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Eco-friendly data center at heart of Orange cloud

Eco-friendly data center at heart of Orange cloud
November 28, 2013in Technology2013-11-282013-12-04technologyen
Orange has opened its latest high-technology data center in Normandy, France to meet the growing demand for cloud computing and other services.
New data center Normandy

Orange has opened its latest high-technology data center in Normandy, France to meet the growing demand for cloud computing and other services. Designed to process billions of pieces of data, it is connected to the Orange Group’s network of more than 50 data centers around the world. Innovative, eco-efficient and highly secure, the project as it currently stands represents a total investment of more than €100 million.

The Normandy facility  has been planned in minute detail, right down to the materials used, architecture of the buildings and energy supplies. It is key to the evolution of Orange Group’s IT infrastructure, which will result in the replacement of 16 existing data centers in France with six very large data centers.

These new larger data processing centers will produce economies of scale and improve reliability and security for customers. It is helps accelerate the development of cloud computing, which is at the core of the Group’s strategic plan, Conquests 2015.

18 hectare site

Built on an 18-hectare site in the commune of Val-de-Reuil near Rouen, the 5,000 m² facility currently consists of three distinct buildings: a security post, an office building and the data center. The site is fully future-proofed and has space to expand by an additional three data centers and related buildings.

The data center itself has four server rooms with the cabinets in aisles on raised floors. This allows for easy cabling access and optimizing air circulation at ground level. To date, two server rooms are operational and other two will be commissioned as of January 2015. Surrounding the server rooms are technical areas, locations for network equipment and pre-deployment zones.

Access to the data center is strictly regulated and only authorized people are allowed to enter the server rooms upon showing ID. The site is protected and supervised 24/7 week by a triple-access control system and video surveillance. The site has resilient power, with dual electricity supply and an independent generator. There are two complementary systems for fire protection: a highly sensitive smoke detection system and a water-mist sprinkler system.

eco-friendly principles

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program, Orange designed the data center to satisfy requirements for working environment quality and to reduce environmental impacts. The site, certified to the French High Environmental Quality (HQE®) standard, complies with best practice for reduced consumption of electricity and water, waste and waste water management and landscaping.

Almost all the energy consumed in a data center by the IT systems and the related networks is converted into heat that needs to be eliminated. The Normandy data center limits the use of artificial air-conditioning by using ambient air: this is free cooling. The weather conditions in the region make it possible to make direct use of cool outside air to cool the equipment 11 months out of 12. 

The Val-de-Reuil data center is the biggest in France to use free cooling and is one of the world's most energy efficient data centers. Thanks to the carefully controlled energy costs, Orange believes that the savings at the facility could be equivalent to the annual domestic consumption of electricity in a town of 30,000 people.

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Find out more about Orange cloud computing here:

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