Humanitarian News Website Gets Mission-Critical Technology to Deliver Up-to-Date Crisis Information to Global Relief Workers
Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDQ: SUNW) and the global news agency Reuters today announced that AlertNet, a humanitarian online news network (www.alertnet.org), will optimize its capabilities to provide information around global humanitarian initiatives and emergencies through new technology provided by Sun Microsystems. AlertNet is a project of the Reuters Foundation, the non-profit arm of the global news agency.
AlertNet has a network of 400 contributing humanitarian organizations and attracts upwards of 3 million users a year. The site needed a more flexible and dynamic IT infrastructure to improve access to information that relief agencies, journalists and the wider public need to respond during natural and man-made disasters. The combination of servers, software and services deployed by Sun Microsystems will help to better manage the spike in user traffic when a disaster occurs. The Sun infrastructure will also help provide AlertNet with the capabilities to become an online meeting place in the future where users can share experiences, commentary and feedback. With this expanded web presence, AlertNet can continue its mission to support and raise awareness of fast-moving humanitarian crises and to provide early warning of future emergencies worldwide.
“As part of a global medical relief agency, we rely on AlertNet for the latest information, and the news network plays a critical role in our research and communications during emergencies,” said Sarah Nelson of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) UK. “Knowing that AlertNet is now supported by the powerful Sun technology gives us confidence that we will have access to information that helps our our humanitarian mission.”
AlertNet will consolidate from the current 13 servers to 11 energy-sipping Sun Fire T2000 eco responsible servers running the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS). The implementation will also include a disaster recovery solution. Sun will provide a dedicated team to provide in-kind consulting services focused on project implementation, technology design and systems integration expertise. The project is expected to take up to eight months and will enable the site to make big strides into new services and audience numbers.
“AlertNet continually seeks ways to improve how we deliver news which is especially important for those working in disaster-stricken areas,” said Rosemary Martin, director, Reuters Foundation. “Sun Microsystems’ donation will fundamentally improve website efficiency, and allow us to provide new and much-needed capabilities which will help raise awareness of humanitarian initiatives and needs.”
Sun Continues to Share the Opportunity
Sun’s donation to AlertNet is part of its “Share the Opportunity” initiative, a global effort to help promote participation in social change. Sun believes the world has entered an era of participation, where dramatically lowered barriers to entry, plummeting device prices, and near-universal connectivity are driving a new round of network access. From blogs to Java(TM) technology, SMS messages to Web services, participants are forming communities to drive change, create new businesses, new social services, and new discoveries. This growth in the network economy is fueled by sharing and collaboration among communities interconnected by technology and driven by purpose. Sun also believes that sharing and collaboration will stimulate innovation to help all participants from across the world grow and prosper.
“At Sun our cause is to end digital divides of all kinds,” said Crawford Beveridge, CBE, executive vice president and chairman EMEA, Sun Microsystems. “Through the power of the network, we can eradicate the walls that keep people from learning of humanitarian, geo-political and natural disasters. We are proud to support AlertNet as a megaphone to get the world to pay attention to these crises and help rebuild.”
Reuters AlertNet is a humanitarian news network based around a popular website. It aims to keep relief professionals and the wider public up-to-date on humanitarian crises around the globe. AlertNet attracts upwards of three million users a year, has a network of 400 contributing humanitarian organizations and its weekly email digest is received by more than 17,000 readers.
Established in 1997 by Reuters Foundation - an educational and humanitarian trust - to place Reuters’ core skills of speed, accuracy and freedom from bias at the service of the humanitarian community.
AlertNet has won a Popular Communication award for technological innovation, a NetMedia European Online Journalism Award for its coverage of natural disasters and has been named a Millennium Product by the British Government -- an award for outstanding applications of innovative technologies.
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
A singular vision -- “The Network Is The Computer” -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world’s most important markets. Sun’s philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://sun.com.
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