How Does Modular Data Center Architecture Help Telecity Scale Capacity for the Cloud?

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

I was speaking with Stéphane Duproz, Directeur Général of Telecity France at the recent Data Centres Europe 2012 conference in Nice. As a major collocation provider, Telecity Group positions its data centers as being built and operated to provide a resilient and always-available hosting environment.

Stephane told me that in common with all its operations throughout Europe, Telecity in France is set up to serve the requirements of different business sectors. The cloud is a growing opportunity for Telecity, and represents one of its main targets. This is particularly true in France where there is a big community of software developers and Telecity is helping an increasing number of them to change their businesses model from licence-based to cloud offerings. “This change,” said Stéphane, “means that they become a sales cluster for their solution. They need a very secure data center. They require data centers which have a lot of connectivity.”

And that’s where Telecity has a strong proposition – the company’s positioning is “where content meets connectivity”. Software developers and ISV’s have important content – their applications – and they need this content to be reliably available in France, throughout the continent and indeed all over the world.

From a physical infrastructure point of view, Schneider Electric’s APC InfraStruxure is helping Telecity to scale to meet the cloud opportunity.

“Before the cloud”, Stéphane Duproz told me, “ in the standard way of working, physical servers were only used at about 20% of their capacity. The cloud and virtualization have completely modified that so the physical servers are used by dozens of virtual servers and as a consequence the physical servers now use 80 – 85% 0f their capacity.”

“So the cloud makes a very big difference in power density. Each rack now consumes more [power] and your data center has to be ready for that. And one of the ways that we have found to be ready for that – when it gets to racks that use 25 – 30kW – they need special racks that are water cooled and for this we have chosen Schneider Electric solutions.”

“Actually we are the first one in Paris to have a solution like that, where we provide very high density. And we have put together a business model together where we would bill only per kilowatt without anything else; without set-up fees. This is useful for a [software] development company who can decide to use the cloud model… we have this special offer at our third data center in Paris… literally we use their own model to bill them!”

The company’s Condorcet data center won a BroadGroup Award for best collocation facility a couple of years ago. The facility has just opened its doors and will ultimately offer 3,400 m2 space and 6.4 megawatts (MW) of power.

“The experience of working with Schneider Electric has always been excellent,” says Stephane Duproz. “In addition to providing equipment, what we really like with Schneider Electric is the relationship. We talk with each other very often, we actually give back very useful input to Schneider as to how things happen operationally on a day-to-day basis, and Schneider uses that information to give us back innovative solutions… it’s more a partnership than a vendor to buyer relationship.”

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