New world. “French ministries do not know their data is hosted on US servers” according to OVH

OVH headquarters in Roubaix (JC / RF)

The French “unicorn” OVH, recently renamed OVHcloud, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Its CEO (CEO) believes that the company has the means to compete with the giants of the market and warns against storing public data on foreign servers.

franceinfo: Can OVHCloud compete with US and Chinese giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Alibaba?

Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHCloud: yes, because we have good products and we are the example that European and French technology can compete with these global players. Octave Klaba, the founder of OVH, was extremely visionary. We offer a very different cloud, especially because it is “open” and based on free software.

Since the US law Cloud Act of March 2018, the US justice has the right to “search” the servers of any US company, including if it is installed abroad … Why do you think this presents a risk ?

The debate that is emerging in France but also in Denmark, Australia and Canada, on data protection, shows that this is a very important issue. The manipulation of data that has been observed, with the Cambridge Analytica affair, affects today the functioning of democracies.

In this case, why are French ministries entrusting their data to Amazon? Why did the French search engine Qwant have a partnership with Microsoft rather than with you?

Qwant is simply because we do not offer, unlike Microsoft, the Web indexing mechanisms they need. For the departments, I am sure that, often, they do not know that their cloud is hosted on US servers. Indeed, they rely on system integrators, French for sure, but who use foreign hosts. I met a locally elected MP who was certain his data was stored on a European cloud when it was not.

The cloud is criticized for its environmental weight … Can it be ecological?

This might surprise you, but I think the cloud is more environmentally friendly than simply leaving your data in smartphones and computers. For the same amount of data, datas centers are more efficient and less polluting. In addition, OVH has been using much more environmentally friendly technologies than its competitors for 15 years, thanks to our own water cooling or our servers, which we manufacture and recycle ourselves at our plant. Cross in the Hauts-de-France.

* Unicorn: startup valued at more than a billion dollars


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