United States

IT assessment leads to improved disaster recovery and continuity capabilities


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State Bank of Countryside (SBC) is a community bank based in Countryside, Ill. The institution opened in 1975 and has expanded to fit the needs of its customers, experiencing steady growth, with six branches in the Chicago area.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the FDIC established guidelines dictating that all banks must have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place to protect customer assets. There are three facets of the FDIC requirement: the bank must prove that it has a formal business continuity and disaster recovery plan, it must be able to execute the plan, and the plan must be regularly tested. If these goals are met, banks receive a higher examination score, resulting in a reduced insurance payment to the FDIC. SBC wanted to upgrade its disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities to ensure that it was in accordance with FDIC regulations, in order to provide their customers' assets with the highest level of protection.

RSM met with SBC to discuss its disaster recovery and business continuity pain points, and then presented potential solutions that would improve their network's overall security. RSM's enterprise storage and server consolidation practice methodologies were designed to meet the FDIC compliance requirements for community banks. RSM's solutions have been implemented in a large number of institutions in order to not only meet, but also exceed the regulations.

With this experience in mind, SBC chose to work with RSM to evaluate and upgrade its business continuity and disaster recovery environment. Ultimately, the team conducted an IT assessment to evaluate the bank's current situation, identify gaps and create a strategic plan to enhance its capabilities. From information gathered in the assessment, a comprehensive server consolidation, disaster recovery and business continuity plan was designed. The plan focused on storage and VMware® as the underlying technologies to allow the bank to accomplish its goals. A storage area network (SAN) was deployed at the bank's headquarters in Countryside, Ill., and another SAN was implemented at the disaster recovery location, an ideally located branch location.

The bank's server requirement was reduced from three racks to a single rack that was replicated in the disaster recovery site. The bank is now able to fail over its main server and bring up the server at the alternate location in about five minutes. This allows employees and customers to access accounts and process transactions without a noticeable interruption in service.

The IT assessment and the solutions that were implemented have enabled SBC to detail and execute its plan and test the fail over with an FDIC examiner. Bank leadership is very happy with the solution, which has surpassed objectives and provided significant security for customers. Following the assessment and disaster recovery and business continuity projects, the relationship has continued between RSM and SBC, mainly around server consolidation and virtualization.

The IT assessment and subsequent disaster recovery and business continuity project has resulted in the following benefits for SBC:

  • Increased security for the bank's network
  • Greater server consolidation
  • Accelerated replication of the user environment to a remote site in the event of a disaster
  • Full compliance with FDIC disaster recovery and business continuity regulations

They said it
"RSM's IT assessment identified several potential improvements to our disaster recovery and continuity strategy. Following the implementation of many of these recommendations, we are confident that our operations will not suffer an interruption in the event of a disaster, and our customer's information and assets are secure."

—Anthony V. Diana, Assistant Vice President – Information Systems, State Bank of Countryside