Bank Up Business Recovery Services and Pacific Bell are jointly offering services that help banks recover client-server computer systems in the event of a disaster.

Client-server system security and reliability have been in the spotlight since the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council issued examination guidelines for the distributed computing systems late last year.

The Bank Up-Pacific Bell services help banks analyze and document their risk-management needs and build systems that address the needs, said John D. Barrett, chief executive officer of San Ramon, Calif.-based Bank Up.

In banking, "highly structured backup for mainframes has been in existence for some 20 to 25 years," Mr. Barrett said. "The network has to have the same controls and security."

The new services rely heavily on frame relay technology, a communications protocol that lets information be sent efficiently between client-server networks.

"Frame relay is especially well-suited as a technology to this type of application," said Kawika Daguio, federal representative at the American Bankers Association.

"The larger the institution and the more distributed its processes, the more likely a frame relay solution would make sense," he added.

In a disaster recovery application, the provider of backup systems would operate a node on a frame relay network. That node, operating at a remote location, would receive regular data transmissions that could substitute for data lost in the event of a main system outage.

"The hard part is figuring out what you need to back up, and if you've got a problem, how to make the backed-up data and applications useful when you have to move from one operation center to another," Mr. Daguio said.

Founded in 1989, Bank Up has handled more than 50 disaster recoveries.

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