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Bull implements a business-class infrastructure for Dassault Falcon Service

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Pierre Picard

When it decided to change its IT infrastructure, DFS discovered in bullion™ a server that met its demands for robustness and simplicity, and in Bull a partner capable of supporting it across its diverse range of projects.

Dassault Falcon Service (DFS), a subsidiary of Dassault Aviation, offers a comprehensive range of services to support its Falcon business jets. These include maintenance activities in particular, with a Stand-by team ready to step in where needed anywhere worldwide and an Airline Company which offers a flights on demand service with a fleet of eight aircraft that can be mobilized in just two hours. To support its international, VIP client base, DFS holds itself in readiness 24×7, 365 days a year, so it relies on maximum availability and responsiveness from its information systems. To guarantee these kinds of service levels, with Bull’s help DFS has implemented a new IT infrastructure with two bullion servers at its heart.

Towards the end of 2011 DFS was reaching the end of its four-year infrastructure renewal cycle – and having made an initial contact during which it expressed its interest – the IT Department at DFS decided to include Bull in its competitive tender. This time round, DFS wanted to equip itself with robust, high-performance and scalable systems, as well as to minimize administration tasks because its team had got smaller.

A feasibility study by Bull Advisory Services

Early on in the process, Bull Advisory Services audited the company’s existing resources and produced detailed recommendations. This work enabled DFS to refine its expression of need, as well as giving it the opportunity to assess the relevance of the suggestions (in terms of target architecture, best practice based on ITIL, etc) and future planning (business continuity) put forward by Bull’s experts.

Following this study, Bull submitted a proposal that won over DFS not just because it was so precise and closely matched to its needs, but also its competitive pricing and moderate energy consumption. What finally convinced it to go with Bull was that the Group was able to show and demonstrate in great detail the quality of the solutions it was proposing. Invited to see bullion in action at Bull’s center of expertise in Grenoble, France, the IT managers from DFS were very impressed by the machine’s performance and ease of administration. “I was initially skeptical about virtualization for critical applications, but I found the way in which bullion combines mainframe-class robustness with the flexibility of an off-the-shelf server very reassuring,” recalls Mathieu Rigaudie, Support and Systems Manager at DFS.

Turnkey infrastructure

The chosen infrastructure consists of two bullion servers, NetApp storage bays, an Overland library running on a Bull novascale™ server for back-up and Cisco network switches for interconnection. Bull took care of the installation and configuration of all elements, as well as data migration, which was accompanied by a version upgrade for all Microsoft software (Active Directory, Exchange, SQL Server…). Finally, Bull provided skills transfer to the teams at DFS so they could familiarize themselves with the new hardware, which Bull is supporting and maintaining for four years. “When we were carrying out one particular migration ourselves, we had a slight concern, and we were able to see for ourselves how responsive Bull’s support is because just quarter of an hour after we called the hotline, we had the solution,” Mathieu Rigaudie affirms.

DFS’ applications are now running on the virtualized bullion servers, including the most critical one of all, messaging. All the company’s business activities – requests for flights, service call confirmations… – effectively take place via the mail system, which handles 6,000 messages a day. But thanks to bullion’s high availability, DFS’ eminent clients need have no fear that their service will be disrupted!

More information : bullion & Data center

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