ME Bank to host core banking on virtual machines

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ME Bank to host core banking on virtual machines

A path to the cloud.

Members Equity Bank has revealed the technology platform underpinning the upgrade of its Temenos core banking system, a system that could has been designed in such a way that it could conceivably be hosted in a public cloud in the future.

The core banking refresh forms part of the bank's four year, $57 million technology overhaul.

Jem Richards, Enterprise Architect from ME Bank, revealed today the new Temenos T24 core banking system will sit atop Microsoft Windows Server 2012, but will not use Microsoft's Hypervisor, Hyper-V.

Instead, ME Bank has opted to host Windows Server on VMware's ESX hypervisor, which in turn run on the 'FlexPod' reference architecture published by Cisco Systems (servers and switching), NetApp (storage) and VMware (management software).

Richards said ESX was chosen as the bank wishes to support both Linux and Windows applications into the future.

The system - currently being built - will be in operation by late 2013. The virtualised solution is fully suported by Temenos, he said.

He said there were 1600 large organisations already using FlexPod and a substantial number of customers running Temenos applications in virtual containers.

"There was no resistance to people putting core banking on VMware," Richards said. "Temenos already have customers doing that in our region. We are not bleeding edge.

"We won't put our hand up for the latest technology that rolls out in 2013 either."

The core banking upgrade will support a move to "real-time" transactions.

In the future, it could also be a pre-cursor to migrating banking applications to locally-hosted public cloud services.

Richards said the latter requires more maturity across the industry. He was less concerned with the security of cloud assets, more concerned with governance and controlling sprawl.

"When we went on the internal cloud journey, [we identified] it might take us ahead for the next four years," he said. "But for the next [refresh], we will potentially move everything off premise onto the cloud."

The bank will only consider onshore cloud computing services, he noted.

"Building out service-on-demand today is a foundation piece we can build on."

NB - This story has been edited at 12pm on Friday November 16. The original copy read that real-time banking would only be available at ME Bank within three years. The bank has since informed iTnews that it will in fact be available by the end of 2013. iTnews apologises for the error.

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