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N°29  |  September   2008
Business cases

• Open Source ERP in a Central Bank (africa)
• Spanish Parliament/El Congreso de los Diputados

• MN Services/NL/Escala
• Vedior/outsourcing

Vedior France Group chooses Bull to host its information system

Vedior France Group is a major player in the human resources sector, offering the full range of recruitment and placement services plus other key services associated with employment. Every day, some 900 branch offices and 4,200 users depend on Vedior’s information system to put potential job candidates and enterprises in touch with one another.  

Given the critical importance of this information system, and the demanding constraints put on Vedior’s data centers and their administration, Vedior has decided to entrust Bull with hosting its production information system that includes more than 500 servers, along with the hosting of its Web servers.  

Vedior’s challenge is to secure and make reliable a highly scalable infrastructure that must fulfill high levels of service continuity with absolute confidentiality while rationalizing IT costs.

Urbanization: the first step in Bull’s industrial service approach
Bull is to manage and execute every stage in the project:

  • Urbanization: to meet the specific constrraints linked to the density of equipments, Bull has designed the urbanisation specification for the hosting room so it will be capable of dissipating a huge calorific load, and has implemented an enclosed «cold corridor», which will eventually be capable of dissipating up to 8 KWatts per rack without creating any disturbance in the rest of the room. Bull is also leveraging its pre-cabled hosting infrastructure to provide the necessary high level reactivity and optimized capacity handling.  
  • The move was completed during one week-end by Bull’s maintenance teams, working to fulfill the business imperatives of maintaining full business continuity.  
  • The information system, which comprises over 500 multi-proprietary servers is hosted at the Bull’s Trélazé site, and is operated and administered remotely by Vedior’s teams.  
  • The dedicated network linking the business and hosting sites is supplied and operated by Agarik, a network operator and subsidiary of Bull. All remaining network links are operated by Orange Business Services.
  • The Web servers are hosted at Bull’s Saint-Ouen Datacenter. This center specializing in critical Web hosting offers one of the highest levels of service available on the market. The architecture implemented enables Vedior to rationalize its Web services and to secure all access routes to its business portal.  

Key factors of the successful relocation to Bull’s Data Center
Hugues de Maussion, Information Systems Director for the Vedior Group in France, shares his view of how this project was run:

  • “Three factors were decisive to the success of this project: Firstly, high-quality personnel. To manage this kind of project successfully demands rigor, precision and complete control of the situation (you have to stay cool and calm!). Thanks to this kind of approach, the project managers involved – both from our IT Department and from Bull – maintained a high degree of cohesion and motivation among all the teams involved throughout the entire lifespan of the project.
  • The absolute necessity of knowing the existing environment and all operational procedures. Shutting down a computer room is not something you can improvise, and you can’t relocate equipment if you do not fully understand it.  Communication between the IT and operational business teams. There are two possible strategies: to maintain a dialogue that is consistently reassuring, or, conversely, to present the event as a highly critical mission. I chose the latter approach, emphasizing the business-critical nature of the operation to such an extent that it instilled a kind of tension throughout the organization. This has also helped us to prepare for the next phase of change that will follow this project.  

Overall, running the project in this way has proved highly successful and has helped to bring the whole organization together.” 

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