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OVHcloud, France’s largest in-house cloud provider, is preparing for anticipated power outages by stockpiling diesel generators. Its CEO confirmed the move on Monday.

In the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict, Europe is attempting to reduce its reliance on Russian gas ahead of the approaching winter. While France is less reliant on Russian supplies than its neighbours, the government has cautioned companies they could face power rations and asked them to reduce use.

The French government considers OVHcloud to be critical infrastructure. Therefore, it’s protected from power outages in several ways. CEO Michel Paulin told reporters that the business is ready for the worst shortly after launching a new datacenter in the northeastern city of Strasbourg. OVHcloud stockpiles diesel generators to provide backup datacenter power in the event of an outage.

Diesel generators

Paulin said the diesel generators are tested every month or two months. However, the CEO emphasized that OVHcloud would not be able to rely on the alternate energy source for long. As he explained, the tanks are full, but systems like these are not meant to run for weeks. 

The French finance ministry drafted a list of vital sectors and industries that should be protected from power outages. The finance ministry said that several measures had been taken, with some factors depending on the severity of the winter, adding that telecoms and cloud service providers were critical to keeping France running.

OVHcloud needs to compete

According to a European Commission assessment, the cloud services industry accounts for up to 4 percent of overall energy consumption in the EU. That figure is expected to climb by about a third by 2030.

The continuity of OVHcloud’s power-hungry offerings is even more critical for the company’s performance and reputation. The business went public in 2021 and needs to compete with US tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet, which monopolize data storage globally. A massive fire destroyed four of OVHcloud’s data centers in Strasbourg last year, significantly straining the company.

Tip: Underwater datacenters open up shop before the end of the year