Commentary Orange improves the efficiency and carbon footprint of its data centers

Orange reacted in mid-June to two gigantic next-generation datacenters, larger, more efficient, less energy-consuming. By 2030, the group should close almost all of its 17 data centers in service in France, to keep only three in all. Explanations.

Today, Orange stores its French data in 17 datacenters scattered throughout France. The group was facing a major challenge: most of this equipment was reaching saturation point and was particularly energy-intensive. The modernizer would have represented a very significant investment.

Orange will go from 17 to 3 datacenters, thanks to two new ultra-modern centers

The telecom operator preferred to adopt another strategy: to bring out of the ground two new new generation data centers, very large in size and with optimal energy efficiency. They were put into service at the end of 2021, one in Amily in Centre-Val de Loire, and the other in Val-de-Reuil, in Normandy (baptized “Normandy 2”), where a first datacenter has been in operation since 2012 (“Normandy 1”).

The group took on these two new facilities in mid-June 2022, only 110 kilometers apart, a proximity that promises “redundancy and low latency” according to Jean-Marc Escalettes, director of Orange Grand Ouest.

By 2030, Orange plans to repatriate all of its data from France (consumer data, services from OBS client companies, internal information system) to these two datacenters. And keeps only 3 datacenters in all, Amily, Normandy 1 and Normandy 2.

Reduce the environmental footprint of data centers by 30%

The two new equipments are intended “scalable, adaptable and secure “, according to Fabienne Dulac, deputy general manager of Orange and CEO of Orange France. Beyond the necessary rationalization of its data management, Orange has also invested in reducing the carbon impact of its datacenters, which represent 8% of its environmental footprint in France.

To do this, Orange has equipped its two new data centers with a “free cooling”which uses the outside air to naturally cool the equipment, when the temperature does not exceed 26°C: this technology allows them to operate for 10 months without air conditioning, and to reduce their environmental impact by around 30%.

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