The Eduter research institute, in the French city of Dijon, is relying on open source to centralise the management of its server farm. It is using Rudder to manage a growing number of servers, used for websites, for authenticating users logging in to their digital workspaces, for running database solutions, for managing of assets and for anti-virus purposes.
The Eduter Institute is part of the Ministry of Agriculture. It provides research, training and development support for education organisations in the field of agriculture. The research organisation employs over 200 people, serving France's community of agricultural educational institutes.
Last month, a report on Eduter's use of Rudder was published by 'Comment ça Marche', a popular French site explaining IT to non-experts.
The server management tool was first developed in 2009 by Normation, a Paris-based IT company. Rudder has been available on Github, since October 2011 and is published under the Affero General Public licence. The company's developers still write the majority of new code, but, the firm says, last summer there were already five independent contributors.
Last month's study quotes Aurélien Mignerot, Eduter's network administrator, explaining that the main reason for implementing Rudder is the need to industrialize server management, due to the growth of the number of servers, both real and virtualised. The instituted wanted to professionalise and centralise the management of the server farm. Rudder allows the administrators to centrally deploy configuration changes to servers automatically. The tool reports on all changes made to any of the servers in the park. "This helps to avoid having to update the virtualisation tools by hand, lessening the risks involved."
A tight ship
According to the network administrator, the institute opted for an open source solution to meet budgetary constraints and because the institute already uses several other open source solutions. The research organisation this year started to manage 20 servers with Rudder. It foresees a rapid increase: by October this year, it expects to manage over a 100 servers with the open source tool.
The research organisation began implementing Rudder by themselves. Mignerot discovered the solution in 2012 after seeing an online video of a presentation by the company. Recently, the institute contacted Normation to purchase a three-day and on-site contract for training and consulting.
It is the most recent French public administration to turn to Rudder. Other examples include the Académie de Versailles and the Académie de Caen. They are both regional organisations in charge of education.