VMWare Solutions at Make-A-Wish America

Bipin Jayaraj, CIO, Make-A-Wish America
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Bipin Jayaraj, CIO, Make-A-Wish America

Bipin Jayaraj, CIO, Make-A-Wish America

Make-A-Wish America continues to transform and modernize its technology platform, as it has over the last couple of years. The organization is moving to a more robust, virtualized, elastic cloud model. This transition was both necessitated and accelerated by two key factors. The first key factor is the exponential growth the organization is experiencing. The second is the infrastructure consolidations necessary in an Enterprise Model demonstrated at the Make-A-Wish National Office.

Make-A-Wish as an organization operates as a federated business model. The National Office is in Phoenix, AZ, and there are 62 chapter across the United States. The different components of the technology Infrastructure are being managed at an Enterprise Level through the National Office. This is done through centralized, consolidated services the National Office provides which is then serviced back to the chapters though Shared Services. 

  Make-A-Wish America deploys a variety of VMware solutions as part of the Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure  

Having a reliable, stable, elastic and around the clock ability is essential. These qualities, assist in achieving the organization's strategic business goals. They are also critical in the underlying Enterprise architecture of the organization. It is crucial that the Infrastructure of Make-A-Wish is resilient to any Cyber Security activities that are taking place globally. Yet, it also needs to be scalable and flexible to accommodate swings in traffic.

It is difficult to provide support, strong compute and storage power for all the organization's needs. A large hurtle is accommodating revenue generating events such as Donor Stewardship programs as well as other marketing activities. A specific example of a strategic growth area for Make-A-Wish is the Digital Revenue generation. Items like these are why there is the expectation and reliance on the underlying Infrastructure that support all business needs. 

Make-A-Wish America deploys a variety of VMware solutions as part of the Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure. VMware solutions play a very integral part at both our Make-A-Wish Data Center, the VPDC and with our Cloud Infrastructure provider. We also have VMWare solutions implemented across our 110+ Chapter office locations across the United States. 

VMWare solutions such as VMWare vCenter, vSphere Enterprise and vCloud director, continue to allow Make-A-Wish to manage available server clusters from a centralized management pane. This was both useful and beneficial when the Make-A-Wish National team needed to execute the transition of the servers. All the 62 Chapters across the nation at all 110+ locations experienced minimal downtime during the transition. This was due to the Centralized server cluster. The cluster could "collate" all the different systems into a single management console. Both vCenter and vCloud were leveraged during this time. Along with the minimal downtime, the whole move was cost-effective because the National team didn't have to replicate all physical machines at the Enterprise. 

These types of use cases and cost savings prove that any organization could see the same results. For Make-A-Wish America, the organization was able to seamlessly enable the Enterprise model architecture. At the same time the organization was able to save a significant amount of money. Those saved dollars were ploughed back to the core business model, their mission: creating life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Not a day goes by where decisions like these are made without the Make-A-Wish mission as a priority. It is crucial that Make-A-Wish is able to enable and achieve its goal of reaching Every Eligible Child. To obtain that goal, the organization must remain nimble and innovative enough to support all strategies across the nation. Hence, cost control and cost reduction are both consistent measure of high importance. Keeping our mission our priority is in tandem with balancing the Digital transformation that Make-A-Wish is embarking on. This transformation will nhance productivity and enable more service offerings.

VMWare's vCloud Director provides a perfect Administration pane. This allows Make-A-Wish to manage a multi-tenant cloud Infrastructure with a very lean team. The Virtual Edge Security Appliances provided the needed Enterprise security cadence. It is this security cadence that secures the entire tech ecosystem, from the Make-A-Wish Data Center to the Make-A-Wish cloud Infrastructure.

The next steps Make-A-Wish will take will be exploring other VMWare solutions. For example, the Horizon view to embark on the whole Desktop virtualization journey. The Horizon tool will provide a significant benefit in support of our business model. A lot of the back-office work and front office support is provided by volunteers and part-time/intern workforce.  This type of solution eliminates the need to manage a huge inventory of capital desktop/laptop resources and move them between office locations whenever a workforce entity joins or leaves the organization. The cost savings from these solutions and initiatives can fund additional innovative solutions to further the Make-A-Wish mission.

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