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Center for the Development of Enterprise chose Bull for its storage strategy

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Pierre Picard

The Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) is an ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific)/EU joint Institution created in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement, with the principle objectives of fighting against poverty, eradicating it and gradually integrating ACP countries into the global economy, while never losing sight of the aim of sustainable development. The CDE’s activities are coordinated at its office in Brussels.

A robust IT infrastructure is essential to the effective running of a body like the CDE. “Our computing resources play an increasing key role in our operational processes, especially given the decentralization of our activities and the increasing importance given to performance indicators,” explains Olivier Dubois, IT Director at the CDE.

In order to guarantee optimum availability of applications while keeping costs under control, the CDE had already decided some time ago to virtualize its servers. To support the whole thing, the CDE had also decided it needed a powerful networked storage system. The Bull Advisory Services business unit had been asked to carry out an evaluation of the IT infrastructure. The results of this enabled the potential technological improvements to the CDE’s infrastructure to be identified, to make it as efficient, available and scalable as possible. “Bull completed the analysis taking into account both the available technological options and ROI on our current storage solution, as the senior management required,” explains Olivier Dubois “They were impressed by Bull Advisory Services’ ability to consider both technical and financial considerations in such a closely linked way.”

From this evaluation, the CDE put together a specification with a view to procuring a storage system for its production environment and a storage solution for disk-to-disk back-ups. In parallel, a Disaster Recovery Plan system also needed to be planned, to replicate virtual machines at an external site. In the end, Bull won the tendering process. The Group’s proposed solution consisted of Optima for the storage network, Datadomain for back-up copies and an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution for external synchronization. “Not only did Bull’s offering promise the best price/quality ratio, but the proposed solution also responded clearly and precisely to our needs. There was no functionality that we were not going to use, and no compromise when it came to performance,” adds Olivier Dubois, who also notes that Bull’s offering was perfectly easy for the selection panel – who were less familiar with technical jargon – to understand.

The CDE is especially pleased with the way in which the storage network was implemented by Bull’s installation teams. Among possible future evolutions, the organization is currently planning to replicate data at an external site, as well as to virtualize its workstations. “For the time being, everything is still centralized in Brussels, although there is increasingly pressing demand to decentralize our operations. All applications are already accessible at our regional offices, and our mobile workers have immediate access to applications and data.”

What we have delivered to the Center for the Development of Enterprise clearly demonstrates Bull’s ability to provide solutions not only to large businesses and organizations, but also to medium-sized ones,” stresses Pascal Grosse, Sales Director at Bull Belux. “What’s more, the teams at Bull Advisory Services have successfully win over both technical decision-makers and operational managers.”

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