An interview with Michel Lanners, CIO of LU-CIX: “It’s more than just a product that has brought us together.”

When Luxembourg’s national Internet Exchange Point LU-CIX needed a new rack infrastructure at the start of 2020 to respond to the increase in activity, it quickly turned to Legrand Data Center Solutions and the new Nexpand range from its subsidiary Minkels. An interview with Michel Lanners, CIO of LU-CIX.


Riding the information superhighway, LU-CIX has been successfully blazing its own trail for over ten years. Thanks to its 264 Gb/s bandwidth speeds, an ever-increasing number of members, and recognition from authorities for its importance to Luxembourg’s economy, the LU-CIX platform is now a major stakeholder in the country’s IT infrastructure. More than 80% of Luxembourg’s online traffic is routed through the LU-CIX national network, connecting almost all of country’s Internet providers!

The platform’s reputation is even higher amongst industry professionals with LU-CIX organising the Luxembourg Internet Days, an event held over several days in November every year. This major event takes place throughout Greater Luxembourg, allowing businesses to show off their innovative products and solutions and giving well-known personalities a chance to share their experiences and vision as part of conferences and round-table meetings in a pragmatic and technical approach.

In order to respond to demand and maintain a premium quality of service, LU-CIX’s six (suggest capital POP) points of presence (PoPs) in Luxembourg must adapt. At the start of this year, the organisation’s Executive Board decided to reinforce the Battembourg data centre’s capacities by scheduling the installation of a private cage. All that was left to do was choose the right partner for the job.

“We had obviously heard of Legrand Data Center Solutions and Minkels before,” explains Michel Lanners, CIO of LU-CIX. “Their products have an excellent reputation amongst our members and Luxembourg’s IT community. Legrand Data Center Solutions also regularly take part in the Luxembourg Internet Days to show off their new solutions, so we’ve been in relatively close contact with them for a while. Naturally, we contacted them for our expansion project.”


Michel Lanners continues: “When it comes to choosing equipment, we weren’t just going to go off a catalogue or a website, however well put together they were. You could say that’s somewhat of a paradox for an organisation that works in digital technology. Wrong! It was crucial to see the rack, to touch it, handle it, get an idea of the volume, the mass, the material, the quality ...

Before making our decision, we arranged a configuration session at Legrand in February 2020. Lasting more than four hours, we met with their experts, who presented the Nexpand racks and their numerous options. We were able to hold a discussion, exchange ideas and challenge these ideas to ultimately determine the solution that would fit us best. We inspected everything in great detail: the resistance of the shelves, the opening and closing of the doors, the adjustment of the vertical supports ... If needed, a rack must be able to be reconfigured easily.

Finally, we narrowed it down to two rack configurations which would allow us to take advantage of the “factory pre-assembled” service. This was a huge plus that would allow us to significantly reduce installation time and avoid any potential labour or adjustment surcharges as part of on-site assembly.

This meeting was a key moment, a real turning point. Leaving the showroom, we felt confident that we had been heard and understood, and we were sure that we had the solution we needed.”


This visit was just one of the many steps in the selection process. In an age where we are often reminded about the pollution generated by data centre activity, the question of sustainability is becoming more and more important. “That’s right. There were two deciding elements when it came to sustainability,” explains Michel Lanners. “The first is the recommendation of Legrand to go for a closed cold-aisle infrastructure; a configuration which consumes less energy. This suggestion allowed us to focus our search towards a certain type of rack and confirm our choice of provider. The second element is linked to our desire to favour European production. The social (employment-related support) and environmental (shorter channels) aspects of local production were extremely important to us. Legrand provided us with all the relevant guarantees in this regard.”


The equipment was ordered in the middle of March, just as Luxembourg was entering lockdown. This was an uncertain period, but it did not prevent all those involved from coordinating and planning the execution of the project as best they could. “I must commend the perfect cohesion between Legrand, the installer CEL and distributor, Kannegieter in particular. Luck was on our side as the installation coincided exactly with the first phase of lockdown lifting, making things easier,” explains Michel Lanners. “Now that everything is up and running, the results are positive across the board. We are completely satisfied with the equipment, but, beyond that, I’ve also made a quality relationship.

It’s more than just a product that has brought us together.”

Logo MatrixCube perfect for Van Marcke CO2-neutral warehouse Logo High-density fibre & rack solution for Equinix France Logo Mobile fallback data center for healthcare organization LENTIS Logo How Taboola overcame PDU failure in their data center Logo French ministries move data centres to Paris skyscraper Logo EvoSwitch is well prepared for future growth Logo MainOne plans to expand its data centre business MDXi Logo Connectivity that helps keep Bavarian citizens safe Logo ESI Group deploys HPC Center in Paris with Minkels and Legrand Logo Swisscom relies on Minkels high-density (cooling) racks and monitoring services Logo Modular data centre for European ‘trusted cloud’ Logo GB Muri modernises existing data centre and lowers fixed costs Logo Vodafone Netherlands chooses Interconnect and Minkels data centre infrastructure Logo Minkels provides an identical Equinix look-and-feel worldwide, also in Dubai Logo Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel selects Minkels DX and H2O row-based cooling Logo Freightliner & Comms Room Services implement Minkels Logo CEO explains why Nexpand was the logical choice   Logo Service Express built and operates one of the most efficient data centers in the UK Logo New ultramodern, fully-equipped data center for the University of Groningen (RUG) Logo Dataplace provides more certainty in a 24/7 economy Logo Crédit Agricole Bank chooses Minkels aisle containment Logo Minkels offers comtrance GmbH complete and modular solution Logo Istanbul airport: new airport, new infrastructure Logo Complete data centre solution for Infonet DC Estonia Logo NeoCenter Ouest places its trust in the Legrand Group for its data centre in Rochesur-sur-Yon Logo From the ground to the Cloud with Interoute Logo The Data Center Group opts for partner that thinks along with them Logo If you can’t stand the heat, call for Raritan! Logo Telecity acquisition helps Equinix EMEA expand into new markets in Europe Logo Infrabel - A close partnership on the tracks Logo Bulk Norway: building the world’s largest data centre campus on renewable energy Logo Legrand is a key supplier for Move-IT Technology’s migration service Logo Multinational Atos chooses Minkels Free Standing Cold Corridor Logo An interview with MainOne Logo Strategic growth and collaboration with Interxion Logo IBAarau – renamed  Eniwa in 2018 -   upgrades data centre services Logo Sevel’s data center forms basis for daily production of 1,200 commercial vehicles Logo Plieger opts for IT continuity and optimum availability Logo All IT Rooms uses Legrand Data Center Solutions in Heerlen NL Logo Sustainable data centre for the Krimpenerwaard municipality Logo The data centre challenges of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam Logo SenseLAN builds on Minkels Vertical Exhaust Duct Logo Pioneer Vancis: a modern data centre for the past thirty years Logo University in Wageningen chooses Minkels Logo UK-based Datum Datacentres selects Minkels’ VED system for its cutting-edge, London area facility Logo Wolfsburg on the road to becoming a smart city Logo German company 23media expands into Europe with dedicated hosting offering Logo Tieto is expanding the biggest commercial data centre in Finland Logo World’s largest data centre campus on renewable energy Logo Minkels global rack supplier Hitachi Logo Maroc Telecom provides data storage to SMEs at Casablanca data center Logo An interview with Michel Lanners, CIO of LU-CIX: “It’s more than just a product that has brought us together.” Logo Easy IT architecture rollout through Global Consistency