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EDF Group said the private cloud platform will help reduce costs through the consolidation of its IT estate, and help improve collaboration among its global workforce

EDF Group said the private cloud platform will help reduce costs through the consolidation of its IT estate, and help improve collaboration among its global workforce

EDF Group, a global consortium of energy companies, announced a partnership with IT service providers Bull and Osiatis Monday that will see the two companies build a private cloud platform for EDF’s digital collaboration assets. Serving 160,000 users, the platform will be one of the largest of its kind in the world according to the companies.

EDF Group, which has subsidiaries and offices all over the world, has begun consolidating its datacentres in France in advance of deploying a fully redundant private cloud platform to support Microsoft-based email, file sharing, video and teleconferencing applications for global group staff.

The platform will be based on 68 high-end bullion servers running 400 virtual machines, and will require nearly one petabyte (1,000 TB) of storage; Bull and Osiatis claim that, once completed, this will be the world’s largest Microsoft-based private cloud platform.

EDF Group, which has previously worked with Bull on a SAP implementation, has not released many details about the platform or its existing IT assets but it said the recently announced private cloud platform will help reduce costs through the consolidation of its IT estate, and help improve collaboration among its global workforce.

Bruno Grossi, co-chairman of Osiatis said: “Thanks to this major project, Osiatis and Bull will assist EDF in overhauling their collaborative and communication tools and thus transform their businesses and enable their employees to communicate more easily, share knowledge and pass on skills and expertise more effectively, whilst optimising operating costs.”

Energy businesses have generally taken a rather conservative view towards cloud platforms and emerging IT technologies more broadly, but EDF Group is the latest of a number of energy companies recently shifting their IT assets to the cloud. Indian renewables producer Baharat Light and Power recently moved it plant monitoring systems over to an IBM-based private cloud platform. China’s ENN Energy recently adopted a similar private cloud platform to support application delivery across its national Chinese operations, another sign that these nascent solutions are indeed maturing.

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