Operations

‘Cut Through the Noise’ With Cloud Computing, Data Backup

Ask the hard questions to find out what vendors truly offer.

September 19, 2012
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Credit unions must sort through the “noise” that makes it difficult to separate static from substance when reviewing vendors to find reliable cloud services, disaster recovery and data backup.

“Your due diligence for backup systems, co-location, and cloud services is complicated because many vendors make claims they cannot back up,” says Jay Liebe, director, integration for Switch Communications Group, a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Liebe says those claims create “noise” that makes it difficult to compare vendors based on crucial services and critical infrastructure. Credit unions must ask hard questions and listen carefully to the answers to learn what’s really being offered.

“Don’t settle for glib explanations about issues like where your data resides, how it’s protected, and even how it’s maintained, which is the element most likely to be overlooked,” Liebe advises.

Cloud concerns

Cloud computing is a relatively new service that demands greater scrutiny. Liebe says many vendors that provide cloud computing services are newcomers in serving financial institutions and providing infrastructures that deliver 100% uptime.

Inexperience can be risky. Even high-profile companies such as Amazon and Twitter have experienced outages in 2012 due to shortcomings in equipment or other infrastructure issues.

Liebe says high-profile outages should serve as a reminder of the importance of using experienced vendors with high-quality equipment in well-protected facilities. Liebe says those facilities should offer 100% uptime infrastructure that is “scalable,” which means it can grow with demand.

The need for both proven expertise and scalability is heightened by growing reliance on technology among both credit unions and their members.

Vendor selection

Liebe suggests asking these questions to find the right cloud computing vendor:

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