Yad Sarah’s Move to Azure
For years, Yad Sarah had been using a single on-premise server to power the digital records for its equipment lending service across all branches, and the car fleet application used for scheduling its patient transportation service. When the servers became unstable, with no redundancy and frequent equipment failures, the organization decided to migrate to Microsoft Azure. Azure makes it very easy to create a redundant system in the Cloud, without worrying about any costly hardware upgrades or issues with future development. What’s more, Microsoft offers benefits for non-profit organizations.
About Yad Sarah
Founded in 1976, Yad Sarah, a non-profit organization, offers a wide range of services, including mobile clinics, an emergency alarm service, lending of an extensive range of medical equipment, and transportations for patients with functional disabilities in its fleets of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Its 7,000 volunteers work at over 100 branches throughout Israel, serving 750,000 people each year.
List of Technologies usedAzure IaaS Windows VMs
- Azure load balancer
- Azure VPN
- Azure Backup
- Azure Storage
- Azure NAT Gateway
The Azure Factor
Founded in 1976, Yad Sarah, a non-profit organization, offers a wide range of services, including mobile clinics, an emergency alarm service, loan of an extensive range of medical equipment, and transportation for patients with functional disabilities in its fleets of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Its 7,000 volunteers work at over 100 branches throughout Israel, serving 750,000 people each year.
Literally hundreds of thousands of people around the country rely on the smooth running of Yad Sarah’s fleet of 40 vehicles, which carry 500 patients a day, and the management of 386,765 loans of equipment, from wheelchairs to oxygen pumps, baby cots to hospital beds. With a single point of failure, when the Yad Sarah server would go down, the system would become unavailable to all its 100+ branches, paralyzing operations. The company that originally developed the equipment-lending application was long out of the picture, leaving Yad Sarah to maintain it themselves and handle any technical challenges that may come up. Yad Sarah urgently required a stable system with improved redundancy, that could be easily operated.
The Azure MSP Solution
CloudZone carried out a thorough system review of Yad Sarah’s on-premise set up, taking into consideration the organization’s needs in drawing up a diagram for a robust, redundant system and plans for deploying it and migrating the live data to Azure.
The solution that was implemented gave Yad Sarah the following benefits:
- Improved redundancy – The new VM-based system has multiple VMs for the website, the tablet connection for the car fleet, and the SQL databases enabling full redundancy in case of a failure on one of the servers.
- Enhanced security and monitoring – The only access to Azure is via VPN from Yad Sarah – the branches connect to Yad Sarah’s terminal servers and from there can connect to the system. Azure monitoring enables Yad Sarah to see details of server status and usage. CloudZone also configured alerts to send a notification via email in the event of server overload or availability issues, so that the technical team can take the necessary remedial action to prevent a crash.
- Backups and improved scalability – Instead of running backups to hard drives connected at its IT office, Yad Sarah now runs and manages backups more easily and reliably in the Cloud. If necessary, restoring of the SQL data or of the VMs themselves is also faster and easier on the Cloud than on-prem.
- Hybrid networking – Yad Sarah’s on-premises environment is connected to the Azure network over VPN, allowing full connectivity between the on-prem systems and the application running on Azure.
- OS Update – CloudZone took the opportunity of the migration to upgrade the operating systems of the VM running the applications to newer versions in the new Azure environment. OS version was also upgraded as part of the rehost of Windows and SQL servers.
Since going live with Azure in mid-June 2020, Yad Sarah has seen the benefits of its new robust redundant Cloud environment.
“We needed a system that would be simple to maintain and use – and that’s what we got!” says Ari Grinbaum, System Manager at Yad Sarah. “CloudZone solved many issues that we had been unable to solve by ourselves. Thanks to the complete, efficient and fast response they gave us, we are now able to manage the Cloud environment ourselves, knowing that CloudZone is there to help us if we need them.”