OVH is a French cloud service provider, founded in 1999 in an attempt to offer a European cloud alternative. The company is an industry leader in terms of performance and the value which it adds to the businesses that use it for their cloud storage. OVH has created its own global fibre optic network, and it uses this network to bring high-quality connection to over a million customers worldwide. 

The company specialises in both public and private cloud technology, bringing hybrid and dedicated servers to those who require a high-speed, scalable and reliable cloud service provider. They also manage domain names and general web hosting, with VPS, vCentre- and vSphere-based options too, giving full customisation of task management. They host OpenStack-based data centres, paving the way for scalability, as well as implementing a DevOps service too.


OVH has its headquarters in Roubaix, France, but it is truly a global company. It is the largest cloud provider in Europe, and the 3rd largest in the world in terms of data centres. It has 28 of them across 4 continents, and also owns 7 vCloud Air data centres too, which it acquired from Vmware. The company operates in the USA, France, Germany, Poland and the UK, and has over 300,000 servers installed worldwide.

OVH’s data centres experience recorded reliabilities ranging from 99.9% to 99.999%, and they have a PUE across their data centres of 1.09. They are all powered by a double electrical supply, provided by 250 KVA UPS systems. Each centre is protected by round the clock security teams and surveillance cameras. It builds its own cloud servers, which include water cooling.

Business and Customers

The business is privately owned and comprises of around 2200 employees. Legally speaking, it is known as a simplified joint-stock company, and as a business it has done very well over the last few years. Its revenue in 2016 was estimated to be around €320 million, but in just the first quarter of 2019 alone it was estimated to be €530 million. This rapid growth is due to their increasing customer base, rising to a supposed 1.4 million. Profitability is expected to be around 4%. 

In terms of investment, the company acquired the vCloud Air unit from VMware in 2017, adding 7 data centres to its already vast spread. The company also intends to invest up to $8.1 billion in development by 2021.


The company conforms to all major security regulations, from ISO 27001, 27017 and 27018, as well as PCI DSS level 1. They also abide by SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports, along with CSA and HIPPA.

Growth and Scalability 

With the company boasting itself to be a global hyperscale cloud provider, it is setting the bar very high. However, with its OpenStack-based data centres and its wide variety of services, it is clear that the company is sticking to its claims. It has seen some immense growth over recent years, and with continued investment it will only grow its capabilities even further. Its 30+ data centres spread across the world make it a global stalwart in cloud computing.

One issue OVH needs to address is the many different business it runs from consumer domain registration and Web hosting all the way up to advanced IaaS cloud services based on the servers it designs and builds itself. In 2018 it began to address this by sub-dividing its businesses into 3 categories, which are:

  • OVHCloud – including public cloud, PaaS, bare metal, as well as hybrid and hosted private services; designed as cloud hyperscale services to compete with IBM SoftLayer, AWS, Rackspace and similar worldwide vendors; about half of its current revenues are from these services, which have been significantly enhanced by its acquisition of; these services will help it compete in the US market where cloud adoption is greatest of course.
  • OVHSpirit – including VPS and micro cloud, public cloud, PaaS and bare metal offerings and designed as local ‘best value’ services to compete against Amazon Lightsail, Digital Ocean and a multitude of national players; these services account for over a quarter of OVH’s current revenues and are particularly relevant for typical South America customers.
  • OVHMarket – designed as digital retail services where it competes with 1&1, GoDaddy, Dropbox, SFR, France Telecom and Microsoft; it includes OEM offerings for regions such as French-speaking Africa; these services currently account for less than a quarter of its revenues.

It will be interesting to see how its model develops further over time.

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