How one core processor defines “High Availability”

Every six months, CU*Answers conducts a live exercise as part of their Business Continuity Program by bringing core processing systems online at the high-availability data center, some 750 plus miles away from the production data center. This is in part to validate procedures and processes for restoring services in a prompt and effective manner, but also to confirm the performance capacity of the hardware and integrity of data replicated between centers.

On April 18th, teams at CU*Answers conducted the exercise (called an HA rollover) to bring CU*BASE online at the secondary site. Core processing operated from systems in the HA environment for three weeks, including month-end processing and system maintenance at the production site that involves the upgrade and replacement of more than 90 disk drives, while maintaining data replication and system resilience throughout the three week event.

“An ongoing investment in redundancy of components and high-availability strategies is crucial for maintaining a 24/7 core processing environment where credit unions and their members engage and transact around the clock,” says Jim Lawrence, VP of Business Continuity and Operations. “The continuous surge in the use of digital services now requires the ability to add capacity and perform system upgrades in place without bringing services offline.”

CU*Answers completed the event on May 9th, when teams brought CU*BASE core processing back online at the production data center in Grand Rapids, MI. Throughout the entire process, the network of 200+ credit unions were kept informed of the recovery exercise. At the conclusion, a gap analysis report is published describing the timeline, issues observed, and lessons learned.

Being transparent goes a long way in deepening the layer of trust and of the relationship as a CUSO and cooperative. More information about the Business Continuity services available from CU*Answers can be found on their website.