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

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

[The Pulse] 2018 Statement Printing Recovery Test Results Available

[The Pulse] 2018 Statement Printing Recovery Test Results Available

ATTENTION ONLINE AND SELF-PROCESSING CREDIT UNIONS: 2018 Statement Printing Recovery Test Results Available At CU*Answers, we take our Business Continuity Program very seriously. We work extremely hard to design and develop the tools you need to best serve your members and succeed in the marketplace. And we work even harder to make sure that those… Read more »

Nov 29, 2018

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 »

Nov 15, 2018

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

[The Pulse] HA Rollover Results Now Available

HA Rollover Results Now Available Rollover: September 23 – 26 Now available for your review is a summary of the recent HA (high-availability) rollover event, performed May 20 – 23.  In the report, you will find details about the exercise and hardware upgrades, including challenges observed, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the rollover process…. Read more »

Oct 26, 2018

Workplace Violence/Active Shooter

In today’s workplace, an act of violence/active shooter event is 18 times more likely than a fire according to the Department of Justice. What?!?! That is startling. What does that mean for me, for my organization? Well, it means that an active shooter situation is now a recognized hazard per OSHA and companies are realizing… Read more »

Sep 28, 2018

CU*BASE HA Rollback Updates for September 26

CU*BASE HA Rollback Updates for September 26

Remember that we will be rolling back late Wednesday evening, September 26.  Make sure someone is at your branches early the morning of Thursday, September 27 to check the connections before members start to arrive! Even if everything went smoothly for you earlier this week, when three different environments have to work together (yours, ours,… Read more »

Sep 26, 2018

CU*BASE HA Rollover Updates for September 23

CU*BASE HA Rollover Updates for September 23

We will be posting any/all issues related to the September 23rd HA Rollover event to the CU*BASE Alerts page, compiled into a single alert located here.  We will not be sending out any emails regarding individual issues for the HA Rollover.  If you encounter any issues between Sunday, September 23rd and Monday September 24th, please… Read more »

Sep 21, 2018