Disaster Recovery

4 Key Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan for Credit Unions

Brett Harney Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery

Disaster RecoveryWhen it comes to their money, customers expect and deserve top level security, regardless if they’re banking with a global financial institution or their local credit union. In the event of a disaster, man-made or natural, banking institutions must have a seamless plan to recover customer’s personal and financial data, without the risk of losing any of it, not one cent. There are many benefits of a thorough Disaster Recovery Plan, but Northwest Community CU has identified the four most relevant in their search for the most effective DRP:

At NWCU, we offer our members mobile and online account access in addition to various loans and savings accounts, meaning the availability of our applications is imperative to providing the quality service, convenience and personal touch our members have come to expect from us.

Like many credit unions, we rely on financial tools and applications to run our business, the information that credit unions use to serve their customers effectively includes financial and personal data. A disaster recovery plan needs to be in place to protect their company and member data should a disaster, whether it be man-made or natural, occur.

When faced with a crisis without a comprehensive BC/DR solution in place, companies can encounter datacenter downtime, potentially leading to loss of important data, applications and even revenue, not to mention a damaged reputation. It is important to have your business and IT operations protected should a disaster occur.

During NWCU’s search for a disaster recovery solution for our virtualized IT environment, we identified four key benefits a disaster recovery solution can provide a credit union.

When you need it

Having a backup solution does not mean you have a disaster recovery plan. A true BC/DR solution will automate the recovery process, meaning in the event of a disaster, the VMs on the protected site will shut down and the replicated VMs from the replicated site will be started automatically. This process should be quick for mission-critical applications and is something a regular backup solution cannot accomplish. It’s critical that we have 24/7 coverage, minimizing downtime and providing availability to applications and data at all times.

Replicate only necessities. Often, resources are wasted on replicating VMs that are infrequently used or nonessential. A true BC/DR solution will allow you to replicate exactly what you need – just the VMs and the associated VMDKs. In our case, this reduced our costs while freeing up much needed storage by eliminating both wasted bandwidth and storage space.

Real replication

BC/DR solutions that leverage the cloud can provide continuous or near-continuous replication in addition to data protection services. BC/DR industry leaders offer similar benefits but do not necessarily guarantee similar results. Having low recovery times are a great way to differentiate between otherwise comparable solutions. This will help you find a service that will not only minimize data loss in the event of a disaster but also ensure fast access to mission-critical applications and data.

Failover testing

Having the option to failover test, testing a system’s ability to recover, is arguably the most important feature of a BC/DR solution. An enterprise class BC/DR solution should give you the option to run a DR test whenever you want, regardless of where your DR site or business is located. The ability to successfully bring VMs from the DR site to production site ensures that critical information and applications are protected.

When researching a new disaster recovery solution for your business it’s important to first identify what your needs and objectives are. Whether you’re looking for a solution that’s hardware agnostic, provides near real-time replication or reduces your RTOs /RPOs or all of the above, it’s important to conduct thorough research and compare different solutions before choosing the one that best fits your budget.

Regardless of your specific needs, it’s ultimately important to minimize risk to your business and customers by choosing a true business continuity and disaster recovery solution that will protect your information and provide minimal down time in the case of an outage.*

         * Source: CUTimes

Corporate Technologies Group is ready to help your financial institution prepare and plan for the unexpected. Take a look at our Disaster Recovery Checklist, then give us a call and we’ll get started.

Download the checklist