Amnesty International has moved to a hybrid cloud infrastructure to improve communications with its members and the reliability of its online websites and applications.

The human rights organisation has consolidated its digital communications infrastructure through partnering with service provider Claranet. Previously Amnesty worked with several web and hosting agencies, each responsible for a different part of its online infrastructure.

Kamesh Patel, head of IT at Amnesty, said: “Several third parties used to look after our websites, and each of them had their own hosting providers who provided different levels of service."

Patel said this led to everything "being done in silos", which was difficult to manage. It also exposed the organisation to "significant instability and risk", he said, with individual sites facing business continuity issues

Amnesty’s previously disparate and complex hosting environment also didn’t allow user data to be integrated across the organisation’s various digital properties, which meant that the charity had poor visibility of its users’ profiles and their individual activity online.

Amnesty is using Claranet’s managed application hosting system, which supports the central user registration system and self-service functions on the various websites, like setting up member direct debits, for instance.

Patel said: “The overhaul has helped us to simplify our back-end processes and to automate fulfillment, so that our staff can get on with more important things like building support our next campaign.”

Amnesty is also embracing social media tools and changing the content management system (CMS) on which its website is built. Adding social media functions further increased the fluctuating spikes in traffic to the site, and made responding to changing capacity requirements even more important, Patel said. This prompted the move to a new hybrid hosting platform from Claranet that combines private and public cloud hosting.

Patel said: "Claranet’s virtualised platform means that our server resources can be dynamically allocated to where they are needed.”

Amnesty no longer needs to downgrade servers when making a physical upgrade to its IT infrastructure, and should anything happen to one server the system allows resources to be reallocated automatically to ensure continued uptime.

Procter & Gamble is moving towards a hybrid cloud model using services and technology from HP