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The time has come - ALPHA USA

03-26-2012, 01:49 PM

We are pleased to announce the start of Alpha testing of our new datacentre that is neither in France or in Europe but in North America.

We are on the East Coast of Canada, in a small town in Quebec called Beauharnois. Why there? We bought an old building made of giant Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum. We're talking about 60000m2 of land, powered by a private substation, with two electric supplies of 120,000V and which is capable of delivering 120MVA each. One of the electricity supplies comes directly from the electric dam in Beauharnois which is 300 meters from the building.
This is the Ouebec's fourth largest electric dam. It is able to supply 2000MVA. The other electrical supply is one of the corner posts used to export energy to the United States. Therefore it is particularly stable and rich in energy..

We have been speaking about an electric dam, 100% of the energy that OVH will consume within the Beauharnois DC is green and will be provided by Quebec's electric Dams.

It is Hydro Quebec that produces and sells to us.
This energy source is particularly consistent with datacentres that consume a constant power 24 hours a day. Another source of energy which is also compatible with the datacentre is .. NUCLEAR, but that's another debate anyway green energy is cheaper than nuclear energy.

Our DC is in Quebec and therefore outside the United States. This is a unusual strategy to attack the American market, right? Not so much. Our DC is only 8ms to New York and 19ms to Chicago. we are therefore very well positioned to provide dedicated servers and cloud computing with a quality of service intended on reaching 25% to 30% of the U.S population. North America is 70ms * 35ms length and breath. In short, it is a territory so vast that it takes at least 3 large datacentres to cover the entire population. We are in phase A, which is taking account of the east coast. Later we think do the same to the West and certainly the centre. It will all depend if it is still in IPv4 ..

We have been working on the U.S project for 2 years. We had originally thought in Boston and Philadelphia but it was not right. We studied locations compatible with our RBX4 technology and that met certain temperatures and humidity in air. Without any natural disasters such as tornadoes or earthquakes.

At first, when we visited Quebec to see some places, it was in June 2011, and we had the idea it would not work there either: it's too cold winter in Quebec. No kidding. Yes yes, up to -40 C!
Our current DCs works very well at temperatures of around 35 - 45 c but not at very cold temperatures.

But when we saw the RTA building, we said "holy cow!" because within minutes, we could see what was missing when exporting our technology to a very cold country. Indeed, the building was used for melting and casting aluminium. The shape of the building integrated natural ventilation: the air between the two sides of potroom to extract the hot air out the middle of the roof. Exactly as our RBX4. So we had the idea to put RBX4 inside the building of RTA to make a double air inlet, a kind of double wall. And winter
we can preheat the cold air with the heat produced by servers.

The shape of the building and the substation was sufficient to trigger the purchase of the land and the establishment of OVH in Quebec. We have chosen Beauharnois for the datacentre and Montreal for the support and system admin offices. Since October, I have been working on site. Mid December, we completed the land purchase and since mid January we have been working on recruitment of engineers in Montreal. The team is growing every Monday .

Much remains to be done before the infrastructure is stable enough for purchase. It is believed in the beginning of August that we will be able. Meanwhile, we need a few hands and lots feedback, so from you, to see things we can not see from our point of view. this is why we designed the ALPHA phase and BETA phase.

ALPHA phase starts tomorrow. If you have an OVH dedicated server and you want to extend your activities in American market, OVH offers a dedicated server for free for 2-4 months. The purpose of this phase is to fine tune the network and optimise routing. In fact, in parallel the data center, we started in the establishment of a vast American network that goes through all major cities to United States and Canada. This new network is connected US network in Europe and the two networks will benefit each other. But there may be roads optimise: instead of going to Quebec in the United States directly we can have roads that pass
by Europe. We must lift our test and problem. At the same time, do not hesitate to push a bit servers: you have 100Mbps guaranteed.

The BETA Phase will start in May This will the version that will be powered by our system completely isolated from Europe. The order, delivery, billing manager, email and all the domestic system must be redeployed in an isolated system. And must be capable of delivering orders. As a result, our teams must be capable of producing servers and deliver in less than 1H. So we will look into how to learn to manage what in France has been made for some years.

During phase one ALPHA and BETA will allow for 2 or 3 blackouts that can last a few hours. As will be described, the DC is being construction and we will have to perform different work until August to deliver at the beginning of August an SLA of 100%. In short, if this is down, it is not real. If this fails, it does not matter. If this goes down, we don't shout everywhere that it is a scandal. If it shuts down, we will look at all the info and see when we expect the problem to be fixed. If this condition is not acceptable to you, Please do not participate in either the ALPHA or the BETA because it is not a production environment. From the month of August it will be a production environment and there you can rant and curse about the first packet lost.

If all this interests you, please do not hesitate and subscribe to the mailing list by sending email to

Officially the mailing list is English. We'll see how it will be in practice.

Today Monday, we will discuss and sync, with you. Tuesday tomorrow we will put up the site and give you the control and very simple process to validate your order for a dedicated server at OVH and America.

Regards Octave