The Agence pour l’Informatique Financière de l’État (AIFE) has awarded Bull, and its partners Atos and Accenture, one of the largest infrastructure and security tenders ever let in France, to develop and maintain operational status for section 4 of the ‘Chorus’ program.
Chorus will handle government budget expenditures, non-tax receipts and accounting functions. It will be deployed in all the French government’s centralized and local administrative organizations by the year 2010.
“This success consolidates Bull’s position when it comes to modernization projects for public sector information systems. Our R&D expertise – which is unique in Europe - allied to our global expertise in security are major advantages when it comes to installing large-scale, critical and secure infrastructures,” explained Jean-Pierre Barbéris, General Manager, Bull France. “The partnership we have entered into with Atos and Accenture to deploy Chorus, has enabled us to present a truly industrial and integrated configuration with the potential for constructing and developing a reliable, state-of-the-art technical platform that will operate on a grand scale, while meeting the strategic challenges of Chorus.”
As prime contractor, Bull’s mission is to design, construct, integrate and validate the Chorus architecture technically and in terms of security, working closely to integrate with the other sections of the program, in order to underwrite the various performance warranties and to assure fully secure operating at both industrial and ‘auditable’ levels. Bull has therefore defined an architecture capable of meeting the highest possible requirements, particularly in terms of:
- Security, with global provisioning for high security considerations and the implementation of a horizontal control function covering organizational, functional and technical aspects
- High level availability, with critical path redundancy
- Platform extendibility and scalability, with the ability to add extra power on demand, the adoption of cluster supporting technologies, and the choice of nodes to enable the addition of complementary internal components
- Respect for industry standards, to ensure systems remain flexible and independent.
Delivering Section 4 of the program involves many thousands of manpower days of services, as well as the provision of a hardware and software infrastructure comprising a modular 3-tier architecture. It features the best available open technologies:
- Linux RedHat on around 500 Bull NovaScale blade servers, based on Intel xPF processors
- AIX 5L on the Escala mainframe-class servers based on POWER processors
- EMC DMX and CX, disc-based storage and back-up solutions.
Scoping the system and the provision of resources for on-going fine tuning work will be carried out by Bull’s SAP benchmarking and competence center, as part of a close partnership between the two companies.
Finally, Section 4 includes bespoke training programs for the Ministry of Finance’s personnel at the end of the project, to enable skills transfer to the Ministry’s personnel who will be running the system.