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July 2006
Executive opinion

Free up your applications!
By Michel Lepert, General Manager, Bull Products and Systems

When IT directors are asked what their priorities are in terms of infrastructure, reducing complexity regularly features among their main preoccupations. It goes hand in hand with cost reduction, improvements in flexibility and closer alignment of IT with business processes.
But why are information systems complex? That’s a vast subject. Perhaps most simply because information systems reflect the complexity of the world in which we live, a world that is more and more open and in which exchanges are multiplying.

In fact, this complexity can largely be explained by the huge increase in the range of needs and their variety – market globalization, the growth of e-commerce, new regulatory demands… plus the need to take existing applications into account. Responding to the variety of demands made by users, while reducing the complexity of systems, is becoming a major challenge for IT management. The fact that standard and open technologies have achieved such an important position in the information systems landscape underlines what an important contribution they make.
Standard and open technologies –combined with ‘multi-core’ technologies and virtualization functions – are paving the way to reduced complexity and increased flexibility of infrastructures:
1. Standard technologies meet the needs both for centralization and distribution of resources; they make applications interoperable wherever they sit within the information system organization, and they facilitate the development of hardware and software infrastructures while keeping costs under control.
2. Multi-core technologies of the Intel® Itanium® and Intel® Xeon® processors bring the benefits of more powerful servers to data centers, with higher density, reduced heat loss, and lower electricity consumption. Because they are more compact, consume less power and dissipate less heat, there are fewer cables to connect, less floor space taken up and infrastructures are easier to manage.
3. New virtualization functions will enable several applications or operating systems to be isolated more effectively from physical constraints. They will enable to manage multiple applications on the same server, while guaranteeing their isolation and independence. They will enable infrastructures to be simplified and optimized.

When it comes to industry-standard open technologies, Intel type architectures for Microsoft® Windows® and Linux® operating environments have taken the lead. And we are developing our NovaScale range of servers around these technologies.

Today, not only is the NovaScale range at the core of the most powerful European supercomputer – and the 5th in the world - for scientific and industrial research, but it also enables you to deploy a stand-alone ‘departmental’ server in a branch office or secured servers for your mission-critical applications.
Bull’s objective, with the newly extended range of NovaScale servers, is to respond perfectly to IT directors’ imperatives in terms of flexibility, costs, power and robustness. And most importantly, choice.
Choice of infrastructures, choice of ‘packaging’ - tower, rack, blade, large-scale servers, and entry-level servers - choice of hundreds of thousands of applications available under Windows and Linux: NovaScale servers allow application infrastructures to be built to suit the individual company, and enable the system to evolve in response to demand, whether it is made up of shared systems, consolidated systems, dedicated servers or large centralized multi-tasking systems.
From July 2006, the NovaScale range has been further extended to include:
1. The NovaScale Intensive line, targeted at HPC and mission-critical applications based on Intel® Itanium® 2 processors and operating under Windows, Linux or GCOS. For business intelligence applications, data analysis and scientific computing, we are launching the new NovaScale 3005 servers based on Intel® Itanium® 2 ‘Montecito’ dual-core processors. These complement the large-scale SMP NovaScale 5005 servers which are also ‘ready’ for the new ‘Montecito’ processors.
2. The NovaScale Universal line, to meet the needs of IT departments with servers based on Intel® Xeon® processors operating under Windows or Linux. For mission-critical applications, we are launching the new fault-tolerant NovaScale R600 servers, and for workgroups, the new NovaScale R800 servers. The NovaScale Universal line will be soon be completed with blades, rack and tower servers.
All these servers – whether they are running Windows, Linux or both – are administered using NovaScale Master, a powerful application that we have developed, which substantially simplifies system management: yet another way in which we are reducing complexity and building in flexibility.

Free up your applications!
Information systems are complex because they must take account of the past, the present and the future, of the central and the local, of the specific and the general. That’s why introducing new flexible application infrastructures – sustained by the maturity of the Windows and Linux environments, by the development of Open Source applications and the dynamic of servers based on industry-standard components – represents a major challenge - and a great opportunity - for businesses and public sector bodies alike.
The engineers of Bull - Architect of an Open World™ – are designing and developing the family of NovaScale servers so everyone can reap the full benefits of open, standard systems.

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