Bank Bets Big On Cloud Computing
Banking and financial services company, ING, is investing its money into cloud computing. ING's investment involves constructing a large hybrid cloud that combines features of public clouds and private data centers. More importantly, it's an investment that ING hopes will be utilized by other banking and financial service companies.
The hybrid or shared IT infrastructure hopes to bring forth variable costs, scalability, flexibility, and on-demand availability sold by public cloud computing in a way that addresses the concerns of banks and financial services companies. Those concerns are security, compliance and performance procedures banks and financial services companies follow in their internal clouds.
With a hybrid approach, ING will begin with total control over the physical environment in which servers, storage and apps live. As public cloud service level agreements are better understood and as regulations develop, more cloud computing can shift to cheaper and easily scalable cloud venues.
With assets in excess of $1.7 trillion, ING has built an internal, private cloud. The private cloud consists of a web of computing, storage and network resources used as a service with automated, self-service provisioning. ING has already partnered with technology service companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, VMware and EMC. ING's cloud utilizes Vblock from VCE (a joint venture of VMware, Cisco, and EMC).
Vblock consists of a set of preconfigured, interoperable components that includes VMware virtualization software, Cisco switches and Unified Computing System, and EMC storage units and software, and RSA security software.
Currently, only 5% of ING's applications run in this cloud, but the percentage of applications will grow in the future. The types of applications that are currently planned for cloud computing at ING are centered around generic office apps, utility apps and business apps.