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cuEngage Live! Session Recap: Wellington IT's Next Generation Cloud

Wellington IT’s Cloud service is expertly designed to meet the distinct needs of Credit Unions (CUs), distinguishing it from broad solutions like AWS or Amazon Cloud. 

 

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Private vs. Public Cloud

While Public Cloud solutions, which utilise publicly shared virtualised resources and support multiple customers over the internet, might seem appealing, they aren’t commercially viable for Credit Unions’ specific needs.  

Such platforms are ideal for less confidential information, but not for the secure, sensitive data Credit Unions handle daily.  

In contrast, Wellington IT’s Private Cloud employs dedicated, virtualised resources within a secure, customer-specific cluster. This setup ensures reliable, secure connectivity via the internet, fiber, or private networks, making it the optimal choice for protecting core systems and sensitive data. 

 

Overview of Digital Realty

Digital Realty is a premier global provider of data centre, collocation, and interconnection solutions, specialising in the design, development, and operation of data centres. They support companies’ digital strategies by offering scalable and secure environments for IT operations across various sectors. 

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How Does Digital Realty Support Wellington IT?

Digital Realty excels in data security, boasting 16 years of “five nines” (99.999%) availability. Their secure environments, fortified with measures like bollards, mantraps, access control systems, biometrics, and comprehensive surveillance, ensure data integrity and confidentiality. This security is complemented by robust 24×7 support and adherence to strict compliance standards, providing peace of mind in today’s demanding security landscape. 

DC Infrastructure & Its Role in Supporting CU Services

Data Center (DC) infrastructure is vital for Credit Union services, ensuring business continuity, high availability, data redundancy, failover, automatic service recovery, enhanced visibility, performance monitoring, incident analysis, capacity planning, and security. 

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Next Generation Cloud vs. Previous Cloud

By constructing a private cloud infrastructure for shared use among Credit Unions, Wellington IT can deliver functionalities that would be financially impractical for individual CUs, ensuring superior service regardless of size. Below is a comparison of the features: 

Cloud Phase 1

  • Active/Standby Failover 
  • 99% Availability (3.65 days downtime/year) 
  • Local datastore and VM duplication for redundancy 
  • Standalone rack mount servers 
  • Manual patching, Cat 5/6 
  • Primarily 1G networking and trunking 
  • Active/active load balancing 
  • Mostly power redundant 
  • Multiple 1G interconnects 
  • Backups on dedicated servers’ local storage 
  • Active/standby WAN 
  • BGP terminated in carriers’ routers 
  • Active/standby internet connectivity 
  • No Cloudflare 
  • Traditional dedicated servers 
  • In-band monitoring 
  • CUs isolated by servers 
  • Only Scion systems hosted, other servers remained onsite 
  • Security provided by AV and segmentation 
  • Systems hardened primarily via firewall 
  • Standard firewalls in place 
  • Monitoring only internal to Wellington 

 

Next Gen Cloud

  • Redundant Data Centers in Active-Active Virtualisation                     
  • Target of 99.9%+ Availability (8.35 hours Downtime/year)   
  • Synchronously Replicated Storage       
  • Active-Active Blade Server Infrastructure    
  • Virtual Patching (Fabric Interconnect)
  • Redundant Switching (10G & 25G Links)        
  • Redundant Firewalls                  
  • Redundant Power Systems
  • Redundant DC Interconnects (50G for Storage, 20G for Data) 
  • Separate NAS System for Backups 
  • Active-Active WAN Connectivity 
  • BGP Terminated in DC Firewalls 
  • Active-Active Internet Connectivity 
  • Cloudflare Load Balancing 
  • Redundant Shared Systems Architecture 
  • OOB Monitoring and Security (both physical and virtual) 
  • CU Isolation via Dedicated DvSwitches
  • Hosting of Other Critical Systems 
  • Upgraded Security Monitoring (SIEM, next-gen AV, access control) 
  • Systems Hardened Against First Day Attacks

Investment in Our Cloud Solution

Wellington IT is making significant investments in our cloud infrastructure: 

  • Over 100% capacity expansion 
  • Cisco UCS Blade Server Platform 
  • Expanded 10G/25G interconnectivity 
  • New end-to-end management and monitoring 
  • Enhanced security systems and monitoring 
  • Advanced storage solutions 
Investment in Our Cloud Solution  Image

Credit Union Segregation

Network: Credit Unions leverage a dedicated virtual network directly linked to their VPNs, ensuring isolated communication channels with no IP connectivity between different CUs. Secure point-to-point connections are facilitated by MPLS and SD-WAN networks, terminating at Scion DC’s firewalls for robust security and reliable network segregation. 

Servers: Each Credit Union is assigned dedicated virtual servers connected to their exclusive virtual network, ensuring complete isolation and no cross-connectivity between different CUs. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) workstations also operate within the dedicated CU virtual network, maintaining secure and segregated environments. 

 

Secure Architecture

Our IT infrastructure includes a Secure Dedicated Network per CU, a Direct Shared Services Connection, a Dedicated Secure VPN to CU, and capacity for additional services like VDI, a Test System, and Other Hosts. 

Connectivity Options

Scion Cloud currently supports two providers, Viatel and Digital Well, offering customers competitive pricing and connectivity options. 

Enhanced Monitoring and Dashboards

Scion Cloud features enhanced monitoring for end-to-end visibility, including customer dashboards to visualise service delivery. 

Business Continuity

Beyond the core system, CUs rely on various critical systems for functions like accounting, HR, and payroll. The Scion Cloud can host other virtual servers and systems, ensuring they remain accessible and protected in a business continuity scenario. We collaborate with each CU to align with their Business Continuity Plan. 

 

Planned Services

VDI – Virtual Desktops: VDI provides a comprehensive WFA solution, accessible securely from any PC with just an internet connection, eliminating the need for VPN or MPLS. This service will enable the rapid deployment of multiple teller workstations configured to the CU’s standards, accessible from any DR location, ensuring swift recovery of services from anywhere. 

 

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Key Takeaways

  • Tailored for Credit Union Needs 
  • Operational Resilience Compliance 
  • Multi-layered Security 
  • Upgraded Performance 
  • High Availability – 99.9%+ 
  • Enhanced Fault Tolerance 
  • Expanded Visibility 

 Want to Learn more about the Next Generation Cloud? Register Interest below.

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