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DBS teams up with Equinix to reduce datacentre footprint

Building on earlier efforts to harness cloud computing to support growing compute workloads, DBS’s new private cloud datacentre will be smaller, greener and cheaper to run

Singapore’s DBS Bank is working with datacentre service provider Equinix to transform one of its traditional datacentres in Singapore into a cloud-optimised one that will reduce its datacentre footprint and operating costs.

The initiative will enable DBS – Southeast Asia’s largest bank by market capitalisation – to move its main datacentre to a smaller private cloud facility that is a quarter of the size of its existing datacentre and is expected to be 75% cheaper to run.

DBS has been one of the first to adopt cloud computing among Singapore’s financial institutions. It plans to move 50% of its compute workload to the public cloud by 2018, and is already using Amazon Web Services to power certain workloads, such as pricing and valuing financial instruments for risk management.

The bank said its efforts in migrating to cloud-optimised technology in a hybrid IT environment have led to huge efficiency savings and storage and computing capacity increasing by seven times since 2014. Over the years, it has also built up expertise in running a more efficient technology architecture.

With the bank’s compute workloads doubling in the past three years, DBS said the Equinix collaboration will “further fortify DBS’s cloud infrastructure and improve the bank’s ability to be even more agile and scalable”. It will also advance the bank’s sustainability efforts by improving energy efficiency by at least 10 times.

In October 2017, DBS became the first Asian bank to take part in the RE100 global renewable energy campaign, which brings together global businesses that are committed to using 100% renewable energy to power their operations. DBS has also set a target to power 100% of its Singapore operations using renewable energy by 2030.

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“By being a leader in adopting cloud technologies, DBS can deliver more customer value through our ability to experiment and scale quickly,” said David Gledhill, DBS’s group chief information officer and head of technology and operations. “Our teams are able to iterate and deliver products to our customers at a much faster rate, while adhering to the highest standards of security and resiliency.”

In July 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued guidelines on the use of cloud services by financial institutions, which it said should perform the necessary due diligence and apply sound governance and risk management practices, as with other forms of outsourcing arrangements.

Banks and financial institutions are in the midst of a rush to ramp up their digitisation efforts, in a bid to stay relevant to customers and compete better with disruptive financial technology (fintech) startups.

DBS started to transform its technology infrastructure nine years ago, giving it a head start to operate with fintech-like agility, said Gledhill. Last month, it launched the world’s biggest banking API (application programming interface) platform with more than 155 APIs that developers can plug into to create a variety of services.

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