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DP bureau backs S&L customers.

DP BUREAU BACKS S&L CUSTOMERS

One unique approach to meeting federal government requirements for disaster backup among savings-and-loans has been implemented by COMAC Financial Services.

Providing financial data processing out of Oklahoma City, it's jointly owned by a group of S&L companies and has provided DP services for the S&L industry of the Southwest for 20 years,

COMAC provides its services to about 450 locations.

Its 2900 on-line terminals connect to 524 remote processors, which are integrated into 70 data circuits hooked to Unisys V380 mainframes via remote concentrators with built-in dial backup.

If disaster strikes COMAC's data center or its servicing telco's central office, concentrators and switches at remote sites redirect information to 2400-b/s modems, which use dial-p lines to link to a Philadelphia hot site.

Dial lines for disaster recovery avoid the cost of a duplicate leased-line network, says Bill Warner, COMAC manager of telecommunications and hardware support. Once connected to the hot site, an S&L resumes business with little downtime.

COMAC has over 625 of the Type 201 modems.

"They provide us with near-real-time disaster recovery at the speed and reliability we need," says Warner.

COMAC uses both Universal Data Systems and Codex modems. During normal operation, COMAC connects them using four-wire leased lines to transfer data between savings branches and COMAC computers.

"We chose UDS modems," Warner says, "because of their reliability, which is key to our failsafe network."

Their rackmont design was important to their needs as well, he adds.

"We like the fact that the modems were designed with the monitoring displays on the front," Warner says. "This gives us a convenient way to keep tabs on the operation of all the modems. It is critical to know if a modem is not operating properly, because if a modem goes down, operation of many branch locations could be affected."

Stay Inside LATA

The lines are a part of a multipoint circuit that operates within each bank's Local Access and Transport Area, according to Warner.

He stresses the importance of being able to stay within a LATA to avoid the higher tarriffs assessed inter-LATA traffic customers.

From the outset, he wanted to keep the network efficient by reducing the number of modems used for transmission in dial-backup mode.

He sought a concentrator with built-in dial backup operating in half-duplex mode, thus requiring only two modems and one line to make a transmission.

"After looking at all the available concentrators and not finding one that would do what we wanted, we knew we would have to engineer and develop our own," he says.

After a year of development and testing, COMAC produced and patented a single-line multipoint concentrator that allowed them to send a transmission using only two modems and one telephone line.

"The successful development of the technology used in our concentrator allows us to offer the financial industry a very efficient and innovative disaster-recovery program," Warner says.

Reliable vendors--and a little in-house ingenuity--go a long way to ease fears about losing vital data.
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Title Annotation:COMAC Financial Services; data processing; savings and loan
Publication:Communications News
Date:May 1, 1990
Words:504
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