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A new infrastructure to help the Calvados Council face new challenges

BUSINESS CASES

Each French département has its own local council, whose roles have been greatly extended over the years to support their numerous targets: from the legal responsibilities delegated by central government through to the implementation of proactive policies. Their key mission, however, is to improve daily life for the people living in their département. At the Calvados Council (CG14), for example, more than 100 different functions are carried out by 3,000 staff, serving a population of more than 665,000 people.

  

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A reliable, secure and scaleable technical platform
It is absolutely vital for the Council’s various internal Departments to have access to the highest levels of service, to meet the requirements of their civil servants, partners and citizens: which is why at the end of 2007 the IT Department at CG14 defined a new masterplan for its information systems. Their objective was two-fold: to build an infrastructure and secure technical platform capable of supporting the levels of service demanded by professional users and also sufficiently scaleable to host future projects to modernize public services and put them on line…

The Business Continuity Plan: a cornerstone of the new project
One of the IT Department’s first actions was to review its existing disaster recovery resources. “Many areas, such as social services and social support, have assumed considerable importance. And IT has become an essential part of day-to-day life: all the more so as we enter an era of modernization and opening up of services to citizens,” explains Pascale Bisson, IT Director of the Calvados Council.

With Bull’s help, the IT Departmentt has carried out a full analysis of the impact that a system breakdown or incident could have on a given business activity. Working in close collaboration with the various internal Departments, every kind of impact has been looked at (internal disruption, financial risk, legal liability, the Council’s image…) in order to assess the maximum time that systems are allowed to be unavailable and quantify acceptable data losses. As a result, the precise levels of service and IT resources that would need to be deployed – depending on how critical each application is to the Council – were also defined.

All the available resources were reviewed, resulting in a new distribution of resources at the main site, the creation of a new IT site that will eventually host the recovery hardware, and (naturally) the formalization of all the procedures and resources that would need to be mobilized in the event of an incident (when the Business Continuity Plan would be implemented).

An innovative, flexible approach to disaster recovery
The new infrastructure has to guarantee everything – durability, performance, scalability, security – that is needed to meet the huge business challenges that CG14 faces.
Bull is the supplier and prime contractor for this new infrastructure, which involves implementing a new SAN architecture designed to host all the function-specific databases as well as a technical, virtual library-type architecture to back-up all the Council’s LAN, MAN and WAN servers. The new, highly flexible SAN architecture will enable to switch from critical environments at the central production site to the business recovery site using mechanisms specially tailored to mission-critical and evolving applications. In addition, to optimize the resources linked to business-critical application servers, CG14 will have access to a Windows servers virtualization solution, which will be replicated at the recovery site.

As prime contractor, Bull is overseeing everything from the installation of new hardware to the migration of the various environments to the new platform and complete implementation of the infrastructure using proven technical procedures and industrialized processes. The implementation phase also includes support, monitoring, maintenance and training services for the personnel involved, to support the whole Council through this critical project.

The robustness of this new platform will enable us to evolve, to offer new e-government services to the citizens of Calvados, and to meet legal archiving requirements. The real investment of Bull’s teams, their level of skill and their ability to advise us have helped to create the conditions for success,” Pascale Bisson sums up.