WESCO Net & CU*Answers Expand HA Network

WESCO Net, a leading network solutions integrator and division of CU*Answers, has expanded CU*Answers’ core high availability network to their new data center facility in Muskegon, Michigan. As part of the expansion, CU*Answers’ high availability Power-I system has been relocated from Grand Rapids to the new data center.

The high availability IBM Power-I system is an exact duplicate of the production IBM Power-i computer operating in CU*Answers’ Kentwood data center. Transactions are replicated in near real time to the high availability computer as they occur on the production computer, thus data for all online clients is maintained in two separate regionally distinct facilities. If the production computer experiences a problem, a failover operation will bring up credit unions on the high availability computer in Muskegon.
To facilitate this expansion, WESCO Net installed a new gigabit fiber optic Wide Area Network from Comcast Business between all three of its facilities and added Qwest MPLS connections in Muskegon. The high availability Power-I was then relocated from Grand Rapids to Muskegon on February 9, 2011.

“Relocation of our high availability system to Muskegon is a major milestone in our business continuity and disaster recovery efforts and represents the maturation of our availability strategy because the target computer is now out of region,” explains David Wordhouse, VP Network Technologies.

“This step, along with our rigorous testing regimen, provides an industry-best layer of insulation for our credit unions. In a disaster, recreating a day’s worth of teller transactions may be possible, but it’s certainly not for self service channels like home banking and audio response. Its 2011, and the game has changed, and mature solutions are required of service providers. CU*Answers has that winning solution.”

CU*Answers has used high availability computers as part of its core business continuity strategy since 2002 and is a leader in the industry for business continuity and disaster recovery. The Muskegon facility was officially opened in January, 2011 and features a redundant power grid, FM 200 fire suppression, video surveillance, dedicated air handling equipment, robust security systems, and is slated for SAS 70 Level II, or equivalent SSAE 16, certification in the coming months.