System Availability

What Does 24 by 7 Mean?

Does 24 by 7 really mean 24 hours every day and 7 days a week every week? It might depend on who you ask, but the one thing on which everyone agrees is that computers cannot run without occasional maintenance, upgrades, or even replacement. So what does 24×7 mean? In our case, it means we put into place many different controls to allow our systems to be running as many hours of the day, week by week, as they possibly can, while still allowing time for routine maintenance and necessary upgrades to hardware, communications and software systems.

For Example…

thinkstockphotos-541282164_optOn a weekly basis, we are required to IPL (or reboot) the iSeries system. Unlike a desktop workstation which can reboot in a matter of minutes, a system as large and complex as the iSeries requires a longer period of time, and is also coordinated with other special backup and preventative maintenance procedures. During that period, anything that requires a connection to that system (such as It’s Me 247, all CU*BASE workstations, etc.) will be unavailable. (See “Scheduled Up Time” below for more details.)

CU*BASE Uptime History

CU*Answers is proud of its history of availability for the iSeries as well as server-based systems such as It’s Me 247 and CU*TALK. The following chart shows our recent track record for monthly scheduled up time on the iSeries (CU*BASE). See below the chart for any applicable comments regarding scheduled up-time.

iSeries Scheduled Uptime History

Jun 2019
100%
May 2019
100%
Apr 2019
100%
Mar 2019
100%
Feb 2019
99.99862% (Emergency rollover)
Jan 2019
100%
Dec 2018
99.99988% (GOLD drop for 5 minutes 12/18/18)
Nov 2018
100%
Oct 2018
100%
Sep 2018
100%
Aug 2018
100%
Jul 2018
100%
Jun 2018
100%
May 2018
100% (Scheduled role-swap not counted against scheduled uptime)
Apr 2018
99.99475% (GOLD outage 4/27/18)
Mar 2018
100%
Feb 2018
100%
Jan 2018
100%
Dec 2017
100%
Nov 2017
100%
Oct 2017
100%
Sep 2017
100% (Scheduled role-swap not counted against scheduled uptime)
Aug 2017
100%
Jul 2017
100%
Jun 2017
100%
May 2017
100%
Apr 2017
100%
Mar 2017
100%
Feb 2017
100%
Jan 2017
100%
Dec 2016
99.45752% (GOLD drop for 20 minutes)
Nov 2016
99.989593059446% (Scheduled role-swap not counted against scheduled uptime)
Oct 2016
100%
Sep 2016
100%
Aug 2016
100%
Jul 2016
100%
Jun 2016
100%

Scheduled Up Time

All times are approximate and given as Eastern Time (ET):

Monday through Saturday

CU*BASE: Available from 7:00 to 23:00 ET

ATM/DR/CR Card Switches: Available from 0:00 to 24:00 ET.

From 0:00 to 3:00 Monday through Saturday all switches will have brief interruptions during stand in processing.

Indirect Lending: Available from 0:00 to 24:00 ET.

From 0:00 to 3:00 Monday through Saturday all switches will be unavailable during End of Day and Beginning of Day processing.

It’s Me 247 Online Banking and CU*Talk available from 0:00 to 24:00 ET.

No interruption of services.

FSCC and CUSC (All Services): Available from 0:00 to 24:00 ET.

From 0:00 to 3:00 Monday through Saturday all switches will be unavailable during End of Day and Beginning of Day processing.

Sunday

CU*BASE: Unless your credit union has made special arrangements to be open to members on Sundays, Sunday is not considered a normal business day. Because there is no end-of-day processing or G/L interface run for that day, no posting to member accounts or the G/L can be done. However, unless we are using that Sunday for an upgrade or special activities (HA rollover, hardware upgrade, etc.), your staff may be able to access CU*BASE for routine work such as printing reports and performing inquiries on Sunday.

All services will be unavailable/offline during the weekly system IPL process.

All offline from 1:00 to approx. 5:00 AM for for system IPL. For release date information, see Software Releases.

High Availability Rollovers

All services will be unavailable/offline during role-swaps.

See scheduled rollover dates below. Projected system downtimes will be provided as an alert prior to each rollover.

Scheduled Interruptions

Month-End Processing

Month-end processing will cause interruptions of service for It’s Me 247, CU*TALK, and ATM/Debit switches. The exact time and duration will vary depending on the day of the week on which month-end falls as well as other factors. Therefore, so that you can answer member inquiries, we will publish the actual interruption times on our web site on the first business day of the new month.

Release Implementation

The following chart explains the typical method for releasing upgrades to our key software products. Specific information on each release will be provided prior to the actual release date.

CU*BASE GOLD

CU*BASE GOLD Edition ScreenshotCU*Answers typically releases three “major” upgrades to the CU*BASE software each year: one in the first half of the year, another in the 3rd quarter, and a year-end tax release. In addition, we also perform 4-7 “minor” upgrades on a monthly schedule (usually the third Sunday of the month) between the major release months. All of these releases involve an update to the GOLD user interface on all credit union workstations. Release dates are published in advance and always fall on a Sunday.

Releases are implemented early Sunday morning. During that time we must move all ATM/debit card switches to offline mode (transactions use offline limits). CU*BASE may also be unavailable for periods while updates are applied. (Remember that Sunday is not considered a normal business day for most credit unions and availability will be limited in any case.)

It’s Me 247

Like any other Internet application, It’s Me 247 requires occasional maintenance. Sometimes these events can be planned, but we also need to be able to respond quickly to day-to-day issues as they arise. Installations of new It’s Me 247 software are usually scheduled in advance, and will generally occur during the daytime on a normal business day. The logic is that if members have trouble logging in, they will feel much better if there is someone working at the credit union that they can call to help them complete a transaction.

itsme247_onlineWhen an unforeseen problem arises that needs to be corrected quickly, we are obligated to respond in as timely a fashion as possible. That might mean an interruption to It’s Me 247 at any time. We always do our very best to keep the interruption as brief as possible and take advantage of any cost-effective technology at our disposal to minimize the inconvenience to your members and staff. Information about these interruptions will be published on our Alerts web page, available to clients from the Net icon in CU*BASE GOLD.

NOTE: Depending on the nature of the maintenance, we can sometimes install a message stating “It’s Me 247 is temporarily unavailable,” but currently that message only works if the member accesses the system via www.itsme247.com. If your credit union has a link from its web site which bypasses that initial page and goes directly to the login page, the member may not see that message at all. Learn more about It’s Me 247 upgrade releases.

CU*TALK

cutalkAlthough they occur less frequently than changes to It’s Me 247, upgrades to the CU*TALK application will also be scheduled in advance whenever possible, to take place during normal business hours. Other interruptions that occur because of unforeseen problems will be posted below for later reference.

Month-End Interruptions

Use this chart to assist when answering member inquiries about specific periods of time when service was interrupted during month-end processing. This chart will be updated as soon as possible after the first business day of the month.

Month-End Interruption Times
ApplicationEndedStartedComments
Shared branching switches07/01/2019 12:00 am07/01/2019 12:00 amMonth-end processing
ISO platform switches07/01/2019 by CU07/01/2019 by CUMonth-end processing
07/01/2019 by CU07/01/2019 by CU
CU*TALK In-House ItsMe247UninterruptedUninterruptedMonth-end processing
CU*BASEUninterruptedUninterruptedMonth-end processing

Rollover Exercises

Scheduled DatesRollover to HARollback to Production
March 12 - 15, 201710:00 pm, ET 03/12/201710:00 pm, ET 03/13/2017
September 17 - 20, 201710:00 pm, ET 09/17/201710:00 pm, ET 09/20/2017
May 20 - 23, 201810:00 pm, ET 05/20/201810:00 pm, ET 05/23/2018
September 23 - 26, 201810:00 pm, ET 09/23/201810:00 pm, ET 09/26/2018
February 8 - 17, 201910:00 am, ET 02/08/20193:30 am, ET 02/17/2019

NOTE: Times listed above indicate when core CU*BASE systems and services are taken off-line to begin the rollover process. Estimated duration of the interruption is 30-60 minutes. All times are estimates and may vary according to the judgment of the technical teams. Post roll-over processing is performed at our High Availability (HA) datacenter until the scheduled roll-back exercise. For more information on the CU*Answers High Availability Plan, please visit the Business Continuity section on this web site.

Include the Rollover Exercise reports in your Board Minutes.

Updated
July 2, 2019

Don’t Forget! A 2017 Project for Your IT Team: Changes to GOLD Device IDs

Don’t Forget!  A 2017 Project for Your IT Team: Changes to GOLD Device IDs

ATTENTION ONLINE AND SELF-PROCESSING CREDIT UNIONS CU*Answers is pleased to announce that we will be establishing a new naming method for CU*BASE GOLD IDs in 2017. What’s changing? Expanding CU*BASE device names has become necessary due to the growing number and size of credit unions in our network.  This new, 7-digit format, will include: The… Read more »

Jan 30, 2017

A Note From the Help Desk: Action Required

A Note From the Help Desk: Action Required

ATTENTION DATA PROCESSING COORDINATORS ACTION REQUIRED: Client Firewall Maintenance What Are We Doing? CU*Answers is verifying that all credit unions have proper redundant VPN connections to our high availability site in Yankton, South Dakota.  We have noted that the CU*Answers data processing router at your credit union may not be communicating properly with our high… Read more »

Jan 27, 2017

Learn More About How to Launch Mobile App 2.0!

Learn More About How to Launch Mobile App 2.0!

Mobile App 2.0 is here!  Learn about Mobile Check Deposit, Mobile Banking, and other Online Banking features, all with a single It’s Me 247 login. For more information, including pricing and how to get placed on the schedule for mobile app deployment to your members, join one of our upcoming sessions: Monday, January 30 at… Read more »

Jan 25, 2017

Join Us for the January Tricks of the Trade Webinar!

Join Us for the January Tricks of the Trade Webinar!

Scheduled for Tuesday, January 31 from 3:30-4:00 PM ET, the interactive and engaging January Tricks of the Trade webinar will give you an in-depth look at documentation related to the CU*BASE 17.03 release, the new CU*BASE navigation changes, related videos and training materials, and more! Attending is easy! No registration is required for this drop-in webinar. Simply join the… Read more »

Jan 24, 2017

What’s on the Menu for Xtend’s February Webinars?

What’s on the Menu for Xtend’s February Webinars?

Coming Up Next Week! Each month, Xtend offers FREE webinars focused on lending, marketing, and member service; these engaging webinars provide credit unions with helpful products, services, and industry tips to give them the leading edge. Tuesday, January 31 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET Revel TV – Digital Signage Agency With their unique Channel… Read more »

Jan 24, 2017