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Success Stories:Large humanitarian organization better serves military families in the cloud

The Challenge

A Large Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Organization wanted to improve the uptime and resilience of a critical application used to support U.S. military families.

The Solution

In a matter of weeks, AIS migrated the application to Microsoft Azure using a rehosting approach and implemented disaster recovery technologies to ensure uninterrupted availability.

The Results

With the move to Azure, the organization improved the availability of this much-used application, ensuring that military families are never left waiting in their time of need.
Always there for U.S. military families

Daily, in communities around the U.S., the Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Organization provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. One of its most visible and utilized programs is Service to the Armed Forces (SAF).

The SAF program dates back to the establishment of the Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Organization by Clara Barton in May 1881. Not only did the “Angel of the Battlefield” risk her life tending to soldiers wounded in the Civil War, but she bolstered their morale by writing letters home for them. Today’s workers proudly carry on this tradition through the SAF program, which serves as a critical line of communication between the U.S Armed Forces and their families.

The software application that supports this program needs to be available around the clock, to serve the thousands of military families that use SAF services such as counseling, deployment services, reunification services, financial assistance, and more.

The Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Organization asked AIS to help it improve the availability and uptime of this critical application. When fragile military families need help, the organization doesn’t want to let them down.

The organization was moving any application it could to the public cloud, and AIS validated that the SAF application could in fact run there. The SAF infrastructure contained both Microsoft Windows and Linux-based servers with Oracle databases. We determined that a rehosted migration to Microsoft Azure IaaS was the best approach for a successful low-impact migration while meeting critical service-level requirements.

Another benefit of using Azure was the fact that the Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Organization could take advantage of automatic failover between multiple cloud datacenters. AIS executed the migration of this large, critical application in just three months—with zero downtime or interruption to military families.

At the same time, we used the proven AIS Cloud Adoption Framework to ensure that the application was compliant with industry best practices for compliance and governance, speeding implementation and simplifying ongoing maintenance.

Tighten application security

During the migration, we tightened the security of the SAF application by improving the network design and setting up a web application firewall to secure traffic in and out of the application. This ensures that confidential military family data is not breached.

Do it quickly, invisibly

Best of all, AIS did all this in just three months—with no interruption to application users.