After the OVHcloud Strasbourg SBG2 data center was completely destroyed by fire two weeks ago, OVHcloud has announced that after a second small fire late last week SBG1 will not be restarted as well. Only the SBG3 and SBG4 facilities are now being restarted at their Strasbourg site in France.

The SBG1 data center started smoldering again resulting in a lot of smoke. The source of this smoke came from batteries from an unused data hall in SBG1. Octave Klaba, founder and CTO of OVHcloud, has announced on Twitter that SBG1 will never be started up again and will be permanently written off.

Earlier, it seemed that the SBG1 data center of OVHcloud had suffered less severe damage. Some servers in the nevertheless heavily damaged SBG1 are still recoverable. These server systems are being transferred to other data centers including OVHcloud’s SBG4 facility. It is suspected that a recently maintained UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) was at the origin of the big fire.

SBG Data Center Design

Due to smoke in SBG1, the recovery of OVHcloud’s SBG3 data center is experiencing additional delays. The SBG4 facility is also undergoing recovery work which includes power and network connectivity. SBG4 is expected to return to service soon now though.

In recent years, Octave Klaba himself had identified deficiencies in the company’s data center design in Strasbourg. His clarification back then was in response to a major power outage a few years ago. The shipping containers at the SBG site used for the housing of server racks were not meant to be used on a large scale.

Unlike all other OVHcloud data center sites, the Strasbourg SBG site did not follow OVH’s internal standard of providing two independent 20 kV lines. SBG2’s electrical network sits on top of SBG1’s network. Instead, the data center power grids should have been separated, as is the case with all other OVHcloud data centers around the world.

After the fire, Octave Klaba had revealed that OVHcloud from now on will offer free backups by default to every hosting solution to avoid any confusion in the future. The inferno caused quite some headaches for several customers, as not every customer had arranged for backups.

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