Giant breakdown at OVHcloud: which French group is ready to go public?

Giant breakdown at OVHcloud: which French group is ready to go public?
Giant breakdown at OVHcloud: which French group is ready to go public?

ZOOM – A failure in the servers of the host OVHcloud paralyzed the activities of many of its customers on Wednesday. LCI tells you more about this company on which the survival of many companies depends.

C.A. – 2021-10-13T23:56:30.805+02:00

This Wednesday morning, many companies saw their activities paralyzed. Unavailability of their websites, inability to access their emails, or even their telephone line … All were victims of a giant failure affecting the servers of the OVHcloud host. These dysfunctions persisted until 10:30 am and can be explained, according to the founder and president of OVHCloud Octave Klaba, by a “human error”.

This failure comes ten months after the fire which had completely destroyed one of the four “data centers” of OVHcloud installed in Strasbourg, impacting a total of 12,000 to 16,000 customers. The Center Pompidou portal or the data.gouv.fr public data access platform had in particular been made inaccessible for a few hours. As OVHcloud customers are themselves hosts, the failure affected, according to the American company Netcraft, 464,000 distinct domain names (including 59,600 French) and 3.6 million web servers linked to OVHcloud.

OVHcloud, a French “success story”

OVHcloud was founded in Roubaix in 1999 by Octave Klaba. Born in Poland, he arrived in France at the age of 17 and landed his place in an engineering school in Lille where he created an association of webmasters. Learning later that the American host of this association is shutting down, the student decides to collect his French customers. After a difficult start, the computer enthusiast manages to obtain support from Xavier Niel, the founder of Free. Thanks to this support and the opening of their capital to investment funds, the French group has established itself as a real web host.

In 2017, the group moved into another dimension by acquiring the division cloud (dematerialized computing) of the American giant VMware and by opening up its capital to achieve this. Private investment funds are injecting 250 million euros into the Roubaix company, valuing it at more than 1 billion euros thanks to which OVHcloud has been able to build a European offer in the cloud market largely dominated by American giants such as than Amazon, Microsoft or Google. Cloud providers make the enormous computing capacity of their data centers available to their customers, with an advantage in terms of cost and continuous adaptation to changing computing and storage power requirements.

The host is also one of the tenors of Gaia X, the Franco-German initiative to defend Europe’s control over its data. It was also cited as a recourse to Microsoft to manage the future French health data warehouse (“Health Data Hub”).

In addition, the company stands out in the design and manufacture of its servers in its two factories located in Croix (Nord) and in Quebec. According to the company, the Croix plant produces around 70% of the global server fleet, “en circuit court”. the “innovative system” cooling system developed by OVHcloud allows “to use 30 to 50% less electricity than competitors”, and to be “more competitive”, had also praised the Director General Michel Paulin during a visit by the Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, last August.

Based in Roubaix (North), the company now employs more than 2,400 people and generates 632 million euros in turnover. Octave Klaba, for his part, rose to the fourth rank of the greatest fortunes in France.

A high symbolic IPO

One of the top ten global cloud players, OVHcloud is due to go public on Friday with an expected fundraising of 350 million euros, for a valuation of the company between 3.5 and 3.75 billion euros . Octave Klaba and his family will remain largely in the majority after the operation.

Group executives predict a 25% sales growth rate by 2025, but have warned that there is no planned dividend distribution for future shareholders, the group wanting to focus above all on l investment, with 2 billion euros planned for the period 2020-2025.

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By this IPO, OVHcloud should be the pride of the government, which places a lot of political hopes in the success of the “start-up nation”. The group will join the software publisher Dassault Systèmes, which launched on the Paris Bourse in 1996 and is now part of the flagship CAC 40 index, or the specialist in advertising targeting Criteo, a long-time figurehead of the “French tech” following its entry with fanfare on the American Nasdaq in 2013, even if its star has since faded a little.

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