations.

In addition to the wooden floors, “these are plastic, which produces significant smoke and flames,” he said. Firefighters conducted pollution tests in the atmosphere so that any risk of contamination could be ruled out. The OVHcloud site, established on a plot previously occupied by ArcelorMittal, does not classify Sevastopol, unlike other sites in the industrial zone.

Created in 1999 under the name OVH, OVHcloud was started in the 2010s by hosting websites before launching into “cloud” services (outsourced data storage). Along with a few other players, the company carries the confidence of the European cloud of American and Chinese giants in the field who have become strategic for the digital economy. He announced on Monday that he was ready for a possible IPO.

The group has 2,450 employees, half of whom are based in France, operating 32 data centers worldwide, with revenues of 600 600 million in 2019 (latest release).

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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