Our choice of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration was driven by both technical criteria - the solution is the best fit for our requirements; and by strategic reasons - the open source model and Talend's support and services around its solution guarantee our long-term investment.Christian Armengaud, IT manager
Strict regulatory constraints
With a student body of over 16,000 in Law, Political Science, Economics, Management, Communications, Mathematics, and Computer Science, and over 600 faculty and 500 administrative staff, the University of Toulouse's budget exceeds 64 million euros ($85 million).
As a government-owned institution, the University of Toulouse is subject to various regulatory constraints. It must, for example, implement performance tracking solutions and be accountable for its use of public funds. And, because it provides various IT resources to its students, it must also guarantee network security and identify violations of the accepted use policies.
Varied data integration requirements
To implement performance tracking dashboards, data must be extracted from back-end systems and loaded into an Oracle data mart. All data integration processes for this project are centralized.
Conversely, network security systems are highly decentralized and require the processing of a high volume of log files, alert emails, and permissions validation in LDAP directories. The resulting repository is built on MySQL. For performance reasons, processing of this data needs to happen close to its source, and must be highly decentralized. Indeed, over 300 MB of compressed logs are processed every day.
"We looked at several different solutions available on the market, including the tool from a traditional vendor that offered significant discounts to French universities," explained Christian Armengaud, IT Manager at the University of Toulouse. "Unfortunately, we know from experience that these discounts usually don't last and, when the vendor's priorities change, existing investments must often be reconsidered."
In addition, the product wasn't suitable for decentralized process deployment. It was critical that the University of Toulouse find a suitable solution-from both licensing and functionality standpoints.
An open source solution
"The academic world is very sensitive to open source," said Christian Armengaud. "And so we looked at open source solutions and identified several products that we tried out."
After discarding a few options - mostly open source projects without vendor backing - the University of Toulouse short-listed Talend Open Studio for Data Integration and Pentaho Data Integration. "Talend Open Studio for Data Integration proved to be the best solution for our needs," explained Christian Armengaud. "Talend Open Studio for Data Integration's code generation provides more performance than a dedicated integration engine, and this approach is also more efficient for distributing the processes."
Another advantage is that Talend Open Studio for Data Integration generates industry-standard code - Perl, Java, and SQL. Because Perl is the chosen system development language at the University of Toulouse, ramp-up time for the solution and its integration into the existing software stack was even easier.
To accelerate ramp up, the University of Toulouse contracted Talend to provide an onsite training session and several days of expert consulting. "Our choice of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration was driven by both technical criteria - the solution is the best fit for our requirements; and by strategic reasons - the open source model and Talend's support and services around its solution guarantee our long-term investment," concluded Christian Armengaud.