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Partnering for Scalable, Compliant Cloud Disaster Recovery

The ever-present threat of disaster—both natural and human-driven—requires financial institutions to develop structured plans for business continuity and disaster recovery. As Five Star Bank discovered, having a trusted partner to manage cloud backup and recovery provides peace of mind regarding the safety of data and mitigates risks of repercussions from a localized disaster.

Five Star Bank, a Sacramento-based institution founded in 1999 by local entrepreneurs, delivers a full suite of banking services and holds expertise in a variety of areas, including commercial real estate and small business lending. By maximizing the value of their key partners—particularly on the technology front—Five Star Bank has achieved a strategic advantage, despite a smaller staff, compared to institutions in similar asset ranges. In fact, it’s one of the top performing banks in the nation for its size.

According to Five Star Bank’s Chief Information Officer Brett Wait, the bank’s willingness to implement new technologies has led to their continued growth. As early adopters of Microsoft® Office 365, they were in the cloud long before their peers, and remain committed to innovation.

When Five Star Bank recognized the need to enhance their disaster recovery plan, they sought a reputable partner to handle the daily management of cloud data backup and recovery, allowing the bank to keep their IT staff lean. And CSI proved to be the right partner for disaster recovery as a service (DRAAS).

Reaping the Benefits of Flexible, Efficient Backup and Recovery

Because Five Star Bank prioritizes efficiency, they’ve relied for years on CSI’s managed services for their IT needs. “We have benefited from CSI’s managed services value proposition for the past 10 years,” says Wait. “So, disaster recovery as a service was the next logical step. We were looking for a solution that wasn’t so complex, one that didn’t require development of internal expertise or resources to manage.”

“We have benefited from CSI’s managed services value proposition for the past 10 years. So, disaster recovery as a service was the next logical step. We were looking for a solution that wasn’t so complex, one that didn’t require development of internal expertise or resources to manage.”

Brett Wait
Five Star Bank

From a resource perspective, the bank also couldn’t justify purchasing and maintaining their own equipment for a disaster recovery environment. If they acquired a dedicated network infrastructure and additional equipment, much of those resources would likely see minimal use except in a disaster situation.

“Our main challenge with disaster recovery was trying to avoid overspending on hardware and technology to facilitate a recovery situation should issues arise with our primary infrastructure,” says Wait.

Five Star Bank wanted a disaster recovery solution that covered all the key components, and a top consideration was having flexibility to offer different backup schedules based on application usage and criticality, including the ability to recover a single database from a server backup and restore a piece of data or file without conducting a full-scale recovery.

According to Wait, knowing CSI would handle maintenance and management of the backups was a driving factor in expanding their partnership to include this service. With CSI’s DRAAS, Five Star Bank enjoys flexibility and integration with existing IT health reporting. This integration means the bank does not need to build or maintain new dashboards to track tickets or monitor status, nor do they bear the burden of maintaining a recovery environment in-house.

CSI performs the day-to-day management of backups and recovery, resulting in the bank’s increased efficiencies in terms of the speed in which backup issues are resolved and a faster recovery time, whether it be individual file level recovery or more advanced recovery tasks.

By contrast, procuring a different environment would have required significantly more internal resources. In relying on CSI, the bank reaps the benefits of scalable, compliant backup and recovery without having to add IT staff for support.

“The Right Partner and the Right Solution”

In any type of disaster recovery or business continuity plan, an important consideration is the ability to respond to a critical disaster event and ensure your strategy, tools and choices will serve your business. To satisfy inquiries from regulators, Five Star Bank and CSI conducted a successful test of the backup solution and recovery strategy—and that test of the cloud recovery environment soon paid off.

A few months after implementing CSI’s DRAAS and having the backups running smoothly, Five Star Bank experienced a disruptive situation in which software installations resulted in data corruption. When it became apparent that the fastest path to recovery was to revert the server to the backup from the previous evening, CSI facilitated a restoration of the environment from the backup server within hours, removing the machine with the corrupted files from the IT environment and ensuring everything was operational.

“Between the time of declaring it a situation worthy of conducting a restoration to having the restore completely done and back to normal, we could not have asked for more efficient service from CSI. It was really a testament to how a situation like this could be resolved with the right partner and the right solution.”

Brett Wait Five Star Bank

An Excellent Level of Service

Cloud-based data backup and recovery has become a best practice for financial institutions, and CSI’s DRAAS provides Five Star Bank with a rapid, seamless and compliant cloud hosting environment, as well as annual tests.

Five Star Bank’s 10-year partnership with CSI demonstrates their commitment to efficiency and empowers their IT staff to continue striving for innovation and optimizing new technology. According to Wait, the level of service received from CSI is excellent in both tests and real-world situations, leading to many positive outcomes for the bank.

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