Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 78 - Page 56

The bank embarked on a US $ 270 million Digital Transformation to enhance its end-to-end technology platform over a four-year period .
“ The aim of our transformation is to increase the speed and flexibility of IT delivery with best practices – for architecture , security , data and everything in between – while reducing long-term operational costs ,” said Rio Tinto . “ Our transformation to become an innovative , always-available bank is ambitious in timeframe , budget , and scope . There is no system that is not affected .”
Innovative cloud capabilities
Emirates NBD looked for a private cloud computing solution that would not only provide the cloud-native functions such as auto-scaling that non-traditional competitors used through in-house data capabilities , but would also provide the flexibility to accommodate a future hybrid cloud model . An enterprise open source solution would offer rapid access to community innovation without stability or security risks . Emirates NBD selected Red Hat to support its transformation with enterprise cloud and container platforms .
“ We needed the flexibility and efficiency of cloud-native stacks from Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud , but in-house ,” explained Rio Tinto . “ If we really wanted to align with open source and the best of what ’ s out there in cloud-native stacks , with Kubernetes and containers , it was evident that Red Hat OpenShift was the right choice .” of customer-facing applications . OpenShift runs Red Hat Fuse , a unified integration platform , as well as Apache Kafka , a stream-processing platform , to support real-time banking and partner interactions .
The bank supports its APIs on Sahab using Red Hat 3scale API Management . This gateway solution makes APIs available to Emirates NBD ’ s partners and other third parties while mitigating security risks and protecting sensitive data – a critical capability for moving to a container – and microservices-based architecture . In addition , Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a stable , standardised operating system for Emirates NBD ’ s physical servers , virtual machines ( VMs ) and containers .
The solution was conceptualised , designed , built and deployed with assistance from Red Hat Consulting in just 12 months . It uses what the bank calls a dual activezone architecture . Instead of a production site and a Disaster Recovery site , Emirates NBD now runs its two data centres independently for uninterrupted service across geographically diverse sites . Red Hat Training was engaged to help the bank ’ s teams learn best practices for using and managing these new Red Hat technologies .
Emirates NBD now runs more than 1,200 containers and more than 500 APIs on Sahab , with average adoption increasing 20 to 30 % per month . The banking group ’ s innovative cloud platform and its adoption of collaborative , DevOps approaches led to recognition as a 2019 Red Hat Innovation Award winner .
Using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for container orchestration , integration and management , the bank created Sahab , the first private cloud run by a bank at scale in the Middle East , using technology similar to cloud-native companies . Sahab provides applications , systems and other resources for endto-end development-from provisioning to productionthrough an As-a-Service model . It also has consolidated data storage and access across the bank for real-time customer insight . More internal applications are now being hosted on Sahab , as well as an increasing number
“ Our private cloud is a first for the Middle East ’ s banking sector . As a critical pillar of our four-year transformation , it helps us deliver significant , innovative benefits to our customers ,” said Rio Tinto .
New cloud platform simplifies collaborative development
With container- and microservices-based infrastructure , support for more secure API sharing through Red Hat 3scale API Management and Kafka support through OpenShift Container Platform , Emirates NBD can more easily integrate and collaborate with internal developers and third-party partners . As a result , the bank can more quickly offer new , innovative services through its online and mobile banking applications , Liv and other customer channels .
“ We ’ ve externalised many APIs with our eventdriven microservices architecture and open banking approach , allowing us to offer new services like WhatsApp banking and account updates via Amazon Alexa ,” said Rio Tinto . “ We can also integrate with fintechs and other nonbanking partners to offer new
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