First Impressions— OVH Opens The Doors For vCloud Air

… and the doors were opened …

The first 15 people from the new OVH US team agreed to be the test group on the inaugural trip to France to learn more about OVH Group’s culture, teams, and technology. The trip was fantastic!

Rob Engle, Jack Fine, Mike Matthies, Henry Brown, Trey Tyler, Ashley Neely, Neal Elinski, Bill Hunter, Patty Fisher, and I were lucky to be in the first wave from the sales, marketing, and customer success side of the business. Several other OVH US team members were on an operations track as well including: Adam Berger, Mike Hodson, Doug Day, Deann Evans, Jason Young, and Stan Dorsett (my apologies if I forgot anyone!).

There were 3 days of training in total, starting on Tuesday. The sales, marketing, and customer success track team were educated on all things OVH to learn about the products, marketing, solutions, and to provide feedback so the following waves maximized their time. The overall sentiment from the team was that we were lucky to be in the test group. By the end of the trip, we were proud to say we were going to become part of an innovative (cloud) technology company, doing the type of things we dreamed vCloud Air would do. It was real!

The People

OVH literally and figuratively opened all doors to the OVH US team as visible in the picture above. The OVH group staff were warm, friendly, humble, excited, intrigued, and eager to meet and learn from everyone. Some of them were providing training in English as the primary language for the first time ever, and they always over-apologized if they made any mistakes, even though they didn’t need to. It was great to see how much they cared about delivering a clear message.

Octave Klaba, CEO of OVH Group, led a great discussion with the US teams on the subject of OVH culture, history, values, and goals. He literally couldn’t contain his excitement at times and told us that he can’t believe this really is his life because every day is like a dream. I believe it means that he is extremely proud of what his family and team have accomplished, and that we are just getting started!

The Culture

The OVH culture is one of family, friends, drive, passion, and engineering innovation. “Innovation is Freedom” is very real here. You could tell that people aren’t working at OVH because it is a job. The culture at OVH seems to be at the crossroads of people’s personal as well as professional lives. The passion was electrifying. The OVH US team will be a great addition, and I feel we are very lucky to have found our long-lost family in France!

The Technology

Where to begin? The few paragraphs below don’t do this justice, but it’s a start.

OVH can connect all of their enterprise offerings together on the same Layer 2 (L2) network using their vRack technology. This means customers could run VMware SDDC for middleware and stateful apps requiring High Availability or Fault Tolerance, run Oracle on bare metal physical Linux boxes, run front-end web servers on Open Stack and connect them all across data centers on the same L2 segment. This is incredible! No one else can do this, especially with the user experience (#UX) OVH has created. Everything must be automated and built for scale. YES!

Trey Tyler summed it up when he said, “we think about OVH as a cloud company, but they are that and so much more”. He’s 100% correct! Starting from the top, this company is doing things that no other cloud company can do today. I feel proud to tell this story, and we are going to use it to win in the industry. I believe this, and if you do not after learning about what they do and how they do it, please reach out.

OVH builds their own servers starting from sheet metal and hardware components. OVH fabricates and builds all parts inside the datacenter except the piping that needs to be bent. No, I’m not kidding. They do this so they can continuously improve on their designs to maximize value for the OVH Group board and customers.

We saw the laser cutting machine and server build cutouts, we saw the machine that creates the CPU heatsink in copper and the cutouts where water flows to cool the servers, we saw the teams assembling the servers, we saw the teams putting servers in racks so dense it was fascinating, we saw a data center filled with water cooled servers, we learned that OVH creates their own furniture with their manufacturing ability, and on and on and on.

Did you know that OVH provides telecom services to France, like DSL and fiber-based services? Yes, they do, and at a shockingly low price point compared to the US. We may not use some of their technology in the US offerings, but the stories about innovation are rooted in everything they do, and we can use those stories when explaining why and how we are different.

OVH also provides shared hosting, but guess what? Their new design for shared hosting is a micro service based architecture they created leveraging containers. They’ve innovated down to shared hosting to maximize value for their customers… It is amazing how far down into the rabbit hole this company goes to do things better, faster, more securely, and at a better price point.

Did I mention that OVH can add a host to a VMware cluster in less than 5 minutes? Did I mention they can provide bare metal servers to customers with keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) as well BIOS level access in 2 minutes? Did I mention they have graphics processor (GPU) options? Did I mention they have Anti-DDoS capabilities for mitigating attacks up to 1.x Terabits/second and weren’t taken down by the IoT Terabit/second attack a few months ago? Well, now you know.

Summary

The motto of OVH Group is “Innovation is Freedom”, and they live it every day.

The US Sales team selected a motto created by Kristin Fannin at the kickoff in Dallas. It was “One Team One Goal” (hashtag #OTOG). We now have a much bigger team, and I truly believe we have #OTOG!

Trey Tyler coined the phrase, “Yes You Can”, after asking several questions regarding limitations in vCloud Air that will no longer be limitations once we are in the new OHV data centers.

“Innovation is Freedom”, “One Team, One Goal”, and “Yes, You Can” really do encapsulate who we are, what we do, and the limitless possibilities of our future!

Special Thanks to OVH Group leadership (especially CEO Octave Klaba) & OVH US leadership (especially our guide, Brian Kuhn) for the amazing experiences!

Welcome to OVH, friends!

The OVH leadership team and I are excited for you to travel to France and meet the teams, explore the culture, and learn more about the technology so you can either hear or tell this story as big and as fabulous as it really is (in Europe for now) and as it will be in the US very soon.

Paul Stephenson (aka, ps3)