Mandriva Linux at the heart of the new infrastructure of the French Regional Natural Park of the Vexin

The French Regional Natural Park of the Vexin (PNRVF) has opted to simplify the management of its IT set-up and reduce its maintenance costs. The PNRVF found itself confronted by two major problems: the overhaul of its IT set-up and the choice of a specialised company for its operational maintenance. In just one month, Tranquil IT Systems, specialised in Linux networks, deployed the Mandriva Linux solution, a free GNU/Linux operating system published by Mandriva, a leading French publisher of Linux solutions.

Since 1995, the French Regional Natural Park of the Vexin (PNRVF), located north-west of the Paris metropolitan Ile-de-France Region, has put together a project of durable development based on the safeguard and enhancement of its exceptional natural heritage in the face of growing urban pressures. The association of regional authorities which manages the park is made up of 94 districts englobing 66 000 hectares and more than 80 000 residents.

To meet the goal of simplifying the management of its IT system and lowering maintenance costs, the Park decided to migrate its IT set-up. The person responsible for cartography was also tasked with the set-up's maintenance but was confronted by a heavy daily workload in view of the widely differing composants (Windows 95,98, 2000, XP and from Pentium II MMX to Pentium IV). Data security was also unreliable. A client/server solution based on free software was envisaged following an audit in 2006. And in an effort of durable development, the aim was to double the life cycle of machines and reduce energy consumption by using passive terminals (the hard drives of client work stations are progressively disconnected).

In June 2007, the French Regional Natural Park of the Vexin (PNRVF) invited tenders for the work, specifying its demands for a client/server solution based on free software. In view of the lack of replies, companies were again invited to submit tenders in September 2007. Although a hundred companies approached the CCTP, Tranquil IT Systems was one of only three tenders submitted.

The selection criteria naturally centred on price but also on Tranquil IT Systems' experience in this field, in particular its command of virtualisation and the high transferability and advanced integration of collaborative work tools.The entire set-up (servers and virtual machines) is based on the Mandriva Linux distribution, of which the company is a renowned leader in Linux distribution packaging. Its community of users is far-reaching and the documentation available in French is extensive.

The deployment was planned for one month, with the installation of a new bay housing four new servers (two bays for SAN stockage in redundant mode for data and two for applications) plus the inverters and necessary switches (replacement of 10Mb hubs). It was also necessary to install PXE 100Mb ethernet network cards on each existing computer to convert to light client status. Three passive terminals have been added to complete the existing set-up and eventually each work station will be replaced by a passive terminal.

" There are, of course, alternative solutions to Windows and we proved it by migrating the Vexin Regtional Park's IT system at a lower cost," said Tranquil IT Systems' general manager Denis Cardon.

François Bancilhon, Mandriva CEO, sums up: " We possess a stable and, especially, reliable platform. The Tranquil IT Systems' engineers were able to carry through their developments centred on our Mandriva Linux distribution to develop it to the demands of their client without encountering any major problem. Tranquil IT Systems is a longstanding partner. And on this account I would like to take the opportunity to point out that we intend to strengthen our relations with our retailers in France via dedicated programmes."

About Mandriva

Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrakesoft, is the publisher of Mandriva Linux, an easy-to-use and innovative operating system. It is one of the most popular Linux editions in the world. Dedicated to making open source technologies accessible to all users, the company offers a full range of products and services to individuals, enterprises and government organizations.
Mandriva products are available online in 80 languages and in more than 140 countries through dedicated channels. Headquartered in Paris, France, the company is publicly traded on the Euronext Marche Libre.

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