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Disaster recovery in the banking sector

December 5th 2022, 1:44:20 pm

Disasters are unavoidable – whether natural or man-made.

ECL & Access Bank Liberia disaster recovery site infrastructure upgrade project

If 09/11 was not enough of a hint, then the Covid-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to remind us that uncertainties can shift the natural course of our lives, and business is not spared in the entire mix of things.

It is necessary then to have a backup plan- to stay ready so one does not have to get ready.

In banking, a disaster-management plan in general is not a luxury – it should be mandatory. Technology has made it easier to deal with the volumes of data that a bank uses regularly to provide its services. It also provides different opportunities and systems for disaster recovery and backup.

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This document highlights how the banking industry can stay disaster-ready using the case study of the disaster recovery site project deployed by Enterprise Computing Ltd. for Access Bank Liberia.

BACKGROUND

Enterprise Computing Ltd. (ECL) is an ISO-certified professional services company. ECL aims to provide global, relevant, and consistent enterprise-scale solutions alongside 24/7 fanatical support. Its major offerings are hybrid cloud infrastructure, cybersecurity, business process automation, and backup and recovery. ECL has a growing presence; it is currently headquartered in Ghana and has a regional office in Liberia.

AccessBank Liberia (ABL) is a leading financial institution with the passion to bring financial inclusion closer to Liberian citizens. The bank has opened its services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

THE PROBLEM

Every banking institution regularly collects data to effectively provide relevant services to its clients. The data (customer and transactional) runs on a core banking infrastructure within a primary service delivery area.

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In the event of a disaster or any unforeseen event that affects the primary service delivery area, there may be limited or no access to data required at any point in time. This may also result in a lag or complete halt in business operations. This will adversely affect the bank’s efficiency and service delivery to its clients.

For this reason, it is expedient that every bank has a robust backup system to ensure there is no disruption in operations and service delivery no matter the internal or external environment. The backup system includes a disaster recovery site which will house a replica of every form of data collected for business processes.

THE APPROACH

To ensure the continuous availability of services to its diverse customers, AccessBank Liberia initiated an infrastructure upgrade of its Disaster Recovery Site (DRS), and ECL was contracted to provide deployment setup, installation, and support.

The project focused on upgrading ABL’s DRS via the setup and installation of computing resources comprising servers and storage. It also meant ensuring the reachability of the DRS deployed resources by ABL’s existing infrastructure to facilitate business continuity. The main objectives of the project were:

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- DRS infrastructure upgrade

- improve service availability

- improve performance in the server environment

- improve business continuity processes

To guarantee the success of the project, the major deliverables were

- delivery of all products per scope

- setup and Installation of hardware systems

- configuration of systems in High Availability for Disaster Recovery

- reachability of DRS deployed resources via the current infrastructure

Deployment Plan

The overall solution and services were to be delivered in two phases, both onsite and remotely. The team was on-site for initial racking and cabling activities followed by remote sessions to finalize system configurations. All deployment activities were completed within 4 weeks, after which the bank was offered post-implementation support from ECL.

Quality Management

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A virtual infrastructure setup and deployment are typically handled by ECL’s certified engineers with extensive experience deploying servers and storage. As the bank’s partner, ECL leveraged its deep expertise in deploying similar solutions in delivering this project.

The following quality standards were followed:

- Meeting design requirements

- Best system deployment practices

- Quality Management System practices

KEY LEARNINGS

Process Discovery

- Understanding the scope of work helps in effective project implementation. The ECL team did a thorough process discovery of the ABL’s processes and its infrastructure which helped determine the exact areas of implementation, upgrade, and support.

Project Cooperation

- Collaboration is key in time management for projects. The ability of ECL to complete this project in record time was hinged on ABL’s commendable efforts in terms of making all necessary resources available to the project team.

Knowledge Transfer

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- It was necessary to have a knowledge transfer session between teams after deployment is completed. This was to onboard the ABL IT team on the proper project details to ensure smooth continuity of the DRS processes even after post-implementation support.

CONCLUSION

ECL remains a reliable partner for not only disaster recovery and backup solutions but tailor-made enterprise-related solutions with 24/7 fanatical support. Companies may request a consultation and demos via solutions@ecl-global.com

#FeaturedBy: ECL

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