CenturyLink Solutions Featuring:CenturyLink™Metro EthernetCase Study: University Federal Credit Union
CustomerUniversity Federal Credit Unionwww.ucreditu.com/index.aspBusiness ChallengeIn order to meet customer’s highexpectations, managers sought to increasethe redundancy and reliability of theircommunications network. They wantedto replace a vulnerable hub and spokenetwork topology with a point-to-pointmeshed architecture. Server and desktopvirtualization initiatives called for increasedbandwidth as did data backups thatballooned to use up the available nightlywindow.SolutionManagers implemented the CenturyLinkMetro Ethernet service at the credit union’s14 branches and data centers. The serviceprovides data transport between branches,ATMs and the firm’s data centers. Usersaccess the Internet via the CenturyLinkHigh-Speed Internet service. Managersalso implemented the CenturyLinkBusiness Local Phone service to support200 phone lines.Benefits and Results*Reduced telecom expenses by 15 percentper month to achieve a project ROI within2.5 yearsIncreased application performance to• satisfy customer and user expectationsTimely online banking and ATMooapplication response times help toretain customersAll but eliminated employeeoocomplaints related to slow datadownload timesBoosted branch bandwidth by 233oopercent (from 1.5 to 5 Mbps)Increased data center bandwidth byoo900 percent (from 10 to 100 Mbps)Enhanced business continuity by• migrating from hub and spoke to point-to-point meshed architectureEliminated most single points ofoofailureIncorporated multiple switchingoostations to increase networkredundancyMeshed topology enables rapid failooover to backup data center to avoidnoticeable interruption of customerservicesConsolidation onto single CenturyLink• data transport, Internet and phoneservices reduced administration burdenUniversity Federal Credit UnionUniversity Federal Credit Union (UFCU) operates throughout the SaltLake City, Utah metro area. The firm boasts $550 million in assetsand has cultivated a client list that includes 74,000 members. Thesecustomers cover the spectrum of business, individual and studentmarket segments.The credit union offers a wide spectrum of services via its 14 branchlocations, 30 ATMs and online banking applications. These includechecking and savings account services, loans, and card services.Customer expectations require that the credit union’s ATM and onlinebanking services be available 24x7, and that transactions occur withoutdelay. Thus, to retain a competitive edge, IT managers need to maintaina highly reliable network infrastructure capable of supporting applicationperformance requirements.FACING THE CHALLENGESUFCU’s customers and employees rely heavily upon the company’sdata communications network. Branch offices and ATMs accesscentralized applications at a data center. Thus, any network outagewould interrupt business operations—to the chagrin of 24x7 customerusers.“Our network had a hub and spoke setup that left us vulnerable tosingle points of failure,” said Steve Slane, VP of information systemsat UFCU. “We wanted to eliminate that vulnerability with a peer-to-peer topology that would upgrade the redundancy and reliability of ournetwork services.”A second IT challenge revolved around the existing network’s maxedout bandwidth. “The existing capacity wasn’t sufficient to supportour initiative to virtualize our desktops and servers,” said Slane. “Wewere also up against the limits of our nightly window to complete data*These results are unique to this entity and should not be considered an indication of the amount of savings orimprovements, if any, that may be realized by any other entity subscribing to comparable services.
“We chose Qwest because their network redundanciesdeliver the reliability and business continuity we werelooking for. The performance and scalability of the QMOEcircuits were also attractive. And we’re getting all this at alower network cost that will allow us to achieve an ROIwithin two and a half years.”—Steve Slane, VP of Information Systems, University Federal Credit Unionbackups. And the lack of bandwidth bogged down dailydata downloads to our branch offices. They weren’tshy about calling the help desk to complain about thateither.”In response, Slane’s team developed an RFP to find acommunications vendor who could deliver the reliability,scalability and price that the credit union’s networkneeded.PROVIDING A SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONIT managers chose the CenturyLink Metro Ethernetservice from among eight RFP responses theyconsidered. They implemented Metro Ethernet circuitsat the credit union’s 14 metro area branches—upgradinglegacy 1.5 Mbps circuits to the CenturyLink solution’s5 Mbps capacity. A 100 Mbps Metro Ethernet circuitreplaced a 10 Mbps connection at UFCU’s data center.The Metro Ethernet service provides data transportbetween branches, ATMs and the firm’s data center.Additionally, managers implemented the CenturyLinkHigh-Speed Internet service. Rounding out the solution,the UFCU IT team installed the CenturyLink BusinessLocal Phone service to support 200 phone lines.DELIVERING RESULTSThe comprehensive CenturyLink solutions delivered thereliability, flexibility and price that UFCU required—allthrough a single, easy-to-manage vendor.ECONOMICAL SERVICES DELIVER GOOD PAYBACK“The Qwest implementation saved a substantial amountof money per month on our telecom costs—about 15percent,” said Slane. “That’s in addition to the increaseddependability of the services we receive, along with thehigh level of service we get from them. We figure thesavings will give us an ROI within two and a half years.”RELIABILITY PROMOTES BUSINESS CONTINUITYBy migrating from a hub and spoke architecture to apoint-to-point meshed network, Slane upgraded thereliability of his network. “We eliminated a lot of singlepoints of failure by going with the Qwest solution,” saidSlane. “They further increased the redundancy of ournetwork by building in multiple switching stations.”In the event of a failure, the CenturyLink networksolution can failover from the primary data center tothe backup data center. “In that event, we can haveeverything back up within a half hour without any ofour members or employees noticing any degradation inservice,” said Slane.ENHANCED PERFORMANCE AND SCALABILITYThe performance of UFCU’s network also received aboost. Branch bandwidth increased by 233 percent(from 1.5 to 5 Mbps) while data center capacity rose by900 percent (from 10 to 100 Mbps). Consequently, thefirm’s applications have enough bandwidth to operate atoptimal speeds.(continued on back cover)*These results are unique to this entity and should not be considered an indication ofthe amount of savings or improvements, if any, that may be realized by any other entitysubscribing to comparable services.