To meet growing demand, French IT and communications services provider Orange has built a data center in northwestern France to host data and services for business customers and the general public. It will also play a role in the development of Orange’s cloud computing products and support the Orange’s own IT operations.
Orange represents the division of France Telecom that provides mobile telephony, and all broadband and business connectivity services.
Known as “Normandie”, the new data center includes 5,000 sq m (approx. 53,800 sq ft) of space for infrastructure in a 16,000 sq m (approximately 172,000 sq ft) building in Val-de-Reuil, France. Orange has 16 data center sites in France and more than 50 around the world. The data center will be making extensive use of outside air cooling to avoid air-conditioning use, and it has the distinction of being the largest data center in France to use free cooling.
Orange anticipates this data center to play a crucial role in increases in networks data traffic and the development of future cloud computing services.
The French telecom industry has been shaken up recently with the entry of Free.fr, which has reduced the costs of mobile telephony services by offloading traffic, when possible, to Wi-Fi thanks to a network of 4 million hotspots around major French cities.
This has already caused Orange to introduce low-cost packages of its own to compete, but with its major cellular business facing disruption, Orange could be attempting to derive more profit from its business IT services including cloud computing.