Normandy data center - innovation at the service of data storage

Orange designed the Normandy data center located in Val-de-Reuil (Eure Department - France) to meet the growing demand for remote data storage for individuals and companies. Built to host billions of pieces of data, it is connected to a network of more than 50 data centers around the world.

It uses innovative technologies to host data and applications for Orange and its customers in a high security facility designed to reduce the impact on the environment.

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Built on an 18 hectare site in the commune of Val-de-Reuil, the 5,000 m² site currently consists of three distinct buildings: a security post, an office building (offices, meeting rooms) and the building used to host the data (data center) that contains four computer rooms.

In the future, depending on how the infrastructure and the data to be stored evolve, the site could house up to three new data centers and the related buildings.

The Normandy data center is the biggest data center in France to use free cooling. This technology consists of using the outside air to cool the computer rooms for more than 11 months out of 12, thereby reducing the use of traditional air-conditioning, which is less energy efficient. The result of research and innovation, the site has been thought through in minute detail: the materials used, the architecture of the buildings, energy supplies…. It combines the best of Orange cloud computing services with reduced energy consumption.

The data center: four computer rooms of 1,200 m² each
The cabinets in the aisles that house the servers are placed on a raised floor that allows the cabling to be connected – network connections and electricity supplies – and also helps to optimize the circulation of air at ground level. To date, two computer rooms are operational and two others will be commissioned as of January 2015. Surrounding the computer rooms are areas that help the data center to function: technical areas, rooms for the Orange network equipment for third party operators and rooms dedicated to prepare the equipment before it is deployed.

Physical security of the data
Access to the data center is strictly regulated: authorized people entering the computer rooms are required to show ID. The site is protected and supervised 24/7 week by a triple access control system and video surveillance. In order to circumvent any power cuts, there is a dual electricity supply and the site has an independent generator. Finally, there are two complementary systems for fire protection: a highly sensitive smoke detection system and a water-mist sprinkler system.

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a project at the heart of Orange’s strategy

The first stone of the Normandy data center was laid in Val-de-Reuil at the end of 2010 and it started to receive the first Orange customer data in June 2012. Innovative, eco-efficient and highly secure, the project as it currently stands represents a total investment of more than 100 million euros.

It required the involvement of experts from the Group and numerous sub-contractors with multiple skills: planning consultants to provide support for the main contractor, feasibility studies and planning, construction companies (major works, access roads…), electrical and air-quality specialists, security…

Based on the need to satisfy the very strong growth in customer demand, the Group is entering the future world of IT and deploying the cloud computing architectures of tomorrow.

The Normandy data center completes a worldwide network of more than 50 Orange data centers. The construction of data centers is driven by the Group’s plans to evolve its IT infrastructure. The objective over time is to replace the 16 existing data centers in France with 6 very large data centers. These data processing centers will ultimately produce economies of scale and improve reliability and security for customers. It is also a means of accelerating the development of cloud computing offers, very much a part of the Group’s strategic plan, Conquests 2015.

cloud computing: fully secure data storage

Now an absolute must, cloud computing enables individuals and businesses to store data and softwares on secure servers and access them remotely.

Mass market demand for online content storage and sharing (documents, photos, videos, music, etc.) continues to increase, driven by the development of roaming applications. Everybody wants to stay connected and have access to their data at all times.

Businesses are increasingly using the cloud computing model. They want to have their IT infrastructure on remote servers and be able to access them as and when they need to. This is ‘IT on demand’. Quality of service and security naturally become essential criteria when choosing a partner to support them.

Apart from the physical security of its data centers, Orange does everything it can to guarantee the security and availability of its customers’ data (guaranteed by contract at a rate of 99.995 %). This reliability is recognized by specialized bodies through certifications that attest to Orange’s respect for best practice.

The role of the Normandy data center is to meet the cloud computing needs of all the Group’s customers, as well as its own needs.

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an eco-friendly site

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 fluids, electricity and water, waste and waste water management and landscaping.

Smart and economical management of air-conditioning
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 Normandy data center 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 Val-de-Reuil site could be equivalent to the annual domestic consumption of electricity in a town of 30,000 people.

further information...

View and download photos and videos of the Normandy data center in the Orange media library and the Normandy data center press kit

Orange media library Normandy data center
press kit

Corporate Social Responsibility: respect for the environment, special section on and the online press package

Corporate Social

Orange Business Services cloud computing, special section on

Orange Business Services
cloud computing

The ”Cloud d’Orange”, the Orange mass market offer

Cloud d’Orange Cloud d’Orange tutorial