Decentralization, a new challenge for French digital technology. After Paris and Marseille, Bordeaux will soon be the new hub of data centers (data centers), following the emergence a few kilometers from the city of wine of a new transatlantic submarine cable of Facebook, Alcatel Submarine Networks, Vodafone and Orange. After Interxion in the Phocaean city, it’s his rival’s turn Equinix to open its first European data center next July outside an international megalopolis.
With 3,000 square meters of surface for 6 megawatts of electricity dedicated to supplying the computer servers of American champions of cloud computing and large French companies, BX1 will be less imposing than the data centers in Paris or Marseille (more than 10,000 meters squares for 20 MW).
But – in addition to being a new gateway for digital flows from the United States – this building is meant to represent the trend to come, that of smaller data centers that are closer to end users.
About 200 commercial data centers in France – whose rooms are rented, unlike those ofOVHcloud which rents its servers -, three quarters are located around Paris, according to the professional association France Datacenter. “But we see more and more of them elsewhere, including in medium-sized towns, sometimes over only a few hundred square meters”, observes its president Olivier Micheli. FullSave near Toulouse, DataOuest in Normandy, XL Datacenter in Toulon, the subsidiary of Illiad Jaguar Network or even Xefi near Lyon, are increasing the number of projects.
For Fabrice Coquio, at the head of Interxion France, this is a “Catching up” after years of underinvestment. More positive, its competitors intend to respond to new demand from SMEs and local communities. Some are not very keen on the idea of transferring their data hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from home, where their employees never go. This market is promising. “The digitalization potential of these organizations is enormous”, recalls Damien Riou, director of solutions for data centers at Schneider Electric.
5G et « edge computing »
5G is also helping to reshuffle the cards. And in particular the “edge computing” promised in the future by the new ultra-high speed networks, one of the concrete translations of which could be the autonomous car, the connected city or telesurgery. “I could spend a quarter of an hour naming these new uses for which we perceive the need to create what we can call ‘edge datacenters’ intended to process data as close as possible to local players”, points out Régis Castagné, Managing Director of Equinix in France.
“We are told of hundreds of ‘edge datacenters’ which could crisscross the territory every 50 kilometers”, adds Yoann Blangis, head of data center solutions at Siemens France. The advantage? Proximity makes it possible to reduce data transmission time and save a few precious milliseconds, which are essential for the proper functioning of these new technological applications in real time.