Nexpand cabinets customized to meetAPRR’s specific requirements



APRR, Autoroutes Paris - Rhin - Rhône, is a subsidiary of Eiffage, which maintains and manages 2,323 km of freeways and toll roads granted to it by the French government. Its IT is strategic; it hosts and manages the freeways’ daily tools such as real-time displays and toll payments, not to mention the service to more than 3,500 employees.

The group has several data centers, but they needed a data center close to the freeways in order to meet performance objectives. DTiX, a Dijon-based company that had a project to build a data center, was the ideal partner to support APRR in this deployment.

The DTiX ITcenter was built in close cooperation between APRR and DTiX. Of the three rooms in the 700 m² datacenter, the company has a private room with a capacity of 20 cabinets.


Valéry-Pierre Chalimon, deputy CIO at APRR, told us how strategic the design of the new datacenter’s cabinets is, both to have quality, efficient and secure equipment and to limit the need for servicing and technicians. After meeting with four equipment manufacturers, the choice for the design of the APRR IT room was the Nexpand range of cabinets from Legrand Data Center Solutions. For the CIO, the solution offers ease of implementation, flexibility, and a number of accessories that allow for customization of the cabinet’s design.


The APRR and Legrand Data Center Solutions teams met several times in the manufacturer’s showroom to see Legrand’s data center equipment, including Nexpand cabinets. These meetings allowed APRR to understand how to use cabinets and accessories. With the support of LDCS, APRR also configured the cabinets to think ahead on how to design their data center.


APRR chose 800 mm-wide cabinets to leave more space between the 19” rails and the sidewall to facilitate cabinet cabling. The 19-inch rails have also been moved back to allow for a perfect bend radius.

Nexpand cabinets offer integrated cable trays on top of the cabinet. They are routed through the openings in the cabinet roof, which limits the bending of the cables and the risk of data loss. Routing cables on the roof saves money, eliminates the need to install ceiling cable trays, and allows for clean, efficient cabling with top entry and cable channels over the entire height of the cabinet.

The cabinets’ design is a strategic choice of the IT department for the most efficient management, in particular to spend less time on cabling. Thus, both paths of power to the cabinets enter from the top to manageable Raritan PDUs on the same side. The two PDUs are easily identified by the color codes, red A lane, blue B lane. For Valéry-Pierre Chalimon, “structured and personalized cabling is a guarantee of reliability and efficiency”.


APRR and its partner DTiX are committed to energy efficiency. This can be seen even in the Nexpand cabinets. The walls and doors of the cabinets go all the way to the floor to avoid gaps that disturb and divert cold air flows. To channel the airflow, side skirts have been installed with brushes to facilitate the passage of front and rear cables. Even the doors have full-height rubber insulation.


Security is also an extremely important aspect of the project. APRR operates some of the Nexpand accessories, including the installation of mechanical code locks on cabinet doors. Some of them have a specific treatment with electronic handles with badges that record who has accessed them. These secure-handle doors are for APRR’s PCI-DSS solution contained in a cabinet, which handles financial transactions such as toll payments.

Valéry-Pierre Chalimon expressed his satisfaction with the partnership and support from Legrand Data Center Solutions throughout the project, which proved to be strategic for the design of the room, the performance of the teams in charge of the cabling, and the security of the IT equipment in the racks.

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