Remember the OVHcloud data center fire? Here’s why it was so bad

A year on from the major fire that destroyed a data center from web hosting provider OVH, while severely crippling another, taking many services offline, the company has revealed multiple factors contributed to the destructiveness of the blaze. 

A report from the Bas-Rhin fire service says it all started with an electrical inverter that caught fire on the first floor of the five-storey building in Strasbourg, France.

When the firefighters came, they were med with “electric arcs of more than one meter around the exterior door of the energy room” where the fire first started, the report reads. 

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140-strong class-action lawsuit

“The technicians of ES (Electricité de Strasbourg) met difficulties in cutting off the electricity in the room.” It took them two hours to cut the power. The building did not have an electrical cutoff mechanism, the report says.

It also lacked an automatic fire extinguisher system.

The toxic fumes, as a result of burning lead batteries, only made things worse, while the wooden ceiling that covered the rooms could only resist fire for an hour. Adding insult to injury are two inner courtyards that were described as “fire chimneys.”

The temperature in the ground floor room hit 400 degrees, firefighters determined, using a thermal camera.

OVH is Europe’s largest cloud hosting provider and the third-largest in the world, and has four data centers in its French facility, namely SBG1, SBG2, SBG3, and SBG4. 

The incident has caused disruptions to several major online services, including the encryption utility VeraCrypt, news outlet eeNews Europe, cryptocurrency exchange Deribit, and several others. A number of French government websites were affected by the fire, as well, including, the National Education website, the Center Pompidou website and Meteosky.

Thankfully, all staff have been accounted for and were unhurt.

The Register notes that more than 140 customers filed a class-action lawsuit, seeking damages for losses.

Via: The Register

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