NBN Co has one-third of its IT workloads in public cloud

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NBN Co has one-third of its IT workloads in public cloud

Offers a rare look inside its cloud migration works.

NBN Co has about one-third of all its IT workloads in public cloud, unevenly split between AWS and Azure, and is exploring the redesign or re-platforming of some already migrated systems.

Chief information officer Debbie Taylor revealed the number in an Infosys Knowledge Institute podcast, which provided a rare view inside NBN Co’s IT organisation.

iTnews has built up a composite though limited view of NBN Co’s hybrid cloud environment over several years, including the likely architecture of the public and private cloud environments, and the split of workloads in public cloud with 80 percent in AWS and 20 percent in Azure.

However, until the Infosys podcast, the broader split of workloads between public and private cloud was unknown.

Taylor told the podcast that NBN Co’s public cloud “journey…started in 2017 and that’s led us to having two cloud providers which host about a third of all of our IT workloads in the [form of the] cloud native, webscale systems that we have.”

“In contrast to that, our private cloud environment, which we manage internally, runs a broad range of platforms, including those that support our active network technology,” she said.

“That’s really important for us to manage because we need to provide certain latency, security and compliance requirements as a critical infrastructure provider for Australia.”

Taylor indicated that early workload migration into the public cloud had been a lift-and-shift.

“Like lots of organisations, we started with a migration program which saw us migrate workloads into the cloud without really thinking about the way to optimise those workloads in those platforms,” Taylor said.

She said the company had more recently focused on optimising its systems to “take advantage of … innate cloud capabilities” in the different cloud platforms.

“As we moved our platforms to the cloud there was so much transparency and real-time information that enabled us to see the inefficiencies that we had built or we had migrated over,” Taylor said.

“We then put activities in place to fix what we just moved in.”

Taylor said that “re-platforming or redesign” works are still being explored, including greater use of microservices, containerisation and Kubernetes to orchestrate the containers.

She also said that NBN Co is building cloud-based sandbox-like environments where, “for example, a developer can easily test out new code without worrying about external factors like the underlying infrastructure.”

Taylor said that technology that its cloud partners had could be used to simplify developers’ and operations’ experiences when working with cloud.

“Our next steps will be to look at self-service capability so we can really reduce the time to set up new environments,” she said.

Taylor added that Infosys is one of several “strategic partners” that has helped NBN Co in its cloud-based works.

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