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Montevideo, August 12th 2022 - 14:09 UTC

 

 

Major fire at Europe's largest cloud services knocks out some 3,6 million websites

Thursday, March 11th 2021 - 09:07 UTC
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The fire, which broke out on Wednesday, shortly after midnight at OVHcloud, destroyed one of four data centers in Strasbourg and damaged another The fire, which broke out on Wednesday, shortly after midnight at OVHcloud, destroyed one of four data centers in Strasbourg and damaged another

Some 3,6 million websites were knocked out because of a fire at a French cloud services firm in Strasbourg, including French government agencies' portals, banks, shops, news websites, and a chunk of the FR webspace, according to Internet monitors.

The fire, which broke out on Wednesday, shortly after midnight at OVHcloud, destroyed one of four data centers in Strasbourg, in eastern France, and damaged another, the company said.

There was no immediate explanation provided for the blaze, which erupted just two days after the French cloud computing firm kicked off plans for an initial public offering.

Europe's largest cloud services provider told clients including the French government, the Centre Pompidou and cryptocurrency exchange Deribit to activate their disaster recovery plans following the blaze.

“Firefighters were immediately on the scene but could not control the fire” in the affected data centre, founder and chairman Octave Klaba said on Twitter. He said the plan for the next couple of weeks would include rebuilding the centers' equipment and checking their fiber optic connections.

Some 100 firemen fought the blaze which sent a thick plume of black smoke into the night sky. Video images showed firefighters dousing one smoldering, multi-storey building in the early morning as they cooled down the site.

Founded by Klaba in 1999, OVHcloud competes against US giants Amazon Web Services, Microsoft's Azure and Alphabet's Google Cloud, which dominate the market.

“OVH is a pretty important hosting company on the Internet,” said Mike Prettejohn, who directs British-based network security company Netcraft. He added the affected servers hosted 3.6 million websites, including niche government platforms in France, Britain, Poland and the Ivory Coast.

Prettejohn estimated that just under 2% of the sites with the French .FR domain extension had been affected. French politicians have championed OVHcloud as a possible alternative to US cloud services providers, but it has so far lacked the scale and financial clout to dent their market share.

The company said on Monday it had started the process for a potential IPO, without giving details. The Strasbourg centers were among OVHcloud's 17 data centers in France, and 32 globally.

Several clients said their websites had gone offline or emails could not be accessed. There was no immediate news of any major data losses.

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