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] 2021 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] 2021 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers Business Continuity Plan: 2021 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 »

Feb 1, 2021

CU*Answers assists credit union in flexing their incident response skills

On January 8, 2021, CU*Answers facilitated a virtual tabletop exercise for credit unions in Taylor, MI as part of the training and testing program for the Incident Response Plan. Participants began with an overview of Incident Response and the similarities to Business Continuity Planning. From there the exercise shifted to a walk-through of the Incident […]

Jan 22, 2021

CU*Answers offers “Components of the CU Information Security Program” education course

On January 13, 2021, CU*Answers presented a complimentary web-based educational course for credit unions to assist them in building, implementing, and testing a risk-based information security program. Titled, “Components of an Information Security Program”, participants were guided through the stages of developing a program from risk and technology assessment, asset inventory and classification, controls selection […]

Jan 22, 2021

Let CU*Answers Help Design Your Business Continuity Plan!

Let CU*Answers Help Design Your Business Continuity Plan!

The CU*Answers Business Continuity Team continues to invest in high availability and recovery strategies to ensure that the products and services you count on us for are available when you need them. Implementing strategies and responding when uncertainty happens requires a well-designed and thoroughly tested plan, helping you to continue serving your members, even when… Read more »

Dec 1, 2020

Is Your Credit Union Looking to Review Cybersecurity Compliance?

Is Your Credit Union Looking to Review Cybersecurity Compliance?

October is national cybersecurity awareness month!  While a robust cybersecurity plan is integral to the year-round business functions of financial institutions across the country, this month presents additional opportunities to re-evaluate your current program and consider changes you can implement to strengthen your security posture. AdvantageCIO offers a Cybersecurity Compliance Bundle designed specifically to address… Read more »

Oct 23, 2020

Is Your Staff Ready for Unexpected Incidents or Disruptive Events? We Can Help.

Is Your Staff Ready for Unexpected Incidents or Disruptive Events?  We Can Help.

Two key components of your Information Security Program is a test-validated Incident Response Plan and a trained response team. Your credit union’s Information Security program should be engrained in the corporate culture and an accepted part of job responsibilities throughout the organization.  Achieving this goal requires an ongoing awareness and training program that educates and prepares… Read more »

Oct 21, 2020

[The Pulse] CU*BASE HA and It’s Me 247 Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] CU*BASE HA and It’s Me 247 Rollover Results Now Available

CU*BASE HA and “It’s Me 247” Rollover Results Now Available HA Rollover: September 13-20 It’s Me 247 Rollover: September 9 & 15 Now available for your review are summaries of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover events performed in September for both CU*BASE core processing and online banking environments. In these reports, you will find details… Read more »

Oct 21, 2020

FREE: Order a DVD Guide on Cybersecurity for Your Credit Union

FREE: Order a DVD Guide on Cybersecurity for Your Credit Union

If your board of directors would like a guide on the basics and terminology of cybersecurity, CU*Answers has produced a DVD that your credit can order, FREE of charge!  Remember that the FFIEC and examining bodies are expecting “the need for engagement by the board of directors and senior management, including understanding the institution’s cybersecurity… Read more »

Oct 13, 2020

3 Down, Just One More to Go! Final Stage of Rollover on Sunday

3 Down, Just One More to Go! Final Stage of Rollover on Sunday

Don’t forget: this month, we will be performing multiple rollovers including CU*BASE/GOLD and Online Banking.  In the past, these rollovers have been performed independently.  However, this month we will be performing the rollovers together.  While we are live with CU*BASE/GOLD production from our High Availability (HA) data center in Yankton, SD, we will also be… Read more »

Sep 17, 2020