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OVHcloud – Industry Snapshot

Published September 26th, 2018. In this Industry Snapshot, John Webster, Sr. Analysts, discusses the major announcements from the OVHcloud analyst day. Download this free report now!

OVHcloud Industry Snapshot

On September 13, 2018, the Evaluator Group attended an industry analyst event hosted by OVHcloud. OVH is a public cloud services provider that has typically specialized in bare metal and off-premises private cloud hosting.

OVH was founded in France in 1999 as a web hosting vendor and expanded its presence in the European market to including gaming. In May of 2017 it acquired VMware’s vCloud Air public cloud business including seven data centers and expanded its operations to include the US. Today, OVH serves 1.5M customers from 28 worldwide data center on 4 continents staffed by over 2,500 employees. It builds its own infrastructure along the lines of other web-scale service providers such as Google.

OVH continues its close relationship with VMware and its vCloud Air customers while expanding its services to reach new customers. Going forward this effort will include addressing customer need for easy migration of VMware-based workloads to the cloud, agile scalability, management automation in the cloud and competitive pricing.  The establishment of partnerships with third party vendors will be exploited. For example, OVH is a public cloud site for Zerto’s Disaster Recovery as a Service offering.

In his opening remarks, CEO Russ Reeder focused on ways OVH is differentiating itself vs AWS and Azure. OVH values openness and lower cost vs other CSPs. Public cloud services use OpenStack for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Customers with OpenStack expertise can manage OpenStack instances directly. Otherwise, customers are offered a GUI that masks OpenStack’s complexity.

Perhaps most importantly though, OVH pricing is based on usage only. There are no additional data ingress or egress charges.

OVH’s current service offerings include:

  • Dedicated Bare Metal
  • Hosted Private Cloud based on VMware’s Software-defined Data Center (SDDC)
  • Public Cloud based on OpenStack’s multitenant Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Cloud Infrastructure and Services

During the event, OVH executives stressed their approach to cloud infrastructure and the fact that building bare metal is core to all other OVH services. From a hardware standpoint, OVH builds its own compute, networking and storage capabilities into standardized containers. Each container holds 48 servers with direct-attach storage. OVH builds these for public cloud use cases as well as hosted and/or bare metal which can be customized depending on user requirements. OVH data center capacity is scaled upward by adding servers to containers and entire containers. Storage is distributed across servers and can be either block or object.

Dedicated Bare Metal services have been typically used by web hosting/game hosting clients and vendors of SaaS applications. However, OVH is also attracting AI and critical enterprise platform applications to its bare metal services. Categories of services include Introductory, Performance-optimized and Specialized. Customers choose from a variety of hardware options for CPU (AMD, Intel, Intel Xeon), storage (NVMe, SSD, SAS, SATA) and networking connectivity (direct and private LAN).

Hosted Private Cloud based on VMware SDDC is offered in three options depending on customer processor and memory requirements:

  • Dedicated Cloud with single AMD or Intel CPU-based servers with 32, 64 or 128 GB of SSD
  • Enterprise Dedicated Cloud with dual Intel CPU-based servers and 256 or 512 GB of SSD
  • VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) with dual Intel CPU-based servers and 768 GB of SSD
  • VMware Workspace ONE will be offered as a service next year

Public Cloud Services are focused on IaaS and PaaS solutions and based on OpenStack. Instances can be specified as general purpose, RAM-optimized and CPU-optimized. Storage for instances can also be specified: block, object and object/archive. OVH does not compete with other CSPs such as AWS and Microsoft Azure on the basis of a broad portfolio of cloud services. Rather, OHV takes an 80/20 approach by offering the 20% of services used by 80% of the public cloud user base. Direct competition with these providers is based on ease of use, open interoperability and price.

Evaluator Group Take

From the beginning of this event, OVH executives sent the message that they value openness, security and interoperability. OpenStack forms OVH’s software infrastructure foundation for its Public Cloud services. They are members of the Open Cloud Foundation as well as CISPE in Europe and conform to the CISPE Code of Conduct with regard to openness, privacy and security. Coming within the next few months is a PaaS capability based on OpenShift for containers and Kubernetes.

OVH has typically appealed to two customer types: SMB and enterprise users needing a scalable, automated cloud environment for developing, hosting and re-hosting applications; and vendors of SaaS and other web-facing applications. It is interesting to note that enterprise users are now also using cloud services to host their own SaaS and web-facing applications for customers, clients, patients (in healthcare) and partners. The fact that OVH does not charge for ingress or egress charges makes its cloud particularly appealing to these dual purpose cloud users as well.

The closest analog to OVH’s Hosted Private Cloud is VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC). Primary use cases for both include direct application migration to cloud, business continuance and disaster recovery, and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) coming next year. Here, OVH will compete on the basis of ease of use and price.

OVH occupies a space that is becoming increasingly important to enterprise cloud users. Our research indicates that interoperability is a significant concern among enterprise IT administrators cloud users and OVH addresses this need for VMware and OpenStack users. However, the fact that OVH does not charge for data ingress and egress will surely attract potential customers to examine their cloud services.


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