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When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador in early 2016, Samaritan's Purse immediately mobilized supplies and relief workers to help in the aftermath. The Boone, North Carolina, not-for-profit also quickly responded to help thousands of homeless Nepalese earthquake victims a year earlier. For Samaritan's Purse, downtime isn't an option. The international Christian relief organization is on full-time alert working in more than 100 countries to provide aid and relief to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution.
Technology is the vital backbone of the organization. Because response in the first 48 hours makes a difference in saving lives, Samaritan's Purse must communicate its needs to staff, alert thousands of volunteers, organize supplies, travel, and set up camp—and sometimes a hospital—as quickly as humanly possible. It does this through e-mail blasts, messages on its website, and mailings, which all rely on its up-to-date and quickly accessible donor database, says Eugene Jesel, director of IT at Samaritan's Purse.
NetApp technology's reliability not only has liberated us from having to focus on keeping our back-end infrastructure running but also has given back time to our IT team so they can provide other unique IT value to the organization.
Eugene JeselDirector of IT, Samaritan's Purse
NetApp ONTAP storage management tools, including mailbox recovery and NetApp other technologies, are crucial to helping Samaritan's Purse manage its infrastructure, Jesel says. Securing and backing up its database is a top priority for Samaritan's Purse. “We have millions and millions of records in our donor database, which is closely integrated with various other systems,” says Jesel. “The database is our most important and critical asset.”
With people working in every time zone, it's critically important for its technology to be always on and for IT to conduct backups and perform other maintenance without interrupting users. “It is huge for us to be able to do software updates and maintenance and have the resiliency to handle a failure and maintain our uptime,” Lucas Bruch, networks integration manager, says. “Since deploying NetApp Data ONTAP we've had 100% uptime.”