Thursday, November 23, 2017

How Oxfam is going to use public cloud to fight poverty

Charity is on the move to Microsoft Azure with the help of Rackspace in quest to end global poverty and increase IT resilience during humanitarian crisis and events like Glastonbury.

As more than three billion people worldwide are deemed as living in poverty, Oxfam has bulked up its cloud computing capabilities in the hope that this will help to bring numbers down globally.

With that in mind, Oxfam is in the process of migrating its website and select applications to the Azure platform, using Rackspace’s Fanatical Support for Microsoft Azure to guide the switch.

The global organisation’s website and some other applications are today powered by private cloud services while the remaining applications are hosted in Oxfam’s on premise Computer Equipment Room (CER).

Oxfam wants to change this by adopting a fully public cloud environment with Microsoft and with the help of Rackspace.

The institution believes this will both help bring running costs down and offer the scalability needed for a charity of its size.

Rackspace has been tasked with providing enough service resilience, especially during peak times for Oxfam donations such as a humanitarian crisis and big events it is involved with like the Glastonbury Festival.

Nick Harris, information systems (IS) Service Delivery Manager at Oxfam said: “The decision to migrate to a public cloud was driven by the cost effectiveness, scalability and resilience it can offer.

“After reviewing a number of cloud platforms, we decided that Microsoft Azure was the one that best matched these needs.

“We acknowledged early on that we required additional skills and 24x7x365 support to maintain the infrastructure, and Rackspace demonstrated that it had the capability and experience to provide this.”

Darren Norfolk, MD of Rackspace UK, said: “Migrating to the cloud has many benefits, especially for organisations like Oxfam that like to keep an eye on costs so that its fundraising efforts have the biggest possible effect.

“However, the cloud also brings challenges such as the in-depth planning needed to prepare for a migration, the complexity of architecting a public cloud solution and figuring out how it can meet the constant internal demand to reduce IT costs.”