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  1. Blog
  2. Article

Kris Sharma
on 4 May 2021

The future of Fintech infrastructure is hybrid multi-cloud.

Using private and public cloud infrastructure at the same time allows financial institutions to optimise their CapEx and OpEx costs.

Why Private clouds?

A private cloud is an integral part of a hybrid multi-cloud strategy for financial services organisations. It enables financial institutions to derive competitive advantage from agile implementations without incurring the security and business risks of a public cloud. 

Private clouds provide a more stable solution for financial institutions by dedicating exclusive hardware within financial firms’ own data centres. Private clouds also enable financial institutions to move from a traditional IT engagement model to a DevOps model and transform their IT groups from an infrastructure provider to a service provider (via a SaaS model).

OpenStack for financial services

OpenStack provides a complete ecosystem for building private clouds. Built from multiple sub-projects as a modular system, OpenStack allows financial institutions to build out a scalable private (or hybrid) cloud architecture that is based on open standards.

OpenStack enables application portability among private and public clouds, allowing financial institutions to choose the best cloud for their applications and workflows at any time, without lock-in. It can also be integrated with a variety of key business systems such as Active Directory and LDAP.

OpenStack software provides a solution for delivering infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to end users through a web portal and provides a foundation for layering on additional cloud management tools. These tools can be used to implement higher levels of automation and to integrate analytics-driven management applications for optimising cost, utilisation and service levels. OpenStack software provides support for improving service levels across all workloads and for taking advantage of the high availability capabilities built into cloud aware applications.  

In the world of Open Banking, the delivery of a financial application or digital customer service often depends on many contributors from various organisations working collaboratively to deliver results. 

Large financial institutions – the likes of PayPal and Wells Fargo are using OpenStack for their private cloud builds. These companies are successfully leveraging the capabilities of OpenStack software that enables efficient resource pooling, elastic scalability and self-service provisioning for end users.

The Challenge

The biggest challenge of OpenStack is everyday operations automation, year after year, while OpenStack continues to evolve rapidly. 

The Solution – Ops Automation

Canonical solves this problem with total automation that decouples architectural choices from the operations codebase that supports upgrades, scaling, integration and bare metal provisioning.

From bare metal to cloud control plane, Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack uses automation everywhere leveraging model-driven operations.

Charmed OpenStack

Charmed OpenStack is an enterprise grade OpenStack distribution that leverages MAAS, Juju, and the OpenStack charmed operators to simplify the deployment and management of an OpenStack cloud.

Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack ensures private cloud price-performance, providing full automation around OpenStack deployments and operations. Together with Ubuntu, it meets the highest security, stability and quality standards in the industry.

Benefits of Charmed OpenStack for fintechs

Secure, compliant, hardened

Canonical provides up to ten years of security updates for Charmed OpenStack under the UA-I subscription for customers who value stability above all else. Moreover, the support package includes various EU and US regulatory compliance options. Additional hardening tools and benchmarks ensure the highest level of security.

Every OpenStack version supported

Each upstream OpenStack version comes with new features that may bring measurable benefits to your business. We recognise that and provide full support for every version of OpenStack within two weeks of the upstream release. Every two years we release an LTS version of Charmed OpenStack which we support for five years.

Upgrades included, fully automated

OpenStack upgrades are known to be painful due to the complexity of the process. By leveraging the model-driven architecture and using OpenStack Charms for automation purposes, Charmed OpenStack can be easily upgraded between its consecutive versions. This allows you to stay up to date with the upstream features, while not putting additional pressure on your operations team.

A case in point

The client: SBI BITS

SBI BITS provides IT services and infrastructure to SBI Group companies and affiliates.  SBI Group is Japan’s market-leading financial services company group headquartered in Tokyo.

When public cloud is not an option 

Operating in the highly regulated financial services industry, we need complete control over our data. If our infrastructure isn’t on-premise, it makes regulatory compliance far more complicated.

Georgi Georgiev, CIO at SBI BITS

The challenge

With hundreds of affiliate companies relying on it for IT services, SBI BITS – the FinTech arm of SBI Group was under immense pressure to make its infrastructure available simultaneously to numerous internal clients, often with critically short time to market requirements.

The solution

Canonical designed and built the initial OpenStack deployment within a few weeks, and is now providing ongoing maintenance through the Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure enterprise support package. The initial implementation consisted of 73 nodes each at two sites, deployed as hyper-converged infrastructure and running Ubuntu 18.04. This architecture enables a software-defined approach that unlocks greater automation and more efficient resource utilisation, leading to significant cost savings.

The outcome 

Canonical’s OpenStack deployment has streamlined the infrastructure delivery, ensuring that the company can meet the IT needs of SBI Group without the stress. Automation eliminates the majority of physical work involved in resource provisioning. Canonical delivered OpenStack at one third of the price of competing proposals. Hyper-converged architecture and full-stack support seeks to deliver both CAPEX and OPEX savings.

Canonical’s solution was a third of the price of the other proposals we’d received. The solution is also proving to be highly cost-effective, both from CAPEX and OPEX perspectives.

Georgi Georgiev, CIO at SBI BITS

Execute your hybrid cloud strategy

OpenStack gives financial institutions the ability to seamlessly move workloads from one cloud to another, whether private or public. It also accelerates time-to-market by giving a financial institutions’ business units, a self-service portal to access necessary resources on-demand, and an API driven platform for developing cloud-aware apps.

OpenStack is a growing software ecosystem consisting of various interconnected components. Therefore, its operations can at times be challenging even in a fully automated environment. Canonical recognises that and offers fully managed services for organisations. Canonical’s managed OpenStack provides  24×7 cloud monitoring, daily maintenance, regular software updates, OpenStack upgrades and more. 

We are always here to discuss your cloud computing needs and to help you successfully execute your hybrid cloud strategy.  

Get in touch

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