OVH Kicks Off Three-Data Center Attack on U.K. Cloud Market

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French hosting and cloud provider OVH is stepping into the U.K. market, starting with a data center in the London suburbs, which it said will be the first of three it’s planning to launch in the country.

The Roubaix-based company – which in 2010 made headlines beyond the hosting industry bubble for agreeing to host Wikileaks, after Amazon had caved in to U.S. government pressure and dropped the site – is now in the middle of a global expansion push, fueled partially by a €250 million funding round closed last year.

Today’s announcement follows the launch of data centers in Australia, Singapore, and Poland a few months ago. The company recently announced plans to step into the U.S. market, with a site in Northern Virginia, and Germany, with a site in Frankfurt.

By the time it’s done, OVH plans to have data centers in 11 countries and expects to have spent €1.5 billion and five years to build them.

At 43,000 square feet, its first site in the U.K. will be a mid-size data center, which it expects to bring online by the end of May. OVH also plans to launch a second site on the outskirts of London and a third, remote site to act as a disaster-recovery facility.

The company designs its own hardware and operates its own private metro network, called vRack, in each multi-site region it deploys. Its cloud is built on OpenStack.

It also comes up with unusual designs for its data centers, such as its cube-shaped facility in Roubaix and its Strasbourg data center, built almost exclusively out of containers.

OVH’s strategy for competing with Amazon and Microsoft? Hybrid cloud.

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