AT&T completes IT continuity project for Whitney National Bank

Published 1 November 2006

$2.1 million contract includes off-site data mirroring and storage, as well as multiprotocol label switching to allow bank officials to prioritize traffic among branches; effort is a model of responsible bank security

When it comes to business continuity planning, it is often best to learn from example, in this case the Whitney National Bank. With branches from Texas to Florida, Whitney is unfortunately located in prime hurricane country, and after Hurricane Katrina knocked out the bank’s networks, company officials decided to get serious by signing a $2.1 million contract with AT&T to install a dynamic networking infrastructure (we do not, however, recommend that other companies wait before acting).

After auditing Whitney’s data network, AT&T recommended a dual hosting platform that could mirror existing systems. Accepting this advice, the company moved its mainframe and other critical components into multiple AT&T internet data centers (IDCs) through which Whitney branches nationwide would run their transaction records. This provided a strong backup in case of emergency and, as Continuity Central explains, “affords Whitney the option to redirect its traffic between the two centers in response to a disaster.” The contract also included a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) system that allows Whitney the ability to prioritize network traffic and ensure streamlined communications across all of its 156 branches.

AT&T was a smart choice for the project. The company has sixteen IDCs in the United States and fourteen others around the world, all of which are protected with multiple back-up power sources, atmospheric control, and fire and flood retardant systems.

-read more in this Continuity Central report