Orange puts 100 million euros to build two modern data centers

For now, it is a large hole of 18,000 square meters on which two cranes watch. Workers have been hurrying there for two months already. The Algeco are in place, the concrete has begun to flow. We are in Val-de-Reuil, 25 km from Rouen, a few steps from Orange's largest data center,
"Normandie 1", entered into service in 2012

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This is where Stéphane Richard came, trowel in hand, symbolically lay the foundation stone of "Normandy 2", a site even more powerful than its neighbor – 13.5 MW of capacity, against 10 MW for the same right of way. sol – which will come into service in 2020. The tricolor operator will spend more than 100 million euros to erect this new building, as well as its twin in Chartres, a hundred kilometers away.

Closing 9 old data centers

The interest for Orange is of course to face the explosion of data consumed by its customers, individuals or companies. "We have calculated that our French data centers will reach saturation at the end of 2020"explains Stéphane Richard. It's time for Orange to grow server farms.

But it is also an opportunity for the operator to modernize and rationalize its IT infrastructure. Currently, Orange is present in around 70 data centers around the world, including a dozen that it owns and operates in France. But these are, with the exception of "Normandy 1", obsolete. These are old telephone terminals refitted to accommodate computer bays. They will therefore close gradually.

And in a few years, all Orange France data will be grouped into three data centers: the two normans and the one in Chartres. This concerns the internal data of the company (with the exception of the management of fixed and mobile networks, which has its own infrastructures), those of its private customers (especially television) and those of Orange Business customers. Services.

Climate challenge

"Data centers are key elements in the data journey, which we have decided to masteradds Stéphane Richard. It is an issue of sovereignty – for the company, for France and for Europe. It's a security issue. And it is a lever to take all our share in the climate challenge. "

Orange is currently working on its next strategic plan, in which the group intends to set itself a goal of carbon neutrality. The new sites have been chosen accordingly. Thanks to "freecooling", a method of cooling servers that uses ambient air – which does not exceed 26 ° C for at least eleven months of the year in Normandy – the group ensures saving 60% of energy consumption from an old data center.

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