Fire at French cloud computing firm disrupts websites

AP Technology

The OVH data center is seen in Strasbourg, eastern France, Thursday, March 11, 2021. A fire broke out on Wednesday in a room of one of the 4 OVH cloud data center affecting websites in several European countries. The origin of this fire is being investigated and no injuries are to be deplored. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

PARIS (AP) — Numerous companies and websites in France suffered outages and disruptions to services after a fire swept through a cloud computing provider’s facility.

Disruption continued Thursday after OVH said the fire erupted early Wednesday in a room at one of its data centers in Strasbourg in eastern France. No one was injured in the blaze, which destroyed one of the site’s four data centers and damaged another one.

“Firefighters were immediately on the scene but could not control the fire,” CEO Octave Klaba tweeted. He advised companies to activate their disaster recovery plans.

The company did not give an immediate explanation for the fire. Klaba said the company would work on restoring services and checking fiber optic connections.

On Wednesday, Strasbourg Airport tweeted that “due to the fire that broke out last night in the OVH Cloud company at the Rhine port, we inform you that our website is currently inaccessible.” Later that day it said that the site was back up and running.

The town of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin tweeted Thursday afternoon that the site cherboug.fr “is still unavailable following a fire at its host.”

Weather site Meteociel announced via Twitter that some of its photos, images and services were unavailable because of a “breakdown” at OVH. The site said that OVH told them that they would have to wait until March 15 for an “operational return” of critical parts of the data center affecting Meteociel. Meteociel added that “unfortunately a backup server and the data on the other servers in the fire seem unrecoverable.”

Other customers affected include video game Rust, which tweeted that some gamedata was lost, and Paris’s Centre Pompidou arts center, which tweeted that its website went down because of the fire. Free chess server Lichess, news site eeNews Europe and cryptocurrency exchange Deribitalso said they were affected.

OVH operates 15 data centers in Europe and competes with giant U.S. cloud-computing rivals such as Amazon Web Services.

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