Online bank ING Direct has shifted its entire infrastructure to a private cloud. That's an impressive move (and the first time a local bank has done it), but the real measure of its usefulness won't be apparent until new applications start being deployed on it.
It's not surprising that a bank has chosen the private cloud approach. Financial institutions have long shown reluctance to embrace any kind of public cloud, driven by a combination of legislative concerns and long-entrenched "not built here" syndrome. Hybrid cloud is often rejected on the same basis.
ING's Zero Touch project, which took 12 months to implement, saw the bank's production environment transferred onto a cloud-based system. That will allow new instances and test environments to be speedily rolled up.
"We see cloud technology as a real enabler," COO Simon Andrew said in a statement announcing the rollout. "Completing the project has opened up space for us to innovate and create rather than simply operate and maintain the supporting infrastructure."
The key lesson here? The 12 months was needed simply to replicate what already existed. To actually deliver any innovation will take longer.
Building a private cloud also requires interacting with a large number of vendors, since every element needs to be specified. ING Direct worked with Dimension Data, Cisco, NetApp, F5, Microsoft, WardyIT, Readify and TCS.