3.6 million websites taken offline after fire at OVH datacenters

Around 3.6 million websites in 464,000 different domains went offline overnight after the major fire at an OVHcloud data center location in Strasbourg.

More than 18% of the IP addresses assigned to OVH in Netcraft’s latest web server survey, held two weeks ago, stopped responding at 06: 00-07: 15 UTC this morning.

A load monitoring diagram of a server running in one of OVH’s Strasbourg data centers.
It was last updated today at 01:13 UTC and shows when it was inaccessible during the fire.

Fortunately everyone is safe; However, according to OVH, the fire in its SBG2 data center was uncontrollable and it is likely that no data can be recovered. Part of the SBG1 data center was also destroyed. Firefighters protected SBG3 all night, and while there was no direct impact on SBG4, it was also unavailable because the entire site was isolated. As a result, all services in SGB1-4 were offline.

Websites that went offline during the fire included online banks, webmail services, news sites, online stores selling PPE for protection against coronavirus, and several country government websites.

Examples of the latter were websites used by the Polish Financial Ombudsman; the Ivorian DGE; the French table form of the agate de l’Etat; the Welsh Government Export Center; and the UK Vehicle Certification Authority website which received a new SSL certificate by 10am and is now back online with a UK hosting company.

Cannot reach the Chrome error message that the website is being displayed.

Bank websites were also hit by fire.

Unsurprisingly, for a French hosting company, the hardest hit country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is .fr, with 184,000 defunct websites spread across 59,600 different domain names – that makes 1.9 % of all .fr domains in the world. In comparison, only 24,100 .uk websites were hosted in only 8,700 unique domains in the affected data centers. Most of the affected websites are using the generic top-level domain .com, which amounts to 880,000 websites in 180,000 domains.

🔥 Fire at the OVH Cloud location in #Strasbourg: Around a hundred # Pompiers67 🚒 were mobilized last night, including the Franco-German pump boat Europa1. The measures taken have made it possible to preserve most of the company’s buildings. Cash on delivery activated. No injuries. pic.twitter.com/RKjI6F9DB7

– SDIS du Bas-Rhin (@ sdis67), March 10, 2021

OVH has published an update on its Fire at Our Strasbourg Site. An incident report suggests that rebuilding some of the destroyed infrastructure could take two weeks.

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