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OVH Drops 10,000-Server Container Into Montreal Data Center
Servers inside an OVH data center. (Photo: OVH)

OVH Drops 10,000-Server Container Into Montreal Data Center

Poland-designed container expands European hosting firm's data center capacity by 50 percent.

OVH is adding capacity to its data center just outside of Montreal using a container with 10,000 servers. The European hosting giant opened the facility last year to serve North American customers. It now touts 50,000 hosting customers in the region and is adding 10,000 additional servers to meet the demand.

OVH first announced its intentions to enter North America in 2012 and launched the Quebec facility (its second in the region) last January with capacity for 360,000 servers. The OVH team built two hosting towers of 10,000 servers each within six months of opening. The third operational phase brings another 10,000 servers.

The container of 10,000 servers used for the most recent expansion was designed in Poland and brought to Canada by ship. The company says the container was less expensive to develop than the first two towers and more energy efficient.

It will be directly powered through existing electrical structures for one of the towers and run on lower voltage (415 volts instead of 480 volts). According to OVH, this enables it to leave transformers and modulators out of the design.

The company raised $181 million to build data centers in North America. Quebec was a logical choice for the French company given language and cultural similarities.

It focuses on green design and has taken a unique approach, overseeing every aspect of the manufacturing process. It builds custom servers, containers and data centers shaped like giant cubes in the case of France.

The plan is to eventually build three data centers to cover the vast territory of North America.

OVH’s first North American data center in Beauharnois, Quebec, is housed in a former Rio Tinto Alcan alumnium plant with an airflow design reminiscent of the Yahoo Computing Coop, designed to allow waste heat to rise and exit through a central ceiling vent. The building is located alongside a dam that will provide 120 megawatts of hydropower to support the facility.

Founded in 1999 by Octave Klaba, the company now has more than 170,000 dedicated servers in its 15 data centers.

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