Jack Henry Unleashes Hosted DR for i Systems
April 8, 2008 Alex Woodie
Banking software provider Jack Henry & Associates recently launched a new hosted disaster recovery (DR) solution that enables i (formerly i5/OS and OS/400) server users to back up and recover their data remotely over the Internet. The offering is called Centuriun jVault, and it’s based on the MIMIX high availability software now sold by Vision Solutions.
Missouri-based Jack Henry sells several i-based software packages, including Silverlake and CIF 20/20, that hundreds of small and mid size banks and credit unions across the country use to manage their assets and provide customers with access to their money. While a good percentage of these financial institutions don’t have the time or money to implement a full high availability system, ensuring the security of the data managed by these systems is, nevertheless, of the utmost importance to Jack Henry and these customers.
To that end, Jack Henry partnered with Southern California’s Vision Solutions, the largest developer of high availability software for i (the operating system formerly known as i5/OS and OS/400) to develop Centurion jVault.
Centurion jVault enables Jack Henry’s customers to back up their i-based data to one of 12 strategically located regional hot sites, using the MIMIX data replication software on the System i, the Internet as a replication medium, and one of Jack Henry’s System i servers on the other end to log and store the transactions.
Benefits of the approach, Jack Henry says, include mitigating risks associated with physically transporting tapes, compliance with regulatory requirements, and a superior audit trail of backup data compared to tape. jVault works with CIF 20/20 and Silverlake.
The new offering fits in nicely with Jack Henry’s other HA and DR offerings, which include Centurion LiveVault (backup for Windows data), Centurion Disaster Recovery (hot site rental), and Centurion Business Continuity Planning (development of enterprise-wide disaster plans), according to Douglas Childress, general manager of retail solutions for Jack Henry Banking. “Centurion jVault typically recovers data in minutes or hours enabling clients to diffuse the impact of unavoidable disasters and business interruptions,” he says.
Two Jack Henry customers have already started to use jVault, including Mid-Wisconsin Bank, a CIF 20/20 user with $477 million in assets, and The Peoples Bank, a Silverlake shop with $944 million in assets.
Eric Matheney, IT director for Mid-Wisconsin Bank, values jVault for its capability to eliminate potentially lost data if a disaster hits while a multi-hour backup is being performed using traditional tape. “With Centurion jVault, the maximum lag time between our backed-up data and our production system is 15 minutes,” he says. “Centurion jVault provides a comparative level of recovery with that of high availability, and requires no duplication of equipment.”
The Peoples Bank, which is based in Mississippi, realized it needed a better DR strategy after Hurricane Katrina hit the region in 2005, so it gave jVault a shot. “This electronic vaulting solution streamlined our backup methodology, protects the integrity of our data, reduces the time required to access data over traditional tape-based technologies, and significantly reduces the recovery time we would need in a catastrophic scenario like a hurricane evacuation,” says James Gruich, the bank’s vice president of technology.