NAB to share development costs with Microsoft as it sends 1,000 apps to Azure

The companies will share development costs and resourcing investment to architect a 'multi-cloud ecosystem' that will see Azure host 1,000 of the bank's applications.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is expanding its partnership with Microsoft, this time seeking to send 1,000 of its 2,600 applications to Azure.

The new five-year deal with Microsoft will see the pair co-design, develop, and invest in multi-cloud tech to be used by both NAB and its New Zealand arm, BNZ.

The deal means Microsoft will share development costs and resourcing investment with the red and black bank.

The plan is to architect a multi-cloud ecosystem that will host 1,000 of the bank's applications on Microsoft Azure as the primary cloud.

NAB group executive technology and enterprise operations Patrick Wright said NAB had already moved more than 800 applications to public cloud providers as part of its cloud-first, multi-cloud strategy.

Many of those applications, however, run on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

The bank was previously targeting having 35% of its 2,600 applications in the cloud by 2020; it's now hoping to have 80% of its apps in a public cloud by 2023.

1,000 of those will sit on Azure.

In addition to using AWS and Azure public clouds, NAB also has a deal with Google to use its cloud service, with NAB previously touting its multi-cloud combination as helping the bank deliver new and improved experiences for customers.

It also said previously that it wants to avoid vendor lock-in, but wants to leverage the capabilities of each cloud provider.

"One of the benefits of a multi-cloud approach is the ability to move workloads across platforms and integrate different tools and capabilities. We're designing our most critical applications to be portable between cloud partners to avoid concentration risk which is an important regulatory and risk consideration," Wright said in September.

Around five years ago, the bank turned to AWS to start its multi-cloud strategy. Since then, NAB has laid the foundations to move its core banking function to the public cloud.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Westpac said it had signed NBN to deploy fibre to all its branches. The red and white bank has also signed Cisco to deploy SD-WAN across its network, and is currently used in 300 branches with the process to be completed by the end of the year. A year and half ago, the bank deployed software defined networking in its data centres.

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