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Industry Hosting
Founded 1999; 16 years ago (1999)
Headquarters Roubaix, France
Key people
Octave Klaba
(Founder, Chairman and CTO)
Henryk Klaba
Laurent Allard
Products Hosting, Web hosting, DSL
Revenue Increase 240 million (2014)[1]
Slogan Innovation is Freedom

OVH is an Internet Service Provider providing dedicated servers, shared and cloud hosting, domain registration, and VOIP telephony services. The company is a société par actions simplifiée under French law and its headquarters are in Roubaix in northern France.

The company has seventeen datacenters[2] housing around 180,000 machines.[3] The company offers localized services in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Finland. It has also expanded its services to the United States of America and Canada. The company has deployed IPv6 and DNSSEC.[4][5]


OVH was founded in 1999 by Octave Klaba (fr), at the time a third year student at the Institut catholique d'arts et métiers (ICAM) in Lille. The name comes from the abbreviation of his nickname, Oles Van Herman. It also serves as a backronym for "On Vous Héberge", meaning "We Host You" in French.

In 2001, OVH rented 7 racks from Paris hosting provider Claranet. With its expansion, more room was needed and cooling became an issue, so OVH moved to an abandoned datacenter from Free, a French ISP. Shortly after, the server park reaches 1 200 machines. To keep up with the growing demand, OVH installed new servers.

In 2002, another datacenter from Free was rented by OVH, who then bought its building for its first own datacenter in Paris.

In 2006, OVH opened its first subsidiaries, beginning with Poland, Senegal and Spain.

The volume of activity grows exponentially, from 6,000 to 12,000 servers, eventually revealing a lack of space. An opportunity arises in Roubaix, where OVH has its headquarters and technical teams but no datacenter. OVH built Roubaix 1 (RBX-1), its very first datacenter. In 2008 and 2009, RBX-2 and RBX-3 were built.

Meanwhile, the subsidiaries multiplied abroad: Tunisia, Morocco, United-Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Finland, Portugal, Holland. OVH now has 15 branches in Europe and 2 in North Africa.

Since 2010, OVH invested 10 million euros in cloud computing to offer new services. At the end of 2010, OVH launched "Dedicated Cloud", a brand new external cloud solution. It is now possible to deploy a virtual datacenter within an hour and add resources as needed.

In 2011, OVH hosted 100,000 servers in its datacenters. The company brought innovation to its sector with the construction of a 100% air conditioning-free datacenter (RBX-4). Pursuing its innovative thrust, OVH achieves building in 2012 its first container-type datacenter in Strasbourg (SBG-1) to respond to the needs of its clients from Eastern Europe. In 2012, OVH continued its worldwide development and opened OVH, Inc. in the United States and Canada.

In 2013, the OVH workforce reached 700 employees and launched in Gravelines (North of France) a datacenter with an overall capacity of 300 000 servers. The same year, OVH launches a VDSL Internet connexion, opened new offices in Brest (Bretagne), raised a 140 million dollar syndicated loan to support its investments and takes part with Atos in the "Cloud Plan" initiated by the French government. 2013 marks also the year of the first OVH Summit, an annual event inspired by the by IT shows in North America.

In 2014, OVH celebrated its 15th anniversary, reaching 800 employees and hosting 180,000 servers in 17 datacenters. The same year, the company launched .ovh, a new generic top-level domain (gTLD). .ovh was the first new French gTLD to be opened to the general public in such a way and over 50,000 new domain names were registered within the first five days of a promotion campaign for the launch.[6]

Two new brands have joined the OVH galaxy: So You Start, offering servers and dedicated infrastructure, and Runabove, a high performance Public Cloud solution. These two brands also work as labs where users can test brand new innovations.


Dedicated servers[edit]

  • High end servers
  • Mid range servers - sold under the So you Start brand
  • Low end servers - sold under the Kimsufi brand

Dedicated Cloud[edit]

  • Content Delivery Network
  • Big Data
  • High Permormance Computing (HPC)


Runabove is a high performance public cloud solution designed for developpers and DevOps. In October 2014, OVH launched the first per hour cloud computing offer, based on the IBM Power 8 new processor.


The following ranges of VPS are offered in the Roubaix, Strasbourg and Beauharnois datacenters

  • VPS Classic - A range of VPS based on OpenVZ

1GB to 8GB RAM, 100Mbit/s network

  • VPS Cloud - A range of VPS based on VMWare ESXi

2GB to 16GB RAM, 100Mbit/s network


Since 2014, OVH has offered a collaborative messaging platform for professionals. This solution allows users to share contacts, folders and calendars and sync emails on any device. All data is hosted in OVH's Canadian data center.

OVH Canada[edit]

On January 26, 2012, Henryk and Octave Klaba along with Canadian institutional partners (the city of Beauharnois, the Center for local development (CLD) Beauharnois-Salaberry and Montreal International) officially established OVH in Beauharnois-Salaberry.

Located in an renovated aluminium plant formerly owned by Rio Tinto Alcan, the "BHS" datacenter opened in January 2013, south of Montreal (Quebec). Within 6 months, OVH teams built two towers hosting 10,000 servers each. A third hosting space of the same capacity was built in 2014.

Designed for the North-American market, "BHS" has an overall capacity of 360,000 servers.

Key Figures[edit]

  • No1 hosting provider in Europe
  • No3 hosting provider in the world (Netcraft, Jan. 14)
  • 18 000 000 hosted websites (Apr. 12)
  • 180 000 servers (Oct. 14)
  • 17 datacenters
  • 2 900 000 domain names (Dec. 12)[7]

In the News[edit]

In 2012 and 2013, VMware rewarded OVH with the Service Provider Program Partner award for the EMEA region, and the title of Global Service Provider of the year in 2013.[8]

On October 7, 2014 during the 2nd OVH Summit, Octave Klaba reveals the company's new logo and slogan : "Innovation is Freedom".

On November 28, the French Minister for Digital Affairs, Axelle Lemaire, visits OVH.

In December 2014, Octave Klaba is named "IT personality of the year" by the magazine Le Monde Informatique.[9]

On December 14, OVH has announced a new fundraising of 327 million dollars to support the international development of the company.


Until September 2009, OVH hosted a website of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) a Hutu rebel force who has been suspected of having committed crimes against humanity.[9]

In December 2010, Gizmodo reveals that Wikileaks picked OVH as its new hosting provider following the refusal of Amazon to host it in its cloud. On December 3, the growing controversy brought Eric Besson, France's Industry Minister, to inquire about the legal ways to prohibit this hosting in France. The attempt failed. On December 6, 2010, the judge decided that there was no need for OVH to cease hosting Wikileaks.[10] The case was rejected on the grounds that such a case required an adversarial hearing.[11]

During the week of April 21, 2013, accounts on at least two separate Bitcoin providers websites hosted on OVH servers were compromised. OVH confirmed that 3 customers were victim of a vulnerability in their password recovery unique URL system, as it was not generating as randomly as intended. [12]

In July 2013, OVH was attacked by hackers. A database of all European customers (name, phone, hashed password...) was stolen.[13]

On July 30, 2014, American adult magazine publisher Perfect 10, known for having sued several big companies since 2005 (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Giganews, Megaupload, Depositfiles MasterCard, Visa and Leaseweb) filed a lawsuit against OVH for $188 million due to hosting websites that illegally provide their images on various pirate sites.[14]


  1. ^ (French) [1]
  2. ^ "OVH site" (in French). OVH. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  3. ^ "OVH france twitter" (in French). OVH. 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-10-07. 
  4. ^ "OVH : Ipv4Ipv6". Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  5. ^ "Included Services - DNSSEC - Domain names - OVH". OVH. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  6. ^ "Already more than 50,000 domain names for the .ovh gTLD!". AFNIC. 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  7. ^ "OVH : Retour express sur 2012". 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  8. ^ "OVH : Octave Klaba, PDG d'OVH, personnalité IT 2014 pour LMI". 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2015-02-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Reporter succeeds where UN failed: Rwanda militia website closed". Christian Science Monitor. September 4, 2009. 
  10. ^ French web host need not shut down WikiLeaks site: judge (AFP)
  11. ^ "Following the wikileaks case". OVH. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "OVH Forum: Our backoffice security". 
  13. ^ "OVH : Un hacker s’empare de la base de données clients". 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  14. ^ "OVH Slapped with $188m Lawsuit for Passing on "Pirate" Traffic". TorrentFreak. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 

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