Very secretive so far, Online, Iliad’s cloud subsidiary, is embarking on the market with an integrated industrial model and a strong differentiation strategy. On the agenda: the opening of its fifth and largest data center, the establishment of a center of 100 people in Lille and the hiring of 250 people in 2018.
This is the big awakening for Online. The Iliad Group’s cloud subsidiary still makes discretion its golden rule. She rarely speaks in public and almost never communicates to the press. The address of the mansion, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, where she moved the bulk of her troops, remains strictly confidential. But the company agreed, for once, to depart from the rule by receiving The Digital Factory. She went on the offensive with an aggressive development plan.
BECOME ONE OF THE WORLD LEADERS
” We are now in the world’s top 10 web hosting, claims Arnaud de Bermingham , its CEO, Epitech engineer of 36. But the cloud is still minor in our business.We want to develop it with ambition to become one of the world leaders, the game remains open, and everything is to be done.Today is the future of the four or five leaders of tomorrow.That is why we decided to invest heavily. “The boss of the sister company of Free however remains discreet about the amount of this effort.
Founded in 1999, at the same time as Free, Online started with website hosting services before diversifying in 2006 into dedicated server services with its DediBox offer, then in 2015 in the infrastructure cloud (IaaS for Infrastructure as a service) with its Scaleway offering. ” From the beginning, we have chosen to differentiate ourselves by focusing on microprocessor technology ARM at the heart of mobile for our servers, while others use motorized servers with microprocessors X86 architecture from general to Intel , remark Arnaud de Bermingham At the time it was an extremely daring choice, we wanted to reduce costs, congestion and especially consumption.”A moderate choice now through the adoption of Intel X86 architecture microprocessors as well.
DEVELOPMENT OF ALMOST ALL DATA CENTER EQUIPMENT
But that’s not the only technical difference. ” We do not do virtualization, ” insists the general manager. This means that there is no pooling of servers, storage arrays and network capabilities between clients. Each customer has hardware resources dedicated to its applications.
Online is finally differentiated by its integrated industrial model. It develops all the equipment of its datacenters, with the exception of routers. It even realizes its access control systems. And has for this a development service of 14 people, half electronic, half software. It makes manufacture its materials in France by the subcontractor Cofidur, in its factory of Laval, in Mayenne.
THREE-DIGIT CLOUD BUSINESS GROWTH
” We want to master the entire value chain, from components to servers, through software by relying on open source bricks,” says Arnaud de Bermingham . be very efficient and offer services at the right price. ”
Online today has 120 people, all in France, and has a turnover of 54 million euros in 2017. According to his boss, the cloud business believes in three figures. While it already has four datacenters (two in Vitry-sur-Seine, in Val-de-Marne, one in Paris-Porte de Versailles and one in Amsterdam, the Netherlands), it is preparing to open at second quarter 2018 a fifth of 10,000 m2 and 22 MW in Saint-Ouen-L’aumône, Val-d’Oise, its largest data center dedicated exclusively to the cloud. It’s his biggest investment. Other data centers are being planned abroad, particularly in Africa and Asia. The company is also working to expand its service catalog, from two today to 56 in two years, so as to support the comparison with the USAmazon Web Services, the absolute reference of the market.