ING DIRECT - It’s all about the apps Online banking provider, ING DIRECT, part of the ING Group, services approximately 1.5 million customers and compared to the more established big four banks in Australia, it is considered a challenger brand. The bank however, is undoubtedly a leader when it comes to innovation. ING DIRECT has no branches and its entire infrastructure is now run in a private cloud environment. Speaking at the recent Cisco Live 2015 event in Melbourne, ING DIRECT’s, Januar Wayong, Application Architect and Johnathan Sharratt, Solution Architect, explained how the bank became a completely virtualised banking environment with the development of its ‘Zero Touch’ private cloud. According to them, it is at present, the only completely virtualised bank in Australia and perhaps even the entire world. ING DIRECT discussed how it maintains a completely virtualised environment to ensure customer satisfaction is achieved through constant availability and automation. Zero room for downtime Revolutionising the level of availability of applications within the financial industry, the bank chooses to go into disaster recovery mode once a month. This is done to test its abilities to maintain zero data loss and hold everyone accountable for 100 percent availability. As a result, ING DIRECT now experiences zero planned outages and its systems are 100 percent available. Orchestrating applications with F5 According to them, one of the most important things to consider when selecting partners to fulfil constant application availability and delivery is the ability to offer resource orchestration and automation. This is where F5 plays a critical role. F5 helps ING DIRECT orchestrate and automate applications via its load balancing and application delivery controller solutions. F5 handles routing for the bank’s 300 plus applications and 100 plus custom off the shelf apps, as well as application delivery across ING DIRECT’s data centres. Some of the other F5 solutions that ING DIRECT takes advantage of include: application port binding mapping, application layer security, seamless traffic switching for end-users, load balancing and SSL offloading and health monitoring of applications. The bank chose F5 due to its reputation for leading the industry in application delivery and specifically for its ability to handle network protocols and for performance factors, such as FastTCP and OneConnect. Ultimately, with F5, ING DIRECT can ensure that services are always available to customers. It goes without saying that is of critical importance to a bank, when just a few minutes of downtime can cause thousands of dollars in profit loss.