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Posted: 9/8/2011
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French Institute for Sciences and Technologies of Transport, Planning, and Networks (IFSTTAR) French Researchers Improve Transport Management with New Data Warehouse Solution

Grettia, part of the French Institute for Sciences and Technologies of Transport, Planning, and Networks, wanted to improve support for its primary intermodal transport management system. It decided to deploy a data warehouse solution based on SQL Server 2008 R2 and has gained benefits that include improved scalability, accelerated deployment, and easier future expansion.

Business Needs

The French Institute for Sciences and Technologies of Transport, Planning, and Networks (IFSTTAR) was formed in 2011 when the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research merged with the French Central Laboratory of Roads and Bridges. IFSTTAR has 23 research units located in five cities in France; its research areas include optimizing existing and future roads and railways, as well as related environmental issues. The institute has 1,268 employees, including 250 doctoral candidates, and an annual budget of €110 million (approximately U.S.$158 million).

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* We must be able to effectively manage a high volume of information and very different data types ….The Bull Fast Track solution with SQL Server 2008 R2 … meets this technical challenge.  *

Gérard Scemama
Research Director
Grettia

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Within IFSTTAR, the Grettia research unit works on network and transport systems engineering. Its responsibilities include developing, maintaining, and testing intelligent transport systems and infrastructure operation. It also examines the functional and social acceptability of new transport services.

Its work on managing road network congestion and support for surface public transport regulation led to the development of a monitoring tool called Claire-Siti. Designed for multimodal networks, Claire-Siti is the start of a new generation of intermodal transport management systems. It receives multiple types of data from several sources, including public transport operators and information on road traffic. Gérard Scemama, Research Director at Grettia, says, “At the heart of our business, Claire-Siti is our main tool for monitoring, diagnosis, and decisions-making support.”

The tool processes data such as traffic flow, timelines, and availability through a generic model, and produces charts for managers that show service levels at all times. It also calculates time spent in abnormal conditions, the size of the disruption, and other factors. In Brussels alone, the 85 bus tram, and metro lines produce nearly 250 million data entries each day, and other locations generate approximately 40 million entries daily.

The solution not only helps improve daily operations, but also provides independent analysis as requested by transport authorities and business organizations.

Solution

Grettia needed a data warehouse solution for Claire-Siti that would be capable of integrating, managing, and analyzing large volumes of information. It turned for help to Bull, a leading systems integrator and IT services provider. “Our problem was threefold,” says Scemama. “We wanted a solution that would be both scalable and easy to integrate into our existing system, and also powerful enough to process the volume of data.”

Grettia deployed Bull Fast Track R460, a preconfigured appliance based on Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. The solution takes advantage of a set of reference architecture and best practices for SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise data management software. It optimizes SQL Server 2008 R2 configuration and scales up to 80 terabytes.

Bull designed and modeled the data warehouse, and then installed the appliance and integrated it with multiple data sources. It also implemented multidimensional cubes and reporting services.

Grettia plans to use built-in business intelligence capabilities such as SQL Server R2 Analysis Services and SQL Server R2 Reporting Services in a new research project. It wants to provide reporting capabilities that meet the requirements of different users such as transport authorities, passengers, and transport operators.

Benefits

Grettia has improved data management with an easily deployed, highly scalable solution based on the SQL Server Fast Track Data Warehouse. With help from Bull, Grettia can continue to expand support for its transport management system.

Improved Data Management

Grettia has gained a highly scalable and flexible solution with SQL Server 2008 R2. “We must be able to effectively manage a high volume of information and very different data types and sources,” says Scemama. “The Bull Fast Track solution with SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services and SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services meets this technical challenge.”

Faster Implementation

By eliminating the need to design and configure the hardware and software platform, Grettia deployed the new data warehouse and business intelligence solution in weeks instead of months. The preconfigured and tested solution also reduced risk by ensuring that the solution would perform well on arrival.

Expanded Possibilities

With help from Bull and a modular solution based on SQL Server 2008 R2, Grettia can continue to expand until it has a complete platform fully integrated with Claire-Siti. “With SQL Server 2008 R2, Bull brought us three key elements,” says Scemama. “It delivered data warehouse expertise, which helped translate our different models into a decision-making support system. It used a standardized approach to implementing the tools. And, finally, we have both scalability and easy and controlled migrations.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 1268 employees

Organization Profile

The French Institute for Sciences and Technologies of Transport, Planning, and Networks includes 23 research groups, including Grettia. The Institute focuses on roads, railways, and environmental issues, and has an annual budget of €110 million.


Hardware


Third Party Software


Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services

Vertical Industries
  • Public Works & Transportation
  • Public Safety & Justice

Country/Region
France

Business Need
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Mission Critical
  • Business Critical

IT Issue
Data Warehousing

Languages
English

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