OVH to Shutter Second Strasbourg Data Center After Smoke Incident

March 20, 2021
Ten days after a fire destroyed its SBG2 data center in Strasbourg, French hosting company OVH says it will abandon efforts to restart the adjacent SBG1 data center.

Ten days after a fire destroyed its SBG2 data center in Strasbourg, French hosting company OVH says it will abandon efforts to restart the adjacent SBG1 data center, and will shutter the facility and move servers to other locations.

The decision followed an incident Friday night in which a battery room in SBG1 filled with smoke, requiring a shutdown as fire officials secured the site. OVH said the smoke came from batteries that were being stored, and had been damaged during the fire at the nearby SBG2 building.

OVH had been attempting to restore operations to the three remaining data centers on the Strasbourg campus. But after assessing the challenges at SBG1, CEO Octave Klaba said it will abandon the effort to resume operations at the building.

“We don’t plan to restart SBG1. Ever.” Klaba shared on Twitter.

Servers housed at SBG1 will be removed from the facility, cleaned up and then deployed to other data centers, including the company’s campuses at Roubaix and Gravelines in France, as well as capacity at the SBG4 data center in Strasbourg. Klava said OVH will continue efforts to restore service at the SBG3 and SBg4 data centers.

The decision likely means additional delays in service resumption for customers whose workloads were at SBG1, and underscores the challenges of rapid service resumption at fire-damaged facilities.

The SBG2 data center was destroyed by fire on March 9, which required the power to be turned off for the entire four-building campus. Once the site was secured, OVh began a cleanup effort with plans to restore service at the remaining three data centers. Work will continue at SBG3 and SBG4.

The smoke event at SBG1 began at 6:50 pm local time, when OVH teams identified smoke in an unconnected battery room at SBG1.

“The fire department was immediately contacted,” OVH said. “OVHcloud’s management decided to apply the precautionary principle: the power supply of SBG1 and SBG4 was immediately cut off. Operations on site were temporarily interrupted, all OVHcloud personnel and all partner teams were asked to return home, only the security, fire safety and maintenance personnel remained on site.

“Once on site, firefighters identified the source in the battery room, and the incident was contained within minutes. No injuries were reported among the OVHcloud teams or its partners. As a precautionary measure, two security personnel who were affected by the smoke were examined by medical professionals.”

On Saturday, Klaba announced the decision to shutter SBG1, and said 60 OVH techs are currently working to restore SBG3 and SBG4.

For updates, see the OVH Strasbourg Incident Updates page and Klaba’s Twitter account

About the Author

Rich Miller

I write about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. I founded Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry's leading news site. Now I'm exploring the future of cloud computing at Data Center Frontier.

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