Credit Where Credit Is Due: EMC Helps AllSouth Credit Union Improve Member Services

AllSouth Federal Credit Union serves more than 95,000 members worldwide and has more than $690 million in assets. We’re committed to a “people helping people” philosophy.  Simply put, we deliver on the promise by helping our members meet their financial goals.  50% of American adults report that having enough money for retirement is their number one financial goal, while 63% cite the inability to save enough as an obstacle to achieving financial goals.

When I first took on the role of Vice President of IT Services, I knew we had to craft an IT solution that would ultimately help our members meet their financial goals. Our members are mobile and require access to their accounts wherever they are. As such, we offer online banking, a mobile app and even text message banking — all with the goal of making it easier for our members to manage their finances.

To help make all of this possible, we built an IT-administered private cloud. After evaluating five different solutions, we selected the next-generation EMC VNX to replace our previous NetApp solution, which struggled to meet our performance and capacity requirements. As you can imagine, we handle a lot of data — 65 terabytes to be exact, and that number grows daily. With the VNX, we know that we will have the ability to grow while maintaining the high performance our members demand.

Incredibly, we experienced a 200% increase in performance since we first installed the VNX, which I credit to Flash and FAST Cache. With the VNX plus FAST Cache and FAST VP, jobs that took 90 minutes now take less than 30.  Possibly more important than anything, though, is that if something happens to fail, we can fix it overnight, before the next business day. All of this means an improved experience for our members and our staff, because we’re able to share documents faster, present check images to members, and more.

Because we’re a financial institution, the state and the National Credit Union Association audit us twice a year. We must have a business continuity plan in place and are required to test it at least once a year. For this, we rely on Data Domain to back up everything stored on the VNX, and rely on RecoverPoint to bring the system up in our secondary data center if needed. We’re able to test our business continuity plan without impacting our production, which means our members notice nothing, which is how it should be.

So what’s next for us? Once we complete our virtualization and move everything over to the next-generation VNX, we’ll save about 15 terabytes, reducing our footprint by roughly one sixth thanks to FAST VP and block deduplication. That will free up space and allow us to pursue new projects and strategies—things like financial and capacity planning.

About the Author: Michael Glogowski