As a trusted IT partner, Bull designs, implements, maintains and runs leading-edge digital solutions that effectively combine processing power, security and the integration of complex, heterogeneous systems. With its broad portfolio of technological expertise and its positioning as an independent supplier, Bull works alongside customers, supporting their digital transformation, helping them to reap the full benefit and manage risk.
Breakthrough innovations for an open world
Throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia, Bull's R&D labs are working hard today on the technologies for building the open and secure IT infrastructures of tomorrow. Bull has a long history of R&D success, from the first mainframe computers in the 1960s and the invention of smart cards in the 1980s, to today's new generation of Extreme Computing solutions, large-scale computing 'power plants' (Cloud computing), Open Source middleware for service-oriented IT architectures and advanced security solutions.
Dedicated to building groundbreaking, innovative technologies, Bull's R&D teams are driven by three core values: a commitment to industry standards; a team spirit that capitalizes on close synergies with a wide range of partners and Open Source communities; and a dedication to ultimate reliability and security for mission-critical environments.
At the IT infrastructure level, Bull's investments in R&D are particularly focused in four key areas:
Extreme Computing solutions
As world leader in Extreme Computing, Bull is building on industry standards to develop advanced High-Performance Computing (HPC) solutions, enterprise servers and storage systems capable of delivering maximum power while offering all the flexibility of industry standards. Bull's technological excellence was recognized when HPCWire – the leading international journal dedicated to computer simulation and High-Performance Computing – named bullx as the world's 'Best HPC server product or technology” in 2009. The journal's decision was endorsed by that of HPCWire's readers, who voted bullx as one of the Top 5 new products or technologies to watch in 2010.
Bull is also working with the French Atomic Energy Authority (the CEA) to design and build Tera 100, the first European petaflops-capacity supercomputer.
Bull is co-ordinating the work of numerous research and business partners in the area of new generation servers capable of delivering the higher levels of computing power needed by tomorrow's HPC applications, as well as the fundamental processing capacity needed by rich and complex datasets destined for large organizations. Along with its partners, Bull has also launched the ParMA consortium (Parallel Programming for Multi-core Architectures) under the auspices of the European Union's ITEA2 program. The main objective of the new consortium is to help the High-Performance Computing community benefit from the rapid evolution of processors by developing innovative, flexible and open technologies that can fully exploit multi-core architectures. Finally, each year Bull makes awards for innovation in the area of computer simulation applications, with the Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize.
New-generation computing 'power plants' (Cloud computing)
Bull is at the forefront of initiatives in Cloud computing and the massive computing 'power plants' of the future. To design, build and deploy the low consumption hardware and software infrastructures in line with its Bio Data Center principles, Bull has negotiated R&D agreements and technology partnerships with world leaders in the field including EMC, NetApp, SAP and VMware. Bull is making a significant contribution to virtualization technologies for servers and storage, with a particular emphasis on managing virtual libraries for backing up and archiving data. In order to simplify the operation of large-scale data centers, Bull has launched a new generation of innovative servers, bullion, and is also designing new software solutions for improved automation of administrative tasks and re-allocation of resources. Last but not least, Bull is developing container-based technologies to facilitate rapid deployment of new or complementary Data Centers in any location. With its range of mobull™ solutions, Bull offers a fresh answer to the challenges posed by the growth of the digital economy, in terms of Data Center provision.
Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs)
Bull is actively engaged in developing Open Source middleware platforms that will be ideally suited for building flexible and open information systems that communicate well with, and evolve in real time to support, today's business processes. Bull is a co-founder and a major contributor to the ObjectWeb consortium (now known as OW2), which is now the leading international consortium dedicated to developing solutions that enable IT infrastructures to be aligned with a particular business logic or business activity. Bull is directing its efforts to ensure that these architectures are geared to the emergence of Cloud computing, and to pave the way for building new mainstream information systems solutions. Bull's commitment is reflected in its key contribution: the Bull SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) open software solutions platform, available via the Group's Open Energy™ and NovaForge offerings.
High-level security solutions in a globalized world
Bull carries out advanced research in the area of identity and access management (IAM) and SSO (Single Sign-On), cryptography, Public Key Infrastructures (PKI), embedded security systems (in defense, aeronautics, telecoms... via its subsidiary Amesys) and service quality management. Through its own development projects and its involvement in European R&D programs such as ITEA, Bull is also a key contributor in the areas of e-signature and web security services. Bull's capacity for innovation is also embodied by the development of globull: a solution that combines mobility and security based on technologies originally used in the world of defense, and now providing senior corporate and public sector personnel with levels of security that allow them to withstand the latest threats to security infringement.
Beyond its applied R&D in the IT infrastructure arena, Bull also develops dedicated solutions for the sectors it serves, notably the public sector (secure frameworks for e- government, inland revenue intelligence…), telecoms, healthcare, postal services, homeland security, defense, and financial services (transaction security…), among others.
Bull's own R&D labs are located throughout Europe, America and Asia. Bull has also developed close R&D partnerships with leading-edge partners such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Novell-Suse, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, EMC-VMWare and other corporations, as well as Open Source communities (Linux Foundation, OW2, JBoss…), European R&D programs (ITEA, Qualipso...) and European competitiveness clusters (Cap Digital,System@tic...). Dedicated Bull engineers work in several partners' own R&D centers, enabling them to leverage synergies and accelerate the pace of innovation.
Bull advanced research on new technologies – as well as its collaborative working programs with a wide network of partners and communities worldwide – means its customers benefit from advanced IT solutions that help them grow ahead of their rivals and deliver exceptional performance.