Spanish anti tax fraud unit r…

Spanish anti tax fraud unit renews Linux contract


Spain's Tax Administration Agency has renewed its support contract for development and maintenance of its anti fraud information analysis systems. The proprietary database solution runs on Suse Linux servers. The massive database system is built and operated using standard free software components.

The new service contract is worth 1.2 million euro.

The tax agency renewed its contract with Open Sistemas, a Spanish open source ICT service supplier, the firm announced in a press release, published on 28 August. "The renewal strengthens our expertise in critical business environments and in the development and management of highly complex, big data systems and storage environments", the announcement quotes CEO Luis Flores as saying.

The open source-based solution has greatly increased response times and stability of the tax agency's fraud prevention system, the company reports on its website. In a 2010 article published by Gaceta Technologica, a Spanish ICT news site, CEO Flores lists the many open source components for the system, including programming languages C, C ++, Java, Perl, Python and Bash. The agency also employs the GNU build system (autotools), including GCC and GDB. The developers rely on open source software version control systems, (CVS, Subversion).

The solution uses the Apache web server, the Tomcat Java application server and virtualisation technologies.

Unique performance

"This system probably has no equivalent in terms of size and capacity", Flores writes. The open source servers run a proprietary relational database that holds over 10,000 tables each with more than 15,000 columns and more than 4,500 million records. The system can manage simultaneous queries involving hundreds of concepts and millions of relations, to correlate billion of records.

"A critical environment of this nature and with such needs is a very appropriate setting for the development of applications using open source and GNU/Linux solutions", Flores writes. "It allows the engineers to get the most out of the unique hardware architecture, allowing maximum performance."

One of the main advantages of open source is the reduction of licence costs, Flores writes. Because of the numbers of processors and disks involved, proprietary solutions would be prohibitively expensive. Conversely, the flexible open source licences allow the agency and developers to run experiments and pilots. "Because we have access to the source, errors are solved faster, we can adapt the solutions to security needs, and changes can be made freely. It is here that GNU/Linux shows its many advantages, providing a complete and innovative solution."


More information:

Spain's Tax Agency
Open Sistemas press release (in Spanish)
Open Sistemas client reference (in Spanish)
Gaceta Technologica news item (from 2010, in Spanish)

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