Financial Services are undergoing their digital transformation journeys to meet the customer demands and match the current pace of innovation keeping them competitive in the market. Cloud platforms perform a pivotal role to effectively transition their current legacy IT landscape to the futuristic modern collaborated business and IT ecosystem. However, all Financial Services workloads are not ready to consider public cloud as their home. There are plenty of factors and scenarios where financial services find it difficult to move their workloads to public clouds. Hybrid cloud is one of the modern enterprise IT strategies which helps organizations to realize their enterprise applications blueprint across the public cloud and on premises.

Hybrid cloud demands a unified way to manage the distributed workloads facilitating the seamless experience across the public cloud and on premises environment.

 

Hybrid Cloud Patterns with AWS Outposts

Hybrid cloud setup for the Financial Services is implemented with various patterns adhering to enterprise cloud strategy. Few of the hybrid scenarios for the Financial Services workloads with AWS public cloud and AWS Outposts are listed below.

 

Enterprise Applications Layer Based Approach

FS public-facing services are deployed on public cloud interacting with backend core services. These public-facing services absorb the traffic load spikes with the implementation of cloud autoscaling or native caching protecting backend FS core services. These services perform validation and transformation of the incoming requests before routing further to backend core services. These backend core services are hosted on the AWS Outposts. This enables the core services to take advantage of AWS services on-premises providing end to end hybrid unified experience.

 

New vs. Old Services

Transition to cloud should not be a bottleneck for introducing new business capabilities in the organization. With Financial Services Cloud First strategy, new non-sensitive workloads are targeted for the public cloud while the old services remain on-premises before transitioning to the cloud. To get a consistent hybrid experience, old workloads are deployed to AWS Outposts taking advantage of AWS core services and then making their transition to public cloud if it is permitted by the compliance and regulations. This approach makes the workloads cloud-ready even if it is not allowed for the public cloud at present. This also ensures the teams to explore the AWS native services on-premises making themselves future skills proof.

 

Development vs Production Environment

The development and testing phase of the application lifecycle takes the advantage of public cloud’s capabilities such as on-demand, spot instances provisioning. As lower environments generally work on dummy data, these environments are initiated on the public cloud. If the Financial Services regulations are not allowing to move workloads to the public cloud this is one of the hybrid cloud strategies where development, testing environments are on AWS public cloud and the production environment is set up on AWS Outposts.

 

Non-Sensitive vs Sensitive Workloads

Data security is one of the First-Class citizens for the Financial Services workloads. Adhering to most of the compliance frameworks, the sensitive customer workloads are hosted on-premises and non-sensitive workloads are hosted on AWS Public cloud. These workloads are the applications processing sensitive data or the databases and the storages serving the Financial Services sensitive data. AWS Outposts facilitates most of the imperative services for storing the data such as AWS RDS, AWS S3 and AWS EMR to process the Big data workloads and the data analytics over the sensitive data.

 

Backup vs Operational Data

As the Financial services ride on the huge repository of historic data, this data is backed up to the public cloud’s storage or archive systems costing at significantly lesser price compared to on-premises, whereas the operational data for the critical applications continues to be on-premises. This enables Financial Services to reduce the operational cost of data storage significantly.

 

Disaster Recovery Environment vs Operational Environment

Financial Services workloads are mission-critical demanding the High Availability and Disaster Recovery for Business Continuity. For such workloads, the Disaster Recovery environment is set up on the public cloud while the operational environment still be on-premises considering the sensitivity of the workloads. The operational workloads are deployed on the AWS Outposts while the DR is designed on AWS Public cloud. The DR strategy can follow any of the patterns depending upon the defined business SLOs.

  • Multi-Site (Active-Active) — Fully functional sites on AWS Outposts and AWS public cloud.
  • Backup and Restore (Active-Passive) – Data is backup in the AWS Public cloud and then restored during disaster situation. AWS Outposts with a fully operational version.
  • Warm Standby (Active-Passive) — Fully functional scaled-down version in AWS Public cloud. AWS Outposts with a fully operational version.
  • Pilot Light (Active-Passive) – AWS Public cloud with critical applications and data in a ready state so that it can be quickly retrieved if needed. AWS Outposts with fully operational version.

 

Hybrid Cloud for the future of Digital Financial Services

Increasing end customer expectations had pushed Financial Services to rethink their IT strategies. In this Digital Era, it is indispensable to provide a seamless experience not only to the customers but also to the employees who should adopt the public and private cloud IT environments seamlessly delivering the business capabilities at the earliest. In Financial Services sector, where the budgets are consistently tight, it makes sense to consider hybrid cloud as a First-class citizen for the IT architecture. Financial Services must try to leverage the hybrid cloud to meet the ever-growing demand of the end customers by utilizing the high-end computing of these cloud providers at the doorstep. AWS Outposts helps in establishing this hybrid cloud environment for the Financial Services to take a next step in their Digital Transformation Journey.

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