Nigeria Puts Bio-Identity System To The Test - InformationWeek

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10/4/2002
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Nigeria Puts Bio-Identity System To The Test

Blade servers create flexible architecture for first civilian-run election since military rule ended.

Blade servers will help Nigeria register voters for its first civilian-run election since it ended military rule three years ago. To manage the process of registering at least half of Nigeria's 120 million residents in time for next year's election, the government is spending $30 million on products and technology from several companies, including office-equipment maker Olivetti Tecnost, service provider Square One Solutions, and BioLink Technologies International.

BioLink will deploy 456 800i single-processor Linux blade servers from RLX Technologies Inc. to voter-registration sites in Nigeria's 37 states. The blades will process data from scanned voter-registration cards, which will include voters' thumbprints. BioLink's software will run on the blades, checking for fraud or duplication.

BioLink chose a blade-server configuration because the project required a flexible, scalable architecture that's easy to set up and move; requires minimal use of Nigeria's inconsistent communications infrastructure; and can easily be configured to process information from around the country. Says Michael Wong, BioLink's VP of operations and chief operating officer, "The built-in communications protocol is a huge, huge convenience factor."

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