CaringBridge is the world’s first and largest online service for keeping loved ones connected when faced with serious health issues. It is a free, non-profit web service that allows families and friends to privately share information, love and support. The service allows users to easily update loved ones with online journal entries while focusing their energy on the person who requires healing.

The CaringBridge community is active in all 50 states and more than 190 countries around the world. This extremely popular global community is impressive. There are over 150,000 personal and private sites with a new one being created every 10 minutes. Site visitors have left nearly 20 million messages of support and encouragement to patients and their families on personal web sites and over 10 million emails are sent out each month as people update their journals on their CaringBridge websites.

The Story

In early 2008, CaringBridge received some unexpected news from their Internet service provider. Due to ownership changes, the ISP was no longer able to provide CaringBridge with Internet service. CaringBridge was given 90 days to remove their colocated equipment from the ISP’s data center.

Researching and changing ISPs on short notice can be a challenge for any organization; for CaringBridge, this was especially true. By early 2008 the network to support the community of care had grown to include two cabinets’ worth of equipment and a great deal of Internet bandwidth. To make the transition even more complicated, CaringBridge needed to partner with an ISP that could help them configure a mail server capable of handling the over 10 million monthly journal update messages.

Their old provider helped out by giving CaringBridge a list of local ISPs to research. ipHouse was on the list. Gary Ablan, the Director of Technology at CaringBridge explains, "We went through an abbreviated but thorough selection process. We split the list up and went through our requirements. Within two or three weeks we had selected ipHouse out of five facilities. We were under a tight schedule and ipHouse helped us get our servers moved quickly and efficiently. ipHouse's subject matter expertise and willingness to transfer knowledge is invaluable to us."

"One of the things we really liked about ipHouse was the people. All the data centers were high quality but at the end of the day it was the people at ipHouse that our system administrators were most comfortable with. They helped us bring in and build a new mail server. It was very efficient and within a day the ipHouse engineers had our new mail server up and running."

"We have a significant presence at ipHouse. The environment and security have been great for us. ipHouse has the knowledge, environment and ability to continue to handle our expansion that provides us a strong partner now and in the future."

"We use over 40Mbps of bandwidth and we don’t have a business without a connection. It is mission critical. Our service level is 99.9% uptime and we expect to exceed that. Last year we had over 99.95% uptime. Every site we host is personal and sensitive. If we go down during someone’s health crisis, we can’t make that up, we can’t re-do it. We have over three million unique users during the course of a month that depend on us. ipHouse has the network reliability we need."