Containers helps banks become market movers

Companies have embraced cloud, and many are starting to diversify their cloud providers. That’s putting a new spotlight on the container application platform. And as the container application platform gains ground, understanding the benefits and challenges becomes more relevant.

The container application platform is designed to automate the hosting, configuration, deployment, and administration of application stacks across any cloud provider. It gives application developers self-service access so they can easily deploy applications on demand. That can help banks move more quickly and decrease time to market in the increasingly competitive environment of financial services.

At the recent Red Hat Summit in San Francisco, banks shared their container platform experiences with attendees. Tom Gilbert, global head of PaaS technology at Deutsche Bank, pointed to the clear benefit of being able to spin up new infrastructure more easily, according to an article in TechTarget. That advantage is driving the firm’s goal of getting to 80 percent adoption of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, the article noted.

Capitalizing on the benefits and encouraging adoption requires buy-in though, and not just from the C-level suite. The article quotes Gilbert, advising that forcing adoption won’t work in part because IT teams worry they’ll lose control and ownership of the servers they’ve spent years building. To overcome that, Deutsche Bank emphasized the positive, like reducing server provisions from six months to just a few days, so the application teams could test new ideas in just a few weeks.

That reduction in provisioning time is what attracted Experian to a container application platform, according to the TechTarget article. Deploying applications using virtual machines was creating major bottleneck to new projects, so Jon Deeming, vice president of the PaaS center of excellence at Experian, helped build a small pilot, which eventually got rolled out across the organization.

Experian had to cope with cultural fears and pushback related to platform adoption. But Deeming said some saw the benefits pretty quickly, including reducing testing times by running tests in parallel, the article noted.

There’s a lot more detail about both Deutsche Bank’s and Experian’s experiences in adopting it’s cloud application platform, tackling its challenges and reaping its rewards. Be sure to read the full TechTarget article.

Macquarie Bank, an investment banking and diversified financial services firm in Australia, also shared its experience at Red Hat Summit. According to an article in Australia’s ITNews, the firm is considering multiple cloud providers that would expand their deployment of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform currently on AWS to more than just one public cloud.

The company’s retail digital banking platform presently runs on Red Hat’s enterprise Kubernetes container platform, and it wants to explore multicloud options to underpin its retail bank environment.

Jason O’Connell, head of container platforms in Macquarie Bank’s banking & financial services division, said the bank is now exploring options to run parts of this environment across more than one public cloud. “It’s worth noting even two years ago when we selected OpenShift, it was with the idea that we could go multi-cloud,” O’Connell said, according to the ITNews article.

O’Connell said one use case being explored is around cloud arbitrage – a brokerage-based model for cloud service consumption. He pointed to opportunities for getting cheaper workloads on different cloud providers, the use of spot instances, and the ability to split a workload among multiple clouds. He also raised the need for federation and new management functions in multicloud environment, the article states.

Macquarie Bank began building and augmenting its digital banking platform on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform in 2016, before revealing the project in May last year.

The ITNews article goes into a lot more detail about Macquaire Bank’s OpenShift implementation and its future plans, so check it out for additional information.

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