Guest post: Jack Henry & Associates and IT-Lifeline Partner to Provide Enterprise-Wide Disaster Recovery Solutions for Banks and Credit Unions

Posted 10/15/2013 by Commvault

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This post from Matt Gerber, CEO of IT-Lifeline, is the first in a new series of guest blogs from the Commvault partner community. About every month or so, resellers, systems integrators, OEMs and cloud service providers will share their views on data management, archiving, cloud computing and other industry topics.

We wanted to let you know that Jack Henry & Associates recently announced a partnership with IT-Lifeline to enable the addition of Centurion Enterprise-Level Recovery™ to Jack Henry’s suite of disaster preparedness and recovery solutions. Centurion Enterprise-Level Recovery is an enterprise-wide data protection and recovery solution for Windows® servers and its resident data. This solution uses Commvault’s Simpana® software to simplify data vaulting and provide the critical features required for compliance.

As the CEO of IT-Lifeline, I could not be more thrilled with this partnership. Banks and credit unions today have increasing pressure to keep systems and applications up and running for external and internal customers. IT managers are juggling more complex environments that are continually stricken by security threats. Our partnership with Jack Henry & Associates provides banks and credit unions with a robust, comprehensive and compliant disaster recovery and testing solution to meet the demands of the entire institution. Most important, the options are based on where each individual institution stands with its disaster preparedness status.

At IT-Lifeline, we have learned how many bank and credit union IT organizations do not have the time to master all eleven booklets from the FFIEC’s IT Examination Handbook. Many don’t realize in the "Business Continuity Planning" booklet that it specifically states in "Appendix F: Business Impact Analysis Process" exactly what timeframes to organize information based on maximum allowable downtime (MAD). The FFIEC handbook states:

MAD estimates that may be used include the following:

  • Nonessential - 30 days
  • Normal - 7 days
  • Important - 72 hours
  • Urgent - 24 hours
  • Critical - minutes to hours

Each business function and process should be placed in one of these categories so that management can determine applicable solutions to ensure timely recovery of operations.

Many organizations tend to deploy expensive monolithic technology solutions for high availability and business continuity. Our experience has shown that this approach, while providing the least amount of downtime for all systems, also drives costs to a point where most institutions cannot afford it. The Jack Henry & Associates and IT-Lifeline partnership provides three main benefits to help banks and credit unions tackle the challenges of managing a compliant disaster preparedness and recovery solution.

1) Focus exclusively on banks and credit unions. The disaster preparedness and recovery solutions are designed to meet the regulatory and business demands of banks and credit unions. Jack Henry & Associates was founded in 1976 as a provider of core information processing solutions for community banks. IT-Lifeline began serving banks and credit unions in 2002. We have more 48 years combined supporting the financial industry and have a deep knowledge of their application, processes and functions.

2) Disaster recovery support of virtually every component of operational infrastructure. Jack Henry & Associates have proven solutions that include business continuity consulting, disaster recovery hot sites and mobile banking centers, hardware redundancy alternatives, an array of data replication and electronic vaulting solutions, check and document image vaulting solutions, and even a staff emergency communication system. With the addition of Centurion Enterprise-Level Recovery, its portfolio expands to an enterprise-wide data protection and recovery solution that includes Windows® servers, Windows-based core systems and complementary solutions. The service provides workstation access from any location with an Internet connection, and is compliant with the FFIEC requirements for progressive and periodic testing of business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.

3) Compliance-based continuity solution with secure private infrastructure. Banks and credit unions belong to one of the most highly regulated industries. We are familiar with bank security requirements and can help institutions meet regulatory demands regarding business software systems and recovery testing. We understand the detailed documentation required to maintain compliance with FFIEC. We strive to make compliance less daunting and to improve test outcomes through audit-ready testing procedure documentation for application and data recovery plans as well as for recovery management. IT-Lifeline is compliant with the very rigorous standards of AT 101 SOC2 Type II.

Together, Jack Henry & Associates and IT-Lifeline provide financial institutions with an alternative to bucketing data into a single expensive hardware solution. Core, network and Windows-based systems can be segmented into multiple recovery windows but recovered in a single location designed to communicate seamlessly across platforms while addressing regulatory compliance. And with Commvault Simpana software, we empower our joint customers to unlock the value of information across all of their current and historical data – from servers to laptops, in data centers and clouds, while empowering end users with self-service access, and detailed reports.

Matt is a 20-year technology industry veteran with extensive global business development experience. Prior to joining IT-Lifeline, Matt was President and CEO at SprayCool, a leader in advanced direct liquid cooling for electronics. Before joining SprayCool, Matt served in various senior executive roles at Itronix, a global leader in the mission-critical wireless mobile computing industry. In addition to the IT-Lifeline Board, Matt currently sits on several company and non-profit boards.