NAB adds Google to mix as it continues its multi-cloud push


National Australia Bank’s multi-cloud strategy has expanded to encompass Google, NAB announced today.

The bank said that Google Cloud would join Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in its portfolio of public cloud providers as it looks to migrate some 35 per cent of its applications to the cloud by the end of next year.

NAB’s chief technology and operations officer, Patrick Wright, cited Google’s strengths in data analytics, machine learning and container management as particular drawcards.

“Our customers are asking us to better understand their needs and to meet those expectations far more efficiently than we’ve been able to previously,” Wright said in a statement.

“Investment in data is a critical element of our digital transformation – to be able to use data to develop products and services to improve customer experiences and be able to anticipate their needs.”

In April 2018 the bank announced the launch of NAB Cloud Guild as it sought to build up its in-house cloud expertise. The program initially had a focus on AWS, with the bank using Amazon’s services for its initial foray into using public cloud to store and process its data.

In October 2018, NAB revealed details of its collaboration with Microsoft, including shifting key platforms such as SAP to Azure.

Later in 2018, the bank announced that although it was firmly in the multi-cloud camp, AWS had been selected as its “long term strategic cloud provider”. NAB said in November it believed some its core banking systems would be shifted to AWS by the end of 2019.

The bank revealed earlier this year that in the six months ended 31 March it moved 128 applications on to cloud services, with 198 of its applications now running on cloud infrastructure. NAB has also moved to aggressively shut down legacy applications.

The bank said today that it now had 400 applications in the cloud, with its overall number of applications reduced by 8 per cent.

Wright said today in an interview released by NAB that competitive tension was one of the appealing aspects of the multi-cloud approach. The NAB CTOO said that multi-cloud enabled the bank to shift workloads across platforms and integrate a range of tools and capabilities.

“We’re designing our most critical applications to be portable between cloud partners to avoid concentration risk which is an important regulatory and risk consideration,” Wright said in a statement.

“We also want to tap into the advanced capabilities of the world’s best cloud providers to improve customer experience,” the NAB tech executive said.

“Google’s history of embracing open source technology enhances our ability to orchestrate infrastructure effectively across multi-cloud environments, and their software-based platform, Anthos, is a unique solution that we’ll explore further over time.”

NAB has added GCP training modules to its NAB Cloud and Analytics Guild education program. It said it will also move to integrate GCP capabilities into the NAB Discovery Cloud and Data Hub.

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Tags Cloudcloud computingGooglemicrosoft azureNABAmazon Web Services (AWS)Google Cloud Platform




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Google eyes second Australian cloud region, is keen to host classified data


Google has continued to build up the capacity of its Sydney cloud region since its mid-2017 launch, but the company is also in throes of planning for a second Australian-based region.

“We continue to bring more and more capacity and more and more capability to our infrastructure as we grow and the demand grows,” said Colin Timm, Google Cloud’s ANZ country director.

The second Australia-based Google Cloud Platform region will be located in another capital city. The cloud provider isn’t yet prepared to publicly announce the city, but Timm told Computerworld “it stands to reason, we need to be close to our customers”.

“Obviously we’re providing for disaster recovery across sovereign data and of course we’re reducing latency at every turn,” the local Google Cloud head said. “Hang that off of Google’s private network that we have, and the subsea cables now around the other end of Australia [the INDIGO cable system] — that presents for a very solid story around our capacity in-country.”

The cloud provider is also interested in making it easier for government agencies to use its services to process classified data.

In December 2018, the Australian Cyber Security Centre announced that 16 Google Cloud Platform services had been certified for use with unclassified but sensitive government data.

Google was added to the Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL), joining the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft, as well as Australian providers such as Macquarie Telecom, Sliced Tech and Vault Systems.

The certified services comprised compute (Compute Engine, App Engine and Kubernetes Engine), storage (Cloud Storage and Persistent Disk), networking (Virtual Private Cloud, Cloud Load Balancing and Cloud DNS), security (Cloud Key Management Service and Cloud IAM), management (Stackdriver), data analytics (Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Dataproc and Cloud Datalab), and databases (Cloud SQL and Cloud Datastore).

“We are working to the next level of certification,” Timm said. “We have policy people landing on shore here; we will be relentless in our pursuit of that.”

Google is intent on building out its base of public sector customers, Timm said.

Microsoft had its certification for hosting data classified as Protected accepted in April 2018, coinciding with the company’s launch of its government-focused Canberra Azure regions. In January 2019, AWS received the green light to host government data classified at the Protected level. Macquarie, Sliced and Vault are also certified for hosting Protecting data.

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