OVH fire left millions sites and services dead or wounded

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A fire at a French hosting provider and data center in Strasbourg took millions of websites out of the Net for a while. Sites of government agencies, banks, shops and also news sites were not reachable for a long time. Part of the French .FR domain extension also fell out. There are still problems with accessibility here and there.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight on Wednesday at OVHcloud. The fire destroyed one of the four data centers. A second one was damaged. A cause of the fire is not yet known. The fire ignited less than two days after OVHcloud unveiled plans for an IPO.

OVHcloud is one of the largest providers of cloud services in Europe. The company has called on its customers, such as the French government, the art complex Centre Pompidou and the crypto fair Deribit to activate their disaster recovery plans after the fire.

Firefighters were quickly on the scene, but could not control the fire in the affected data centre, said OVHcloud founder Octave Klaba. In the near future, the company will work on repairing the equipment and checking the fiber connections.

Founded in 1999 by Klaba, OVHcloud competes with American giants such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp’s Azure and Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud, which dominate the market. The affected servers would host some 3.6 million websites, including certain government platforms in France, Britain, Poland and Ivory Coast.

The Strasbourg data centers are among the 17 OVHcloud data centers in France. There are 32 data centers worldwide. Several customers said that their websites had gone offline or that their emails could no longer be accessed. There was no immediate news about large data losses.

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