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

A Note from CU*Answers Regarding Our Large-Scale Pandemic Plan

A Note from CU*Answers Regarding Our Large-Scale Pandemic Plan

With media escalating awareness of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, several credit unions have reached out to CU*Answers asking about our large-scale pandemic plans. Our team would like to share our response with the CU*BASE credit union network. Planning and preparing for disruptive events, whether the result of a natural, man-made, or technology incident, is the… Read more »

Mar 17, 2020

Is Your Staff Ready for the Next Disruption or Security Incident? We Can Help.

Is Your Staff Ready for the Next Disruption or Security Incident?  We Can Help.

A credit union can invest in technology, write comprehensive contingency plans, and check all of the compliance boxes – but if effective response and recovery is not part of regular day-to-day activities, business disruptions can catch you by surprise, last longer than they should, and increase the level of frustration for you, your staff and… Read more »

Mar 3, 2020

Last Chance to Test Connectivity Before this Weekend’s Scheduled HA Rollover

Last Chance to Test Connectivity Before this Weekend’s Scheduled HA Rollover

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Perform your connectivity test before this weekend! Don’t forget: the next scheduled HA rollover will begin this coming Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 AM ET.  At that time, CU*BASE core-processing will be redirected from our primary production data center to systems at our high-availability (HA) data center.  We will continue providing… Read more »

Mar 2, 2020

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Don’t forget: our next High Availability Rollover is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 Twice each year, CU*Answers tests our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The next HA rollover will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, March 8. We will… Read more »

Feb 24, 2020

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

Action Required: We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test Before March 8th!

ATTENTION ONLINE CREDIT UNIONS Don’t forget: our next High Availability Rollover is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 Twice each year, CU*Answers tests our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The next HA rollover will begin at 3:00 AM ET on Sunday, March 8. We will… Read more »

Feb 17, 2020

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 8th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

The Next HA Rollover is Coming March 8th – We Need You to Perform a Connectivity Test!

Twice each year, CU*Answers tests our ability to redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our production data center to our high-availability (HA) data center.  The next HA rollover is scheduled for the morning of Sunday, March 8. What’s unique about this HA rollover is that we will be operating live on a new HA server installed back… Read more »

Feb 7, 2020

CU*Answers holds 8th annual Continuity Awareness Day

On January 22, 2020, CU*Answers held its 8th annual corporate “Continuity Awareness Day”. This all-staff event is an essential component of their business continuity and incident response programs. “This year’s theme is ‘Planning and Responding to Disruptions in a 24/7 Business Environment,’” said Jim Lawrence, Vice President of Business Continuity. “Every planned system maintenance task, […]

Jan 29, 2020

January 28 is Data Privacy Day – View Resources Available from CU*Answers

January 28 is Data Privacy Day – View Resources Available from CU*Answers

January 28th is observed as Data Privacy Day for all industries, including credit unions, to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices.  Much attention has been gained by the frequency and scope of recent data breaches and by privacy concerns on social media platforms. This attention to data privacy is paving the… Read more »

Jan 28, 2020

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2020 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2020 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 28, 2020

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: October 27 – November 5 Now available for your review is the summary report of the unscheduled, emergency HA (high-availability) rollover event performed between October 27 and November 5, 2019.  In the report, you will find details about the unfolding circumstances that resulted in a failover and recovery effort… Read more »

Jan 17, 2020