Underscoring Dibrino’s point were both Maher and Jones. In a nutshell, Maher described the NYCE Network Services Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Processing Services and Remote Banking Services. She explained the NYCE network as being the "largest regional EFT Network in the Northeast with 19,600 ATMs, more than 152,000 Point of Sale (POS) locations, more than 1,300 financial institution participants, more than 31 million cardholders and more then 40 million transaction completed every month.
With this kind of customer exposure, and ever heightening customer expectations, NYCE was forced to enhance its recovery capabilities. Gone are the days when a banking network could recover in 72 hours. "We process people’s money," said Maher. Over the last year NYCE has moved to an electronic vaulting solution to better protect their customers’ access to that money.
"Vaulting could lessen a disaster’s financial impact by $128 million because NYCE processes an average of $8 million in ATM and POS transactions per hour," Steven A. Rathgaber, NYCE EVP and Chief Operating Officer was quoted in Computerworld as saying Maher reported in her remarks.
She added that "It’s important to have good processes and good people working together in a load balanced production environment," which is the direction NYCE and SunGard are headed together.
Although in an emerging market, the challenges are very much the same for Jeff Jones, Senior Vice President at Reality On-Line, a division of Reuters.
"We are just beginning in this market, and quickly gaining acceptance," said Jones. "Service has to be robust and continuous – said another way it’s a business of credibility and continuity. The information we provide is expected instantly and free."
If Reality On-line goes down, their customers are down and for very slowing switching costs, they will be gone, explained Jones. To address this challenge, Reality has arranged to be able to make a telecom switch within an hour for business continuity of its Internet clients. This service level is in addition to standard service and is connected to about 120 T1 lines and an architected fiber backbone between the Reality data center and the SunGard MegaCenter. "Two T3s run to every ISP Reality uses," elaborated Jones.
"The SunGard staff understands the Reality layout. We have a live plant running BETA Test facilities 24-hours-a-day at SunGard," he explained.
"There are two things you can’t change: you can’t change the speed of light and you need to have your customers close to your facility (because data is not yet stable over the Internet)," Jones noted. SunGard and Reality are working together to keep Reality up and running at all times under all conditions.
Joy pulled the day together with his brief, cogent presentation on "Best Practices for Worst-Case Scenarios – Disaster Recovery: A Reconnaissance Overflight." No surprise, Joy pointed out that disaster recovery is a highly specialized field, that the Y2K issue has raised consciousness and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software such as SAP, Baan and PeopleSoft have made it so that companies cannot afford to be without disaster recovery. He also noted that "when companies stop fooling around and start really using the web, they will have to be up always."
Elaborating Joy said, "Corporate computing is progressing inexorably toward more interactive applications, with broader availability windows. Basic company business is becoming more dependent on underlying computing processes. Older notions of longer (24 to 48 hours), homogenous recoveries (all applications are created equal) is giving way to generally quicker, more application-specific requirements.
"More stringent and specific recoveries demand much better planning, more money, and agreement on criticality – all requiring a previously unknown degree of communication and agreement with the end user."
Focusing on best practices to address these issues, Joy emphasized that best practices and policies need to be one in the same. "The business side of the house needs to identify critical applications, not IT. The business side of the house and IT must work together," he said. Adding "you can’t leave disaster recovery as the last thing and every time you make a change you need to update your plan."
Following the presentations, participants were hosted to a tour of world’s largest facility dedicated solely to disaster recovery. With more than 350,000 square feet, the SunGard Philadelphia MegaCenter provides 2200 MIPS of CPU power under one roof. There are some 25 different computing platforms supporting mainframes, open systems and client/server, with nine universal command centers, on-site diesel power back-up with UPS system; dual 13.2KVA power feeds and 2200 tons of HVAC. The SunGard National Network Tellabs Titan Switch enables SunGard’s recovery network management.
The presentations from the press briefing are available on the SunGard website, http://recovery.sungard.com at the SunGard Reference Desk or by calling Doug Clauson, Director of Public Relations, 610/341-8854.
Judith Eckles is Director of Marketing Communications for SunGard Recovery Services and has been with the company since 1990. She is the immediate past Chairperson for the Disaster Recovery Journal’s Editorial Advisory Board and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Disaster Recovery Institute International, serving on a newly formed marketing committee.