High Availability

For those services and applications where even the slightest amount of downtime has an immediate and measurable impact to our operations; controls and technologies have been implemented to reduce or eliminate the probability of a disruption or to dramatically reduce the amount of time required for recovery.  Controls include redundant system and network components, fault tolerant network topologies, load balanced server pools and real-time data replication; all working together to meet and exceed the strict security and availability objectives demanded by today’s users.

The High Availability (HA) strategy at CU*Answers focuses on 24-7 availability for core-processing products and services that our member credit unions depend on including the CU*BASE/GOLD and online/mobile banking platforms.  To accomplish this, CU*Answers owns and manages redundant state-of-the-art datacenters fully equipped with redundant power sources, multiple communications service providers, environmental controls, physical access security zones with video surveillance, and centralized network/system monitoring. (SSAE-16 report is available on request for client credit unions.)

High-Availability Rollovers

To ensure our readiness for a critical event affecting our primary processing facility, semi-annual rollover exercises are performed to “redirect” core-processing from systems at our primary datacenter to identical systems at our secondary datacenter. This is a live online event, not a dress rehearsal. Performing this exercise live brings with it the urgency and demand for high performance from our systems and from our recovery teams. This is yet another example of the pressure we put on ourselves in order to best serve our client credit unions.

Due to the nature of these production rollovers, a minimal amount of application downtime is required. This can range from 30-45 minutes, depending on the circumstances of the event. In some cases, should issues arise, actions are taken to collect debug information and/or perform additional checks and audits in order to ensure system and application stability. For these reasons, we schedule rollover exercises during non-peak operational hours. We treat each rollover exercise like a recovery test with full gap analysis reports available for review.

Performing regular HA rollovers helps us to validate our procedures, train new recovery team members, and confirm our readiness and capabilities for those unexpected incidents when unplanned rollovers are necessary. Planned rollovers also allow us to perform routine system and host maintenance with minimal downtime.

View our High Availability Rollover Schedule

Important Instructions for CU*BASE Credit Unions!

Monitoring network connectivity to the secondary datacenter is the responsibility of both CU*Answers Network Services and the credit union. Every time there is a change on your IT network (new branch opens, new PC added, new vendor interface added, firewall or router configuration change, etc.), it brings with it the potential for disrupting access to our secondary datacenter.

For this reason, we recommend that you regularly test connectivity from at least one GOLD workstation at each branch by performing one or both of the following tests:

If the PING or TELNET tests fail, confirm your network’s DNS and IP Routing configuration for compliance with the following AnswerBook items:

For assistance in troubleshooting network connectivity to the CU*Answers secondary datacenter, please contact a Network Services associate.

Updated
August 2, 2018

[The Pulse] It’s Me 247 Online and Mobile Banking Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] It’s Me 247 Online and Mobile Banking Rollover Results Now Available

It’s Me 247 Online and Mobile Banking Rollover: Report Now Available   Now available for your review is a summary report of the August 13-14, 2019 It’s Me 247 Online Banking rollover event.  This significant exercise was the first live production rollover performed for the online and mobile banking environments involving more than 300,000 members… Read more »

Sep 10, 2019

[The Pulse] Item Processing Services 2019 Recovery Test: Report Now Available

[The Pulse] Item Processing Services 2019 Recovery Test: Report Now Available

Item Processing Services 2019 Recovery Test: Report Now Available   For those credit unions who currently use CU*Answers for Electronic Check Processing (ECP), this report is for you.  During the week of August 12, 2019, teams at CU*Answers completed the annual recovery test by restoring the CheckLogic environment and performing daily check processing operations from… Read more »

Sep 9, 2019

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan (mid-year revision) Now Available

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan (mid-year revision) Now Available

As your core data processor, we continue to invest in high availability and recovery strategies to ensure that the products and services you count on us for are there when you need them. Implementing those strategies and responding when uncertainty happens requires a well-designed and thoroughly tested plan. We’ve recently updated the 2019 CU*Answers Business… Read more »

Aug 1, 2019

What to do When Plan B Fails

The 2019 Polar Vortex and extreme winter weather with wide spread power outages throughout the Great Lakes area put many organization’s recovery plan to the test, including ours at CU*Answers. You develop and plan for interruptions, but what do you do when Plan B is not enough; when Plan B fails? Our primary data center… Read more »

Mar 22, 2019

[The Pulse] Emergency HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] Emergency HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: February 8 – 17 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed February 8 – 17.  In the report, you will find details about the rollover and recovery effort, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the rollover process…. Read more »

Feb 22, 2019

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2019 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2019 Release Now Available   As your core data processor, we continue to invest in high availability and recovery strategies to ensure that the products and services you count on us for are there when you need them. Implementing those strategies and responding when uncertainty happens requires a well-designed and thoroughly… Read more »

Jan 25, 2019

CU*Answers holds 7th annual Continuity Awareness Day

On January 23, 2019, CU*Answers held its 7th annual corporate “Continuity Awareness Day”. This annual event is an essential component of their business continuity and incident response awareness program. “Launching our awareness campaign each January sets the tone for the remainder of the year,” said Jim Lawrence, vice president of Business Continuity. “It sends the […]

Jan 25, 2019

Let Us Help Design Your Business Continuity Awareness and Training Plan!

Let Us Help Design Your Business Continuity Awareness and Training Plan!

A credit union can invest in the latest technology, write a comprehensive recovery plan, and check all of the compliance boxes, but if effective response and recovery is not a normal part of the day-to-day activities and embedded in the corporate culture, business disruptions will catch you by surprise, last longer than they should, and… Read more »

Jan 8, 2019