Westpac reveals hybrid PaaS target end-state

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Westpac reveals hybrid PaaS target end-state

Starts prioritising workloads.

Westpac has revealed a target to shift between 60-70 percent of its existing infrastructure workloads to the private and public cloud portions of a new bank-wide hybrid platform-as-a-service (HPaaS) environment.

The bank has been working on an infrastructure transformation project codenamed Agilus since late 2014 that will present as a single, unified IT infrastructure to Westpac group businesses.

With the hardware foundations now in place, the bank has spent the past several months assembling a team of architects to create and orchestrate cloud services to offer back to the business.

It has also revealed that it wants to push its entire existing infrastructure environment to HPaaS, labelling Agilus a "strategic priority" for the bank.

Westpac CIO Dave Curran told iTnews HPaaS presented an "operating rhythm change" as compared to infrastructure-as-a-service.

"IaaS is the easy bit. And it's got a nice business case because it's cheaper access to infrastructure. But it doesn't actually give you a platform to transform your business," he said.

"If you can turn [IaaS] into a platform where it's irrelevant what sits where - you've actually got business logic sitting on top - I can change how I do work in a bank.

"[With HPaaS] I have the same services and operating capability across the top. At that point, suddenly all these things that sit across the top become a lot more effective and lot more efficient."

He told iTnews he wants his entire application set in the HPaaS environment; around 60-70 percent will shift to private/public cloud, with the remainder staying on-premise.

The remaining 30 percent of applications set to stay in Westpac's data centres are old systems running on old infrastructure that present no real need for change, he said.

Curran argues that shifting them into the hybrid platform environment means they can stay where they are whilst running to the same governance, provisioning, and "everything else" as applications sitting in the cloud.

"If I wanted to integrate a capability [of an on-premise system] with something in the private cloud, because they sit in the same platform I can expose them as one," he said.

"Rather than dealing with two solutions, the orchestration of that is taken away."

Curran declined to comment on vendor partners for his public and private cloud environments.

The bank is a Microsoft shop so would be expected to initially turn to Azure for commodity-based systems like HR and procurement. However, Curran noted that the point of public cloud was to "be able to change every minute" based on price point.

The Agilus project is approaching a phase of inviting the first workloads to run in the HPaaS.

The bank recently recruited a cloud service planning lead into a purpose-built tech campus at Kogarah in Sydney’s south.

The planner has responsibility to “work with customers to define their needs” and for prioritising the “backlog” of work to run in the HPaaS.

They are “responsible for the demand-and-supply matching activities required to deliver the pipeline of new services, as well as the retirement of services that are no longer required based on the changing needs of the business.”

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