by Hamish Barwick

NAB shifts website into Amazon cloud

Oct 01, 20133 mins
Cloud ComputingRisk Management

National Australia Bank (NAB) has moved its customer website from an internal legacy system onto the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

The transition, which took place a week ago, meant the NAB website was reduced from 10,000 pages down to 2000 pages. Website information is hosted by AWS at its Sydney data centre.

NAB enterprise delivery general manager Thor Essman told CIO Australia that it reduced the amount of website pages in order to simplify the user experience.

“We took away 80 per cent of the pages because these weren’t short and direct. After many years of working with legacy technology, we found that using the new Adobe technology gave us the ability to use a lot more rich media.”

All of the website pages run via Adobe’s CQ5 content management software. Some website content is distributed via the Akamai content distribution service.

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  • Essman added that NAB wanted customers to experience a very fast website response time, no matter where they were accessing it in the world. Most of the website is cached at different points of presence that Akamai has around the world.

    “If you’re in New York, instead of traversing the Internet all the way back to Melbourne, you are viewing the site on Akamai’s cache. That gives us a sub two second performance, particularly on mobile [devices],” he said.

    According to Essman, it has saved almost 250 per cent on technical operating costs and reduced incoming Internet traffic into NAB’s data centres by 90 per cent.

    In addition, its health billing website HICAPS was moved to Amazon’s public cloud four months ago to test the service.

    Essman added that the cloud provider will be used to host enterprise applications in the future.

    “NAB has a lot of externally facing property and this is in the public space. There are synergies in both cost and value with rationalising on to the AWS platform.”

    NAB started working with AWS less than a year ago. One of the primary reasons it chose Amazon was because the company opened a Sydney-based data centre. Financial services regulation means that NAB customer data must be kept in Australia.

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) also uses AWS cloud services. In November 2012, CBA CIO Michael Harte said that it had shifted a dozen on-premise applications to the Amazon cloud. This had halved storage and app testing costs.

    “We’ve saved already tens of millions of dollars in the small initiatives that we’ve done. And we’re looking forward to saving hundreds of millions of dollars buying specified services on demand,” he said at the time.

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