The OVHcloud Story 20 Years of Innovation

The OVHcloud Story

20 Years of Innovation


2020-Today: Lead in open cloud


OVHcloud is the leading European cloud provider with a global presence – serving customers around the world.



In 2016, in order to meet the growing global demand for cloud infrastructure, OVH finalized a partnership with two leading global investment firms. KKR and TowerBrook Capital Partners acquired a minority stake in OVH for €250 million, with the Klaba family retaining its majority stake in the company and continuing, together with the management team, to lead OVH, its strategy, and operations. New data centers were opened across the world, including two data centers in the US, at Vint Hill and Hillsboro, and two offices, in Reston and Dallas. Vcloud Air was acquired from VMware. The company expanded to Singapore and Australia in 2017 and India in 2018. In 2019, OVH became OVHcloud, affirming its leading position in the cloud market, and structuring its offer around four cloud categories to meet its customers' various needs and support their growth.



Expansion to the US; Acquisition of vCloud Air from VMware

Key Milestones:

  • Employees:  2,000+
  • Data Centers: 27  (overall capacity, 1.3M servers)
  • Active Servers:  300,000+
  • Customers:  1.3 Million (138 countries, 6 continents)
  • US subsidiary comes to life:
    • US Executive team hired
    • US headquarters opened in Reston, VA, and Vint Hill, VA
    • 2nd US Data Center Announced (Hillsboro, OR)
  • OVH acquires vCloud Air from VMware, launches as vCloud Air powered by OVH. Adds seven vCloud Air Data Centers to the ecosystem



Planning for growth

Key Milestones:

  • OVH receives $250M investment from KKR and TowerBrook for global expansion
  • First US Data Center announced – Vint Hill – in northern Virginia
  • Employees: 1,200+
  • Data Centers: 20
  • Active Servers: 250,000+
  • Customers: 1 Million (130 countries, 4 continents)



North American Expansion

Key Milestones:

  • North American expansion continues with the opening of its first North American research and development center in Quebec City, adding 150 jobs in Quebec.
  • Employees: 1,000+
  • Data Centers: 17
  • Active Servers: 220,000+
  • Customers: 930,000 (worldwide)
  • Record funds raised -- $327 million dollars for expansion
  • Dedicated Cloud gains SOC1 (SSAE16 and ISAE 3402), SOC 2 Type II and PCI DSS certification.
  • OVH launches the “Digital Launch Pad” program for startups.



OVH Enters the World Stage

Key Milestones:

  • OVH Celebrates 15 years in business
  • Employees: 800+
  • Data Centers: 17
  • Active Servers: 180,000+
  • Two new brands are launched: “So You Start” / “Run Above” – to serve new markets
  • Introduced vRack and .ovh domain
  • Dedicated Cloud gained SOC 1 type I (SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402) and SOC 2 type I attestations



The Largest Data Center in Europe

Key Milestones:

  • Employees: 700+
  • Active Servers: 150,000+
  • Launched GRA data center, in Gravelines, France -- the largest data center in Europe, with a record capacity of 300,000 to 500,000 servers
  • OVH launches Anti-DDoS protection to fight Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Deployed network enhancements, bringing 100G coherent technology to its network as well as migrated its eligible customers in France to VDSL2
  • Dedicated Cloud received the ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certification



Heading for America

Key Milestones:

  • Subsidiaries in more than 16 countries
  • Employees: 600+
  • Active Servers: 140,000+
  • New Target Market: North America.  OVH builds the largest data center in the world in Beauharnois, Canada, just outside Montreal.  This data center will eventually hold 360,000 servers
  • Added a data center in Alsace, France (SBG1)
  • Dedicated Cloud received the second VMware Service Provider award in Barcelona – along with the vCloud Data Center award
  • OVH opened its very first remote R&D location in Lyon to augment the sys admins and developers in Roubaix Valley



OVH: The Number One Hosting Provider in Europe

Key Milestones:

  • Already the leader in France, OVH expanded its leadership in Europe for website hosting
  • Active Servers: 100,000+
  • Data Center Count: 7
  • Completed 4th data center in Roubaix (Roubaix 4), with a capacity for over 35,000 servers
  • Introduced “hubic”, the online storage and sharing platform
  • Launched Public Cloud Services and won its first VMware vCloud Service Provider aware for the Dedicated Cloud product



OVH Introduces the Cloud

Key Milestones:

  • Employees: 350+
  • Customers: 400,000+
  • OVH invests €10 Million in R&D cloud
  • Launch Virtual Bays, a virtual switching system implemented within a private network, where servers can be physically spread out across any OVH data center as if they were in the same rack.  This has evolved into the vRack product
  • Launch Dedicated Cloud Beta – based on VMware technology stack



Development in Europe Makes Headway

Key Milestones:

  • Five New OVH subsidiaries opened – Ireland, Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland, and Czech Republic
  • Countries Served: 12
  • Launched Roubaix 2 and Roubaix 3 data centers
  • Innovation lead:  Added air cooling to its water cooling system



OVH Launches VoIP in France

Key Milestones:

  • Opened 3 additional subsidiaries in Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom
  • Countries Served: 7
  • Active Servers: 37,000
  • Launched VoIP solutions aimed at SMEs and SMIs in France: "Plug&Phone"



Energy Efficiency at the Heart of R&D

Key Milestones:

  • EcoRoom Introduction: OVH innovation expands again, replacing air-conditioning units with a natural ventilation system that uses hot and cold airflow to ensure temperatures are regulated



OVH Deployed its Network Infrastructure

Key Milestones:

  • Active Servers: 12,000 -- in Paris and Roubaix data centers
  • Subsidiary set up in Germany
  • Began building additional data centers in Roubaix, France
  • Data centers in Paris and Roubaix interlinked with fiber optic network
  • OVH established unique infrastructure throughout the world – the origin of today’s network -- starting with a connection on 33 points of presence, 3,000 Gbps bandwidth in Europe, and eventually 8,000 Gbps in North America



The Birth of OVH in Roubaix Valley

Key Milestones:

  • OVH expanded operations to more than two hectares on the outskirts of Roubaix, approximately 250 kilometers northwest of Paris
  • Profits were reinvested to support exponential market growth



The first European subsidiaries

Key Milestones:

  • Active Servers: 4,000
  • OVH opens wholly-owned subsidiaries in Poland and Spain
  • Moved servers to the new Paris data center
  • Older servers were retro-fitted with water cooling systems



Water Cooling: Ground-Breaking Innovation

Key Milestones:

  • Departing from leased data centers, OVH opened its first wholly-owned data center, a 3,000 square-meter building in Paris
  • In seeking an alternative to the traditional (and noisy) air conditioning and, more so, to reduce energy consumption in the new data center, OVH invented an innovative approach to cool the processors using water.  This proprietary water-cooling approach was implemented after extensive R&D to ensure energy efficiency, increased flow rate, and speed to implement.  OVH becomes one of the first cloud hosting providers to build water-cooled data centers



OVH Builds Servers

Key Milestones:

  • OVH continued to grow and began searching, in Paris, for a new data center. Several times a week, the teams went back and forth between Roubaix and Paris to maintain their servers
  • Adding to the casing innovation, OVH designed and built its first server – the Greenbox.
    After the Greenbox, OVH realized the operational gains and started designing and building all of its servers -- now choosing every single component to maximize operations and performance



A Passion for IT

Key Milestones:

  • Customers grew in number, and activity increased
  • OVH opened its first (rented) data center, P11, in Paris, but quickly outgrew the space.
    OVH innovation took the first big step.  To make it easier to maintain the servers, OVH decided to make its own casings/chassis



First Accreditations

Key Milestones:

  • Employees: 3
  • Active Servers: 20
  • OVH received entitlements to resell/manage .fr and .be. domain names
  • Profits were reinvested into new servers
  • Octave's brother, Miroslaw, while continuing with his studies, joined up with the venture to help out



OVH's Roots

  • At the age of 24, convinced of the need for web hosting in France, Octave Klaba borrowed 25,000 francs (around £3,000) from his close friends and family and decided to launch his first business by himself: OVH was born!
  • From northern France, he rented ten servers from a provider in Paris. No one believed in his project. But the business got off to a flying start

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