OVH data centre fire shows backups should be standard, founder says

Octave Klaba suggests many customers incorrectly assumed backups were a default part of their contract

The SGB2 facility in Strasbourg damaged by fire

The founder of OVH, which owns the French data centre that perished in a fire last week, has said the incident highlights a need for the data centre industry to offer backups as a standard for all customers.

Octave Klaba said his company will start providing secure backups for its data centre customers by default rather than as an additional paid service.

Klaba said that the fire at OVH's data centre site in Strasbourg earlier this month, that destroyed one building and partially damaged another, should serve as an industry-wide wakeup call.

"This incident will change our way of delivering these services, but, also, I believe it will change the industry, which will increase the securities of backups by default, without any payment," Kalaba said in a video. "This will be our strategy, our answer to this incident."

Several OVH customers affected by the fire were unable to bring their applications back online due to a lack of backups. Klaba suggested there was some confusion over service terms and that some of its customers hadn't fully understood what they had brought from OVH. The French cloud firm did offer 500GB of free backup storage with every dedicated server and customers could pay to ramp that up to 10TB.

"It seems that globally, the customers... understand what we are delivering, but some customers, they don't understand what exactly they bought," Klaba said in the video.

The CEO added that he would post another video on Friday 19 March with an update on the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire. Thermal images used by firefighters suggested the building's uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system was a possible cause. Klaba said that investigators had taken the UPS units and all its batteries and fuses - along with video footage - for analysis.

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