Hosting company OVH says its staff are safe after a fire destroyed one data center and damaged another at the company’s campus in Strasbourg, France. All four data centers at the campus are offline this morning, but the company is working to restore some services once power can be restored to the site.
“We have a major incident on SBG2,” OVH CEO Octave Klaba tweeted Tuesday evening. “Firefighters were immediately on the scene but could not control the fire in SBG2. The whole site has been isolated which impacts all services in SGB1-4. We recommend to activate your Disaster Recovery Plan.”
Klaba later reported that “everyone is safe” and that the fire had destroyed the SBG2 structure and part of the adjacent SBG1 bulding.
Photos posted on social media show the entire SBG2 building engulfed in flame.
Here are Twitter photos from the local fire service in Strasbourg, with aerial photos of the fire and its aftermath.
Fires that consume an entire data center building in this fashion are rare due to the industry’s standard use of data center fire suppression technology, which is designed to detect smoke and then deploy suppressants (either water or chemical agents) to extinguish the fire and contain the damage to a small area.
The SBG2 facility is part of a campus that mixed traditional data center buildings with a non-traditional design featuring container data modules that were stacked to create server rooms. In Strasbourg, OVH used the containers to recreate a distinctive cube-shaped building design it had previously used in its initial campus in Roubaix. SBG2 was one of the traditional data center buildings that did not use containers.
In 2017 OVH experienced an extended outage in Strasbourg due to power problems.
CEO Klaba was on-site in Strasbourg Wednesday morning to provide updates to customers via Twitter. He reported that 4 of the 8 server rooms in SBG1 were damaged by the fire, but the network room was spared. He said all the servers in SBG3 were intact but offline because the campus has no power. SBG4 was unaffected by the fire but also offline.
In a later update, Klaba said OVH hopes to resume operations at the SBG1 and SBG4 data centers by March 15, with the SBG3 facility targeted to come back online on March 19. OVH builds its own servers, and says it has inventory in its Roubaix facilities and plans to deploy 10,000 servers in the next 3 to 4 weeks to replace the gear lost in the fire.
OVH serves 1.6 million customers and operates more than 400,000 servers in 32 data centers.
We will continue monitoring news about this incident and update when additional details are available.