Cruelty Free International

Requirement: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Global Not-For-Profit organisation Cruelty Free International required a flexible, robust infrastructure that would be more scalable and accessible as the organisation continues to grow.

 

The Client

Established in 1898 by Frances Power Cobb as the “British Union”, Cruelty Free International is a dynamic, Not-For-Profit organisation that works to end animal experiments worldwide. The company receives no government or lottery funding, relying entirely on the generosity of its supporters to raise awareness and funds to promote humane scientific research and cruelty-free living. As well as certifying that many of the world’s most popular cosmetic and skincare brands are not tested on animals – including The Body Shop, Neal's Yard Remedies, Urban Decay and Forever Living – the organisation has worked with Primark, Argos, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Waitrose and many more to verify that their own-brand cosmetic, personal care and household products are cruelty free. To date, more than 600 companies globally are certified and display its famous “Leaping Bunny” mark, allowing consumers to make informed choices when shopping for products that are not tested on animals.

The nature of Cruelty Free International’s work means that colleagues often have to work all over the world, so it is essential that they are able to store and access information securely, yet with ease. Following a review of the existing on-site infrastructure by the Senior Management Team it was felt that, while the on-premise platform was still working very well, it did not offer the scalability or reliability that was needed going forward. The organisation therefore decided to explore moving its systems to the Cloud, enabling it to deliver key applications and shared data to both office-based and remote users alike, as well as ensuring maximum uptime of business-critical programmes.

 

Technical Solution

GCI recommended their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution, hosted on their own Private Cloud platform. Underpinned by best-of-breed technologies from Microsoft, Dell EMC, VMware, HP and Cisco, the platform boasts 99.99% uptime and is located within GCI’s highly-secure and resilient datacentres. Infrastructure as a Service allows Cruelty Free International to not only scale its virtual infrastructure quickly and easily to meet the organisation’s ever-increasing needs, but also offers access for staff no matter where in the world they are working. The Cloud-based solution also moves the organisation to an OpEx model, negating the need for costly infrastructure upgrades every 3-5 years as the underlying hardware is maintained and managed by GCI. This means that Cruelty Free International’s IT team doesn’t have to worry about the infrastructure’s day-to-day running and can instead focus on delivering more strategic projects.

Additionally, GCI installed a FortiGate Virtual Firewall to provide additional perimeter security to Cruelty Free International’s new Cloud-based infrastructure. As Platinum Partners with security experts Fortinet, GCI have the expertise to implement and manage this industry-leading security offering, so Cruelty Free International can be safe in the knowledge that the infrastructure is safe and secure.

 

Success and Company Benefits

Cruelty Free International now has a highly-scalable and resilient core infrastructure that offers maximum uptime of key IT services, as well as allowing access for staff worldwide. The organisation no longer has to rely on an inflexible, on-premise server, instead entrusting its systems to GCI.

Julian Littaur, Deputy Chief Executive at Cruelty Free International, said: “Cruelty Free International have worked with GCI for many years and therefore we know their capability to deliver projects of this type. Our systems are now more robust and accessible, and we don’t have to worry about the day-to-day running and support of the infrastructure as it’s taken care of by GCI. Moving away from a CapEx to an OpEx model will offer significant cost savings, meaning that we will be able to divert much-needed funds towards helping achieve our goal of making the world a place without animal experiments.”


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