Tech Time: A win with WAN

by. Donna Johnson

Meritrust CU mitigates T1 outage issues with Talari solution

Credit Union Management magazine’s Web-only “Tech Time” column runs the fourth Wednesday of the month.

In the past, if the single 1.544 Mbps T1 circuit into one of Meritrust Credit Union’s 14 branches went down, members trying to use that branch were completely out of luck. Outages averaged a minimum of two times a month, and created not only confusion and frustration for members, but also needless work for employees.

A branch affected by loss of a T1 line would lose connectivity to both the applications and data hosted at the CU’s central site. Current account information would become unavailable to members visiting or calling in. Not even the ATM would be online to serve members. On the staff workload side of things, tellers would have to prepare handwritten receipts and then manually post transactions after the circuit was restored.

The IT group at $900 million Meritrust CU, Wichita, Kan., considered deploying a wireless card at each branch as a backup circuit for the T1. But the cost of supporting this failover infrastructure network-wide was significant. The IT team also considered replacing the T1s with a metropolitan area Ethernet network, but this also would have added significant costs without the benefit of a backup.

After searching the market, Meritrust chose Talari’s Mercury APN (Adaptive Private Networking) WAN appliances, which delivered a cost-effective failover solution; full-time bandwidth utilization of DSL or cable backup circuits; and encryption to meet compliance requirements per Meritrust CU’s internal policy that WAN links be encrypted.

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