Case Study:
Oregon Tilth

Innovation in the Sustainable Cloud

When Oregon Tilth was ready to transition aging on-premise IT resources to the cloud, the company did their due diligence, evaluating multiple cloud vendors. To execute on an environment that was both cost-conscious and custom-designed, to ensure 24/7/365 support for a staff spread across the US and internationally, and to partner with a company that shares a customer-first, sustainable approach, Oregon Tilth chose Green House Data. 

“We talked to several of the big providers, and we had a very detailed list of requirements. Green House Data was the only one who took a good look at our business and what we were trying to accomplish, and we ended up with a cloud environment that is better than we ever envisioned.”

Oregon Tilth is a leading nonprofit certifier, educator, and advocate for organic agriculture and products since 1974. Tilth’s mission to make our food system and agriculture biologically sound and socially equitable requires them to find practical ways to tackle big challenges. They advance this mission to balance the needs of people and planet through focus on core areas of certification, conservation, public health, policy and the marketplace.

 

“Cloud or Bust”

cloud data center service center“For years, we had hosted our servers in-house, but a combination of tremendous growth in both clients and staff along with the increasing importance of 100% uptime led us to look to cloud infrastructure,” said Heather Smith, IT Manager, Oregon Tilth. “And, with a small IT staff, doing it all on our own did not seem possible.”

Because internal IT staff resources were limited, Tilth needed a partner—not just a hosting provider.

“We had a vision of what we wanted and Green House Data collaborated with us to realize that goal.” said Joel Borjesson, Systems Administrator, Oregon Tilth. “We had specific business requirements that could not be addressed by a one-size-fits all deployment.”

 

Customized Cloud Solution

Working closely with the team, Green House Data was able to design a custom environment for Tilth that helped them do better than just moving to multi-tenant Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). For example, splitting workloads between different instances of virtual machines allowed for a tiered storage cost savings and increased security, while stress testing meant Tilth could be sure of a resilient environment.

For telecommuting and personnel in the field, VPN provided secure connections even across public networks, and these remote users immediately experienced better connection speeds.

Oregon Tilth organic certification goes cloudThe Oregon Tilth cloud environment is home to common finance and reporting applications like QuickBooks and Crystal Reports, as well as Tilth’s proprietary certification system and web portal, MYOTCO.org. While the certification system is maintained in multiple instances (testing, development, live), the portal is a 24/7 connection to the live instance that allows customers to track their application and renewal status, certificates, inspection reports, and action items in real time. Finally, Tilth is able to scale up to support close to a hundred remote desktops.

“Green House Data was by far the most responsive of all the cloud vendors we contacted,” said Smith. “We talked to several of the big providers, and we had a very detailed list of requirements. Green House Data was the only one who took a good look at our business and what we were trying to accomplish, and we ended up with a cloud environment that is better than we ever envisioned.”

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