France Telecom enables remote administration of its vast server network

With many locations, France Telecom had over a thousand servers distributed throughout the country running various applications and operating systems. In a quest to improve quality of service, as well as reduce maintenance and travel requirements, the telecommunications leader looked to Console Servers from Perle to enable remote administration of its server network.

The move to consolidation

As one of the world's leading telecommunications operators, France Telecom has multiple sites where various internal applications - such as administration, management, finance and billing – are managed for a broad range of clients and services. These applications are hosted on over a thousand servers using different operating systems, including UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris and Linux) and Windows, which are managed by a network of administrators spread throughout the territory.

As administration requirements continued to increase in complexity and scope, France Telecom's DPS (Service Platforms Department ) decided to find a means to improve the quality of service and management of its disparate base of servers. A project called RealSup was established with the mandate to consolidate the management of servers located at nine main sites: Lille, Toulouse, Nantes, Lyon, Strasbourg, Nanterre, Savigny-sur-Orge, Aubervilliers and Montsouris. This required a cost-effective connectivity solution that would allow France Telecom administrators controlled access to assigned servers, regardless of the operating system or network status.

An IT Center diagram of an IOLAN Console Server connecting 48 Unix Servers to an HP Server via LAN.

Console Servers provide the missing link

Following a needs analysis, France Telecom selected the 48-port version of the Perle Console Servers as the ideal solution to suit their requirements. Their critical criteria included:

  • The ability to limit administrators' access to specifically assigned servers
  • Simultaneous telnet access to 48 servers
  • The ability to program repetitive tasks to improve productivity
  • Remote dial-in capabilities to simultaneously access all servers in the event of network interruption or failure
  • A rack mountable, rugged design for easy installation in the IT centers
  • Sun ‘Solaris' Safe - no break signal sent during power cycle causing costly server re-boots or downtime
  • Advanced encryption and recording features to achieve powerful security, filtering and tracing functions during data transfer

With the installation of the Console Servers, France Telecom can now remotely administer and maintain its entire base of geographically distributed servers and assure maximum availability.

By working with Perle, France Telecom was able to effectively consolidate resources, reduce travel time and improve efficiency for administrators. This could all be achieved while improving overall security and redundancy of its server network.

France Telecom


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