French Government Floats a Massive Tender to Maintain their Open Source Software

The French Government has published a tender request for Information and Communication Technology companies. The request involves support for open-source software, and the contract is worth two million euros, operational for three years. This contract will cover the office of the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Internal Affairs, Justice, Labor, Education and others. All the computer systems involved in this maintenance run Debian and CentOS.
The contract covers ten areas as told by  Le Monde Informatique.

Ten areas are covered:  1 – Operating Systems and software associated base: Debian and CentOS, virtualization tool such as KVM  2 – Servers presentation and application: Apache, Tomcat, JOnAS, CMS  3 – languages ​​and development frameworks: Java, PHP, XML, Perl, Eclipse, Struts  4 – RDBMS: PostgreSQL, MySQL  5 – Office: OpenOffice  6 – Network tools and operation and supervision: Ethereal, Jmeter, Nagios  7 – Security Tools: Tripwire, OpenSSL  8 – Directory Services and Messaging: OpenLDAP, Sendmail  9 – portals and document management, knowledge management: Nuxeo, Ezpublish, Alfresco  10 – Indexing and search…

The deadline for application is January 9, 2012, and the awarding will be made on March 30, subsequently.

Every company that bids on the tender has to  have a contingency plan, in case the open source software is not developed anymore. This appears as some additional responsibility.

The French Government is well known for its adoption of open source software. It started a decade ago when the French Government advocated the use of open source. However, it probably gained traction back in 2004 when the French Government decided to use Mandrake on 1500 servers, which were running Windows NT earlier.

It  is a well-known fact that use of open source software can reduce operational cost of IT systems in governments, by large amounts. What these open source software lack, is support. However, with more tenders like these, it will not be late before support is no longer an issue for adoption of open source.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.