This past August (2011) rumours began to circulate that French web hosting company OVH would be hiring both sales and technical staff in Montréal. Those rumours seem to have been verified with the recent announcement that the company plans a brand-new data centre in that city. A report outlining the data centre appeared in the Montréal Gazette in mid-December. The expansion could result in as many as 20 technicians and dozens of sales and marketing personnel.
Montréal is a great choice for the company’s entrance into North America, primarily because it is a French-speaking city. It’s unclear whether OVH will expand south of the border or contain its North American ventures to Canada only. Currently the company services a good portion of Europe with web hosting services in Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the UK. If their Canadian operations go well it’s conceivable they could slowly move down into the northern parts of the United States. However, competition in the U.S. is much fiercer and OVH would be at a clear disadvantage.
Between all of its European data centres OVH currently operates approximately 100,000 servers. Yet the Roubaix-based company offers more than just domain registration, web hosting, and cloud services. It also offers VoIP as well as design and manufacturing of servers, ventilation systems, and water cooling systems. This could give them a competitive edge because it allows them to procure their hardware at a reduced cost. We’ll have to wait and see if the move to Montréal indeed pans out.