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The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod Takes a Two-Pronged Approach to Backups and Disaster Recovery


Jason Bordun VP and Information Systems manager, Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod — Photo by Josh Andrus

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Customer: The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod
Headquarters: Hyannis, Massachusetts
Business: Banking and financial services
Challenge: Finding a way to improve backup procedures
Solution: Box-to-box replication of IBM Power Systems and automated virtualized tape storage
Hardware: Two IBM Power Systems 520s and two Dynamic Solutions International DSI350-SEMs virtual tape libraries
Software: HelpSystems’ Robot SAVE, Vision Solution’s iTERA Availability and Fiserv’s Premier banking software

Backup, backup, backup. That’s probably one of the most repeated mantras in IT history—and for good reason. No matter the industry, systems can and likely will experience a failure at some point. And nothing good can come from that—whether an outage lasts for a week, a day or even an hour.

This is especially true now that most organizations have multiple ways of conducting business, whether at the point of sale, on websites, via cloud-based resources or on mobile apps. And with people’s expectations of anytime anywhere access to information and services, there’s simply no excuse for not backing up.

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod has taken that to heart. In addition to having two IBM Power Systems* servers (one for production, the other for replication), it’s also now using two virtual tape libraries (VTLs) from Dynamic Solutions International (DSI) to ensure its many daily to-tape backups are similarly protected.

According to Jason Bordun, the bank’s VP and Information Systems manager, this has given the institution an increased sense of security, knowing it can retrieve stored data in short order. Although it hasn’t had to do this in a real-world disaster recovery situation, the mere thought that it can allows Bordun and his staff to “relax a bit,” as he puts it.

Positively Different

Established in 1921, the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod—with nine locations stretching from Falmouth to Harwich in Barnstable County, Massachusetts—is a local community bank serving individuals, families and businesses across Cape Cod. Similar to its larger competitors, it offers a variety of services, from checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, residential and commercial lending (including mortgages), and a full lineup of investment offerings through its Cape Cod Financial Services.

Unique to this organization, however, is its “positively different” service model and commitment to supporting the many worthwhile nonprofit organizations across the Cape. “We’re proud to support the communities where we live and work. People bank with us because they know we reinvest our earnings back into the local communities, and that’s really important to Cape Codders,” Bordun says.

Recently, the bank has invested heavily in itself with IT infrastructure and product development. This has allowed it to offer services that were once available only to its larger brethren, including a secure website and a mobile app. These business channels have become so popular that the bank now has an employee devoted solely to overseeing them, something Bordun once did on a part-time basis when time allowed.

This type of attention to detail isn’t unusual to an organization that prides itself on stellar customer service. In fact, many customers contact the bank’s president, Joel G. Crowell, directly and refer to him by his first name. In a move virtually unheard of in the banking industry, the bank will call customers to notify them if an account is about to be overdrawn so they can avoid any associated fees.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.


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