OVH scrambles to restore service after devastating fire
French data centre operator OVH is still racing to restore service as usual to its customers, following a devastating fire that swept through its facilities in the city of Strasbourg on Wednesday morning.
The cause of the fire has yet to have been established, although OVH has said that an investigation is ongoing. Firefighters were immediately called to the scene, according to a statement from OVH, but were unable to contain the blaze and, as a result, service from the entire campus was abruptly halted at around 02:54 am. “If your production is in Strasbourg, we recommend that you activate your Disaster Recovery Plan,” OVH spokespeople added.
The blaze began early on Wednesday morning (UVH’s data points to first detection at 00:47 am) at OVH’s Strasbourg campus, completely destroying one data centre (SBG2) and badly damaging another (SBG1). The other two facilities on the campus (SBG3 and SBG4) were reportedly unharmed, and none of the multiple fibre routes in and out of the campus were damaged. The fire was ruled as being officially contained at around 5:30 am.
The facilities will reportedly need to be “almost entirely reconstructed,” according to a statement from OVH.
UK cybersecurity firm Netcraft estimates that the disruption to OVH’s services temporarily knocked out more than 3.6mn websites, including those belonging to banks, email service providers, e-commerce sites and “several countries’ government websites.”
Popular open-world survival game Rust also reported that 25 of its game servers had their game files deleted permanently during the incident.
"Many thanks for all the empathy messages you sent us today!" tweeted OVHcloud founder Octave Klaba on Wednesday. "I want to thank the teams who have been working all night/day. It's been the worst day for the last 22y and there is no word strong enough to say how sorry I feel today. We keep working hard to restart SBG1 / 3/4 asap!"
OVH issued an official statement on Thursday, saying that “With our 15 data centres in Europe, our technical and commercial teams are fully invested to support our customers, implement solutions and mitigate the impact of the unavailability of our Strasbourg site. Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality of services to support their online activities and we know how important this is to them. We sincerely apologise for the difficulties and challenges caused by this fire. We are committed to continue to communicate with the greatest transparency about the cause of the fire and its consequences.”
Sustainability and PUE reduction in data centres
The data centre industry is at a crossroads. As demand for colocation, hyperscale cloud, and edge solutions continues to rise, operators and enterprises are also facing up to the reality that sustainable design and operating practice are a mission critical component of the modern data centre. Going green is no longer an optional extra.
Data centres are becoming an increasingly critical foundation that underpins the modern world, and the demand for them continues to grow exponentially each year. Data centres must remain in constant operation in order to provide the services for which customers depend on them.
This mission critical need, combined with the sector-wide push towards reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint throughout the industry, is making the search for innovative evaporative media solutions that keep systems running at peak efficiency an equally mission critical priority.
The two main sources of energy consumption in a modern data centre are its IT equipment and the cooling infrastructure used to keep that equipment cool. A 2017 study found that energy consumption as the direct result of cooling data centre IT equipment can amount to over 40% of the total energy consumption in a facility. From air cooling to liquid and evaporative chillers, data centre operators, finding the right cooling solution for your facility is a top-of-mind goal for any data centre operator.
Portacool: keeping it Kuul
Based in Center, Texas, Portacool is a portable evaporative cooling solutions firm that has been pushing the boundaries of mission critical infrastructure cooling technology since it entered the market in 1990.
Through constant embodiment of its five brand pillars - Safety & Liability, Total Cost of Ownership, Productivity & Performance, Sustainability & Social Responsibility, and Life & Comfort Enhancing Solutions - Portacool has grown steadily over the past 30 years, continually reinforcing its reputation for industry-leading cooling solutions.
Portacool’s solutions have been successfully applied throughout the agricultural and horticultural, manufacturing, industrial, business, entertainment, sports, home, and hobby industries - “anywhere cooling is needed and traditional air conditioning is impractical or cost prohibitive.”
The company’s sub-brand, Kuul, is Portacool’s answer to the growing need for reliable, sustainable cooling solutions in the data centre sector. Portacool manufactures three series of evaporative media – Kuul Control, Kuul Vitality and Kuul Comfort. Kuul Control is used in data centres, power generation and HVAC systems. Kuul Vitality is utilised primarily in the horticulture, poultry and swine industries. Kuul Comfort is exclusively made for usage in Portacool-branded portable evaporative coolers.
Kuul can help data centre operators lower their PUE dramatically, increasing the environmental sustainability of their facilities significantly as a result of its rigid evaporative media solutions.