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] Item Processing Disaster Recovery Test Report Now Available

[The Pulse] Item Processing Disaster Recovery Test Report Now Available

Item Processing Disaster Recovery Test: Report Now Available For those credit unions who currently use CU*Answers for Electronic Check Processing (ECP), this report is for you. This past September, teams at CU*Answers completed the annual test by restoring the CheckLogic environment and performing daily check processing operations from systems at our secondary data center. This exercise… Read more »

Nov 7, 2017

It’s moving day: the Muskegon data center is coming back to GR this weekend!

It’s moving day: the Muskegon data center is coming back to GR this weekend!

Data Center Migration Project Saturday, November 11, 2017   On Saturday, November 11th, starting at 9:00 AM ET, teams from CU*Answers will engage in a data center migration project by powering down and moving servers at our Muskegon data center to the Grand Rapids data center located within the corporate office facilities.  The servers involved… Read more »

Nov 6, 2017

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: September 17 – 20 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed September 17 – 20.  In the report, you will find details about the exercise, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the rollover process. HA Rollover Results… Read more »

Oct 27, 2017

Reminder: Complete a Connectivity Test for this Sunday’s HA Rollover

Reminder: Complete a Connectivity Test for this Sunday’s HA Rollover

The next CU*Answers (HA) High Availability Rollover is scheduled for September 17-20.  During this rollover event, there will be an interruption lasting approximately 30-60 minutes for CU*BASE core-processing applications, including CU*Talk audio response and It’s Me 247 online banking (a splash page will be presented). As a proactive step, we are recommending that you test connectivity… Read more »

Sep 12, 2017

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Scheduled for Sunday, September 17

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Scheduled for Sunday, September 17

High Availability Rollover Scheduled Sunday, September 17 – Wednesday September 20 During this rollover event, we will redirect CU*BASE core-processing from our primary production data center to systems at our high-availability (HA) data center. The rollover process will begin at 10 PM ET on Sunday, September 17. We will continue providing live production of CU*BASE… Read more »

Aug 31, 2017

[The Pulse] Updated 2017 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

[The Pulse] Updated 2017 Business Continuity Plan Now Available

CU*Answers 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… Read more »

Jul 21, 2017

Incident Response Planning – presented by the CU*Answers Business Continuity Team

Incident Response Planning – presented by the CU*Answers Business Continuity Team

Join Jim Lawrence, CBCP, Business Continuity Manager at CU*Answers, as he discusses the stages of a live incident response and the elements of an effective incident response program.  New for 2017, this 30-minute webinar will help you to understand what an actual response looks like, and prepare you to design and test a response plan,… Read more »

Jun 28, 2017

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: March 12 – 13 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed March 12 – 13. You may recall that this rollover period was shortened due to an issue that surfaced for a select group of credit union branch locations, preventing them… Read more »

Mar 24, 2017