National Australia Bank or NAB is Australia’s largest business bank serving 9,000,000 customers at more than 900 locations in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. NAB works with small, medium and large businesses to support them through every stage of the business lifecycle.  

Challenges  

The Wealth Management Division of the bank adopted cloud technology about five years ago, and was the first area of the bank to experiment with cloud computing. The bank currently runs several production workloads on EC2 with some running in non-production self-managed Kubernetes clusters on AWS.  

Because they were already experienced with the cloud, the NAB teams already had a number of established processes that they’d adopted over time. Building on this, they wanted to eventually switch to managed Kubernetes with the goal of running production workloads on EKS.  

“We turned to Weaveworks because of their extensive EKS and Kubernetes experience, including their close partnership with AWS. With Weaveworks’ proven track record of running Kubernetes in production, we wanted to bring new thinking into our organization to accelerate our learnings,” - Nicola Le Poidevin, Head of Technology Wealth Management Digital  

Decrease operational overhead  

Before moving onto EKS, the team wanted to streamline the workflows for their development team, keeping their environments up to date with security requirements. A lot of time was spent manually or semi-manually patching nodes to keep them up to date and secure.  

“One of the biggest wins that we wanted to achieve was automatic updates of the worker nodes. That's a very labor intensive activity that we do semi-automatically and semi-manually today,” - Wen Yeow, Senior Engineer/Technical Project Lead, NAB  

Simplify containerization on EKS  

The other problem they wanted to solve was to lay a foundation for the move towards containerization. They have a number of different applications all written in different frameworks, and they needed a way to package them as Docker images so that they could run on a common Kubernetes platform and deploy to AWS EKS - Managed Kubernetes Service.  

The required platform needed to fit into the bank’s existing framework and current toolset. The platform also had to work with their existing CI servers and pipelines. Finally like all banks, any solution had to work within the guidelines to meet compliance and strict security guidelines.  

Read the full case study to learn more on how GitOps helped NAB streamline cluster lifecycle management processes and get into production faster on EKS.  

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