Great East

Strasbourg : fire on the site of the company OVH Cloud

Significant material and human resources were deployed during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday to contain a major fire on the site of the company OVH, which specializes in hosting computer servers, rue du Bassin de l’industrie in Strasbourg. Major damage but no injuries.

This Wednesday, March 10, 2021, around 1 am, a spectacular fire broke out on the Strasbourg site of SAS OVH Cloud (not classified Seveso), rue du Bassin de l’Industrie. The flames, several tens of meters high, quickly engulfed this four-story building, close to the German border, which housed the company’s computer servers.
According to the Bas-Rhin prefecture, 43 firefighting vehicles and around 100 firefighters were deployed on site to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings. For their part, the German authorities sent men and equipment to contain the fire.
After several hours of fighting, the firefighters finally managed to bring the fire under control. Although no toxic pollution was released by the smoke, the neighborhood was cordoned off during the operation. Although the material damage was very significant, fortunately no one was injured.

DataCenter OVH – credit photo : OVH
DataCenter OVH – credit photo : OVH

OVH reports on the March 10 fire

OVH reacted quickly last night by publishing at 03.56 a ticket on their website This site allows to follow in real time the management of breakdowns, the planning of maintenance operations and other interventions on the hardware and software infrastructure.

Since then, a press release about this fire in Strasbourg has been published on the official site OVH.

Octave Klaba on twitter

OVH’s founder and boss is giving continuous news on Twitter.

“Everyone is safe and sound. The fire destroyed SBG2. Part of SBG1 is destroyed. Firefighters are currently protecting SBG3. No impact on SBG4” tweeted Octave Klaba, the founder of OVH cloud. However, he added that SBG1, SBG3 and SBG4 would not restart today.

“Update 10 hours. We have finished shutting down the UPS in SBG3. We are looking to get into SBG3 and check the servers. The goal is to create a plan to reboot, at least SBG3/SBG4, maybe SBG1. To do this, we also need to check the network rooms. ”

“Update 11:20 All SBG3 servers are OK. They are down, but not impacted. We are creating a plan to reboot them and connect them to the network. No ETA. Now we will check SBG1. ”

OVH is more than 400,000 servers

The OVH group is a French cloud computing company that offers communication solutions (telephony) and web hosting (websites, online applications, file storage …). The company inaugurated its seventh datacenter in Strasbourg in February 2012.

OVH has more than 30 data centers around the world and has the largest data center in terms of surface area. It is the first hosting provider in Europe and the third in the world in terms of physical servers. The company was founded in 1999 by the Klaba family. Its headquarters are located in Roubaix, France.

OVHcloud is the largest European-based cloud service provider, competing with U.S. giants Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud, which dominate the market.

A fire at the wrong time

In a Reuters announcement on March 8, we learned that OVH was starting the process for an IPO. This would be one of the most important technological transactions of the year in France.

Customers suddenly out of order

Many reports

On the Downdetector site, which allows anyone to report a problem at any time with a digital service provider, there was an explosion of reports at the beginning of the day.


Signalement des utilisateurs indiquant des problèmes chez OVH – Copie d’écran du 10 mars 2021 à 11:00 – source :













Customers are wondering

A datacenter can contain from a few hundred to several thousand servers. In order to host their digital services, OVH customers can rent servers (dedicated hosting) or share a server with several others (shared hosting). Knowing that a server can sometimes store several hundred small websites (artisans, freelancers, SMEs) it is difficult, for the moment, to measure the number of customers affected. Probably several thousands.

On the forums and social networks, many users are wondering about the strategy to adopt to solve the breakdown created by the fire.

  • Is it possible to order an equivalent service on an emergency basis in another datacenter like in Roubaix?
  • Is it possible to restore a backup quickly?
  • For customers using OVH as a telephone operator, is it possible to restore communications quickly?

A world increasingly dependent on technology

This incident reminds us how much our companies and our economy are dependent on new technologies. We can imagine that many services hosted by OVH will be unavailable for days, even weeks. Beyond the material losses, OVH is on the warpath to restore a maximum of services in record time.

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