A new data centre in Quebec is the key to the North American expansion effort of French Web hosting provider, OVH.

OVH acquired real estate that was part of the industrial zone of mining group, Rio Tinto Alcan from the City of Beauharnois, Quebec in January before formalizing plans to construct a new data centre with a 360,000 server capacity.

Testing is now underway and a full network launch is scheduled this August, as noted in a Data Center Knowledge (DCK) report.

OVH CEO, Octave Klaba blogged: "Our DC (data centre) is only 8ms to New York and 19ms to Chicago. We are very well positioned to provide dedicated servers and cloud computing with a quality of service intended on reaching 25 percent to 30 percent of the US population. In parallel to the data centre, we started in the establishment of a vast American network that goes through all major cities to United States and Canada.”

Klaba also added, as noted in DCK, that a total of three data centres might be required to cover the entire North American market with the Quebec facility serving the East Coast in the first phase and the West and Central US regions to be considered later.

Locations in Boston and Philadelphia were also evaluated before the cold climate of Quebec sealed the deal, according to Klaba: "The building was used for melting and casting aluminum. The shape of the building integrated natural ventilation: the air between the two sides of (the) potroom to extract the hot air out the middle of the roof – exactly as our RBX4 (cube design). So we had the idea to put RBX4 inside the building of RTA (Rio Tinto Alcan) to make a double air inlet, a kind of double wall. And in winter we can preheat the cold air with the heat produced by servers.”

OVH's $120 million investment will create more than 100 new jobs in Beauharnois and Montreal, where the company plans to establish a new office.

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