One of the world’s largest global web hosting providers, OVH, has recently announced plans to enter the North American market starting with a brand-new data centre in Québec. OVH acquired property in the city of Beauharnois from the Rio Tinto Alcan industrial mining group and has since begun construction of their new data centre. Québec was chosen over other North American cities like Boston and Philadelphia because of the cold climate. Furthermore, the ventilation provided by one of the properties smelting rooms provided just the right environment for heat sensitive servers.
“The building was used for melting and casting aluminium,” wrote OVH CEO Octave Klaba in a company blog. “The shape of the building integrated natural ventilation: the air between the two sides of (the) potroom to extract the hot air out the middle of the roof – exactly as our RBX4 (cube design). So we had the idea to put RBX4 inside the building of RTA (Rio Tinto Alcan) to make a double air inlet, a kind of double wall. And in winter we can preheat the cold air with the heat produced by servers.”
According to OVH officials, testing is now being conducted with the network’s launch scheduled to take place in August. In his blog Klaba noted that their current data centre in Washington DC is “only 8ms to New York and 19ms to Chicago,” thus making the new data centre in Québec uniquely positioned to handle most of the traffic in Canada and America’s northeast coast. Once that market has been established, OVH is considering putting the data centre to use in the western and central regions of the U.S. as well.