Crédit Agricole Bank chooses Minkels aisle containment

Crédit Agricole is a French cooperative retail bank that is listed on the Euronext stock exchange in Paris. Crédit Agricole is a global organisation with 140,000 employees, 2,500 branches, 50 million clients and a presence in an abundance of business sectors. In 2014 the bank experienced strong growth with 15.9 billion euros in revenues. The total market value of Crédit Agricole is approximately 31 billion euros in 2015.


Two new data centres were built in 2015 to house the bank’s IT infrastructure. These Tier IV data centres with a floor space of 2,500 square metres each had to meet the most stringent security requirements and they had to be energy-efficient as well – in line with the bank’s corporate guidelines. It is Crédit Agricole Real Estate, the real estate expert of the Crédit Agricole Group, which operates it today.

The aisle containment system that Crédit Agricole Real Estate was looking for, had to be a transparent solution from an administrative point of view and it already had to have a proven track record in the market. The system had to be able to house racks with different height measurements. The aisle containment system also had to be easy to integrate with Crédit Agricole’s user-specific fire extinguishing system. After an extensive selection process, Crédit Agricole Real Estate finally decided, in consultation with the Cap Ingelec engineering firm, to implement the Minkels Free Standing Cold Corridors and Next Generation Cold Corridors.

“We were looking for an aisle containment solution that would not only provide us with energy-efficiency, but would also give us the flexibility we need for the daily operations within our data centres,” said Christophe Calange, the data centre operation manager at Crédit Agricole Real Estate. “The Minkels Next Generation Cold Corridors and Free Standing Cold Corridors have a fully modular design. This makes it very easy to adapt them to our existing infrastructure, as well as to changes in the future. An implementation with minimal impact on our data centre activities was also a key factor for us. The data centre environment is of course a vulnerable part of our organisation.”


The Minkels engineers modified the design of the two different Cold Corridor systems to the specific circumstances of Crédit Agricole. It turns out that the systems fully meet the bank’s needs. “The Minkels standard product version is an effective aisle containment system that is simple to use,” says Christophe Calange. “It fits perfectly with the racks and is an extension of the rack design, which not only yields great technical results, it looks superb as well. The Free Standing version is a wonderful system that supplies the needed energy-efficiency, regardless of the future IT equipment in the data centre, such as the different brands of storage equipment. The Cold Corridor system is flexible and can grow with our IT needs, while yielding the necessary energy-efficiency from the very first day.”

The fire detection module in the Next Generation Cold Corridor system gave Crédit Agricole the option to install an aisle containment system with a ‘pivoting roof ’. A system that fits seamlessly with the specific fire extinguishing system that Crédit Agricole has implemented in its data centres. That means that the Cold Corridor roof panel automatically opens if a fire is detected. The sprinkler system is then activated immediately and can do its job without obstruction.


Crédit Agricole Real Estate not only conducted a comprehensive quality assessment of the Minkels solutions, the Minkels organisation also had to meet certain requirements to be allowed to supply goods and services to this global banking institution.

Christophe Calange: “The data centre supplier had to have a branch in France. We were also looking for a supplier with multiple good customer references in France. The financial health of Minkels and its attention to energy-efficiency and the environment also played a role in the selection procedure. The fact that Minkels was a prominent brand name within the global company Legrand, was a decisive factor for us.”

“The two Cold Corridor systems that Minkels has implemented fully meet our expectations,” Christophe Calange. “Minkels also managed the installation of the 40 Next Generation Cold Corridors and 20 Free Standing Cold Corridors to perfection. Despite the vulnerability of the data centre environment, there have been no major incidents and we have nothing to complain about. We are definitely planning to expand these Minkels solutions in the near future.”