OVH data center burns down knocking major sites offline

In a major unprecedented incident, data centers of OVH located in Strasbourg, France have been destroyed by fire.

OVH is the largest hosting provider in Europe and the third-largest in the world. The cloud computing company provides VPS, dedicated servers, and other web services.

Customers are being advised by the company to enact their disaster recovery plans after the fire has rendered multiple data centers unserviceable, impacting websites around the world. 

Fire destroys Strasbourg data centers

OVH, the world’s third-largest and Europe’s largest hosting provider has been impacted by a disaster.

Its French data centers, SBG1, SBG2, SBG3, and SBG4 located in Strasbourgh were shut down to contain the damage from a fire that started in SBG2.

A statement provided by OVH on their status page reads:

We are currently facing a major incident in our DataCenter of Strasbourg with a fire declared in the building SBG2.
Firefighters were immediately on the scene but could not control the fire in SBG2.
The whole site has been isolated, which impacts all our services on SBG1, SBG2, SBG3 and SBG4.
If your production is in Strasbourg, we recommend to activate your Disaster Recovery Plan.
All our teams are fully mobilized along with the firefighters.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

In hours following the incident, BleepingComputer saw the data centers SBG2 and SBG3 disappearing altogether from OVH’s list:

ovh data centers
OVH data centers page no longer shows SBG2 and SBG3

Major sites knocked offline, more expected

As a result of this incident major customers of OVH state their web services are inaccessible.

The list of impacted clients includes provider of free chess server Lichess.org, videogame maker Rustcryptocurrency exchange Deribit‘s blog and docs sites, telecom company AFR-IX, encryption utility VeraCryptnews outlet eeNews Europe, the art building complex Centre Pompidouand many others.

Deribit has clarified to BleepingComputer that the outage only impacted their docs and blog sites and that the exchange was never down.

For videogame maker Rust, the incident has led to a total data loss leaving no way for recovery.

“We’ve confirmed a total loss of the affected EU servers during the OVH data centre fire. We’re now exploring replacing the affected servers. Data will be unable to be restored,” the game developer tweeted.

Cyberintelligence firm Bad Packets shared an image of an OVH server becoming unavailable due to the fire but has told BleepingComputer that they were not affected.

Example of unreachable OVH server
Example of unreachable OVH server

Although according to the OVH founder and chairman Octave Klaba, the fire has been contained as of early hours of March 10th, 2021, services are expected to remain unavailable at least for today.

“Fire is over. Firefighters continue to cool the buildings with the water.”

“We don’t have the access to the site. That is why SBG1, SBG3, SBG4 won’t be restarted today,” said Klaba.

Fortunately, there have been no reports of any casualties arising from the fire so far.

OVH has released a detailed statement on the incident and the steps being taken towards mitigation. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Customers should immediately bring into effect their disaster recovery plans as OVH is working on restoring its services.

Updates:

10-Mar-2021 8:50 AM ET: Clarified that the OVH outage impacted only Deribit’s blog and docs sites and not the exchange.
11-Mar-2021 1:51 AM ET: Added link to statement released by OVH.
11-Mar-2021 1:35 PM ET: Our original article stated that Bad Packets was impacted. They have clarified that they were just sharing an example of an unavailable server.