OVH Keeps Super Micro as Supplier, Vets Hardware In-House

(Bloomberg) -- European cloud provider OVH Groupe SAS is sticking with Super Micro Computer Inc. as a supplier after it audited its servers and found no sign of a hardware attack, Founder Octave Klaba said.

A team of in-house experts systematically vets parts coming from external providers and assembles them into the servers that OVH relies on to offer data hosting services, Klaba said at a press conference in Paris. Super Micro is one of several companies supplying OVH with mother boards.

“We assemble every component coming to OVH,” Klaba said Wednesday during a question and answer session at the company’s headquarters. “We have expertise and have developed an eye because we assemble servers everyday,” he also told reporters, after the conference.

A report by Bloomberg Businessweek this month said that Chinese infiltration through subcontractors of Super Micro reached almost 30 companies, including Amazon Inc. and Apple Inc., citing one official. Super Micro, Amazon and Apple have disputed the findings and said they found no evidence of such an attack.

OVH, a Europe-grown rival to Amazon’s cloud business that pushed into the U.S. in recent months, assembles servers that it groups into huge cloud computing data centers, leasing out storage and processing power to customers such as tire-maker Michelin, insurer AG2R La Mondiale and British rail ticket retailer Trainline.

“We spent a lot of time trying to find something and not knowing where and what, but we didn’t find anything,” Klaba said. “We can’t say if the story is true or not, we just don’t know. We’ve seen on our side that we don’t have this kind of issue.”

Further security measures like software resets and wiping servers clean, as well as firewalls and other protections are in also in place, Chief Technology Officer Alain Fiocco said during the conference. “Information is concealed and kept separate,” Fiocco said.

OVH plans to invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) over 5 years on items, including security, that it says will help it steal market share from Amazon. It doesn’t need to tap investors or more debt at this point, but expects to start weighing options for the next round of fundraising in the coming 12 to 18 months, with all options on the table including an initial public offering.

“Our plan is secured,” Klaba said. “We don’t need more money for the moment. We will work on the next line between 2021-2026.”

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