AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) has completed the installation of a $2.1 million dynamic networking infrastructure for Whitney National Bank, which is a financial services leader in the Gulf Coast with branches from Texas to Florida.
AT&T and Whitney succeeded in completing these upgrades to Whitney's infrastructure in time for the height of this year's hurricane season.
The contract also includes a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) system, which AT&T is currently installing. AT&T's MPLS technology offers Whitney the ability to prioritize network traffic and ensure streamlined communications across all of its 156 branches. According to the Forrester Wave Vendor Summary for Q1 2006, AT&T offers the strongest MPLS service lineup in North America as a result of its transport and managed services.
Last year, Whitney was one of the many institutions in the Gulf Coast region that suffered network outages as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the largest natural disaster in U.S. history. After the storm, Whitney rapidly responded by contracting with AT&T to strengthen its business continuity and disaster preparedness programs, securing Whitney's mission-critical processes against future disasters.
AT&T provided a comprehensive audit of the bank's data network and determined that a dual hosting platform would provide Whitney with the highest level of network security and the flexibility necessary to manage its data traffic. As a result, Whitney moved its mainframe and other components of its computing environment into multiple AT&T Internet Data Centers (IDCs), mirroring the systems in separate IDCs to ensure business continuity. The primary IDCs are located in the Greater Dallas and Greater Atlanta areas. Now, all of the business and transactional data that runs across Whitney's network is hosted in AT&T's IDCs, and all of Whitney's branches communicate through these centers over DS3 lines. Significantly, this dual-hosting solution affords Whitney the option to redirect its traffic between the two centers in response to a disaster.
AT&T has 16 IDCs in the U.S. and 14 others around the world. AT&T's IDCs house the sensitive applications and data networks of businesses around the world. AT&T constructs its IDCs with multiple back-up power sources, atmospheric control, and fire and flood retardant systems, which, combined with biometric and other access security controls, make each IDC a fortress against disaster. Connectivity among the IDCs allows AT&T and its hosting customers to relay and re-direct data traffic and storage on an as-needed basis to increase network security and efficiency.
"AT&T's business continuity solutions contribute to our well-established reputation for providing strength, stability and service to Gulf Coast communities," said Rodney Chard, Chief Information Officer of Whitney National Bank. "These data security initiatives have helped us to improve the resilience and recoverability of our bank's critical processes and ensure that the bank will maintain service for all of our customers in the face of disaster. Consistent with Whitney National Bank's commitment to the community, an advanced remote operations strategy was implemented, allowing technology personnel and related jobs to be retained in the Greater New Orleans area."