For Guadeloupe-based Orange Caraïbe, sourcing cost-effective energy is a key challenge. The company sought energy-efficient IT infrastructure that could support its business diversification strategy.
Orange Caraïbe built a more environmentally friendly data center with IBM FlashSystem technology, more than doubling its storage capacity while slashing its energy consumption dramatically.
94% reductionin energy and 98% decrease in rackspace requirements boosts efficiency
30%decrease in processing times enables more responsive customer service
Freesemployees to focus on innovation by simplifying IT management
Business challenge story
Defining a vision
With its Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (PACTE), the French government is encouraging companies to rethink the role that they play in society. In response, telecommunications group Orange S.A. unveiled its goal: it aims to be “a trusted partner that provides the keys to a responsible digital world”. It’s now up to the group’s constituent companies—including Orange Caraïbe—to put this philosophy into action.
Operating out of the Guadeloupe archipelago in the Caribbean, Orange Caraïbe faces much higher costs for the energy to power its data center than companies in mainland France. As the company seeks to diversify its service portfolio, demand on its IT infrastructure was increasing.
Xavier Pioche, IT Infrastructure Department Manager at Orange Caraïbe, explains: “We’re widening our scope beyond telecommunications to provide a broader range of digital services. To support our new business model, meet our environmental goals and reduce our costs, we wanted to replace our ageing storage system.”
With its existing storage platform approaching end of life, Orange Caraïbe’s IT staff increasingly found themselves tied up with resolving issues such as failing mechanical disks. To prevent problems behind the scenes slowing down the company’s responses to customers, Orange Caraïbe decided to take urgent action.
Supercharging business performance
Orange Caraïbe chose to transform its data center using IBM FlashSystem storage technology, gaining twice the capacity and improved performance in a small, high-density footprint. To arrive at this decision, the company undertook an extensive selection process.
Pioche recalls: “We narrowed down our choices to IBM versus one other vendor, but ultimately IBM FlashSystem could not be beaten on the combination of price and performance. Another key selling point for IBM is the confidence that we have in their team here in Guadeloupe.”
Together, Orange Caraïbe and IBM deployed an IBM FlashSystem storage system to support its most data-intensive applications. Next, the team implemented one all-flash IBM FlashSystem 7200 to act as its general storage platform and a hybrid IBM FlashSystem 7200 solution for lower-priority applications. In total, the company went from 250 TB to 662 TB of storage capacity in its production data center on Guadeloupe. It also added one IBM FlashSystem 7200 in its backup data center on Martinique, with all data from the production storage systems replicated to this fourth machine.
“An IBM expert came on-site to help us set up the new FlashSystem devices, which all went very smoothly,” says Pioche. “We could tell immediately that the new infrastructure would be much easier to manage. The all-flash systems have no moving parts, and we gained a single point of control for the entire environment.”
Living up to green principles
For Orange Caraïbe, adapting its data center so that it is more eco-friendly helps it meet two goals: reducing its impact on the environment and decreasing expenditure on energy. Using IBM technology, Orange Caraïbe is succeeding on both counts.
Pioche elaborates: “Our energy consumption dropped by 94 percent when we moved to IBM FlashSystem, which helps us make our operations much greener and reduces our power costs by the same percentage over five years. Moving to IBM FlashSystem also allowed us to go from three racks to one 2U space, a decrease of 98 percent, giving us plenty of space to grow into in the future. Our calculations show that we’ll also save tens of thousands of euros on cooling our storage solution, since it’s so much more efficient and compact.”
Orange Caraïbe is also seeing the impact of powerful IBM FlashSystem storage on the service it offers to customers. Pioche adds: “Employees using our data warehouse have seen processing times fall by 30 percent since we deployed IBM FlashSystem technology. This translates into more responsive service to customers in our stores, who have to wait even less time for employees to navigate our CRM system.”
Internally, Orange Caraïbe is experiencing benefits too. By taking advantage of intuitive management tools built into the IBM FlashSystem platform, the company has reduced the administrative burden on its IT team. With more free time to innovate and powerful IT capabilities to hand, Orange Caraïbe can concentrate on its continuous improvement strategy.
Pioche concludes: “Since deploying IBM solutions, we’ve had no issues – a big advantage for our relatively small IT team. Their day-to-day admin is much lighter, freeing them up to focus on more high-value tasks. Now we can concentrate on what’s next for Orange Caraïbe, with a storage infrastructure that’s better and greener than anything we’ve had before.”
Founded in 1990, Orange Caraïbe provides telephone voice and data communication services in the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint-Martin and Saint Barthelemy. Its parent company is Orange S.A., a French multinational telecommunications corporation that employs 135,000 people around the world.