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  • Data centre closure enforces migration timeframe of just six weeks

  • Migration needs to remain compliant with strict APRA regulations throughout project

  • AWS platform results in higher availability, better performance, lower cost and unprecedented visibility

Company Overview

At 138 years old, imb Bank (imb) is Australia’s oldest bank and was the first Australian bank to introduce Internet banking back in 1999, which was built entirely in-house.

imb is the largest mutual bank in Australia with AUD $5B in deposits under management and 200,000 members.

Employing over 500 Australians, imb is an important regional employer with its head office located in Wollongong, NSW and the bulk of its branches operating in regional communities.

imb offers financial products across a wide range of services including banking, finance and insurance.

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The Problem

In late 2017, imb was informed by its existing provider that it was closing its Melbourne data centre. imb was given a 6 week deadline to fully vacate the data centre and be operational in another. 

The data centre hosted the primary infrastructure for imb’s Internet and Mobile Banking platform. It also held important administration systems and the online acquisition systems for new customers, including the websites and processing systems for members to apply online for new loans, credit cards, and transaction and savings accounts.

Adding further complexity, imb’s secondary, disaster-recovery site was connected to the primary site through physical, hardwired connections that could not easily be connected to a new primary site.

Throughout a migration, imb had to remain compliant with strict regulations around its technology and processes imposed by APRA.

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The Solution

As an accredited AWS Partner with specialist experience of APRA guidelines and PCI compliance, we were appointed to undertake the migration project in partnership with imb team members who had deep knowledge of the existing systems, and AWS Professional Services.

To meet imb’s strict security and governance requirements, creating a multi account structure and a network design which would map to its existing network zoning model and improve perimeter security was recommended.

With automation, our team were able to deploy all accounts, initial identities, deployment and admin roles, and networking within the first few days of the project.

This configuration was then managed in our source control system, meaning imb could implement processes to release network changes into the AWS environment treating infrastructure as code immediately.

imb implemented a software VPN solution to start evaluating the best migration path for applications.

By the end of the second week of the project, the team had managed to deploy a fully functional online banking system – including mobile banking – in a discovery environment communicating with backend test systems.

While the core team were building servers, deploying applications and configuring databases in UAT, we worked with network, security and governance team members to ensure the configuration of services met the organisation’s strict security policies and financial services obligations.

Following penetration tests against the UAT environment, business and application teams started utilising the new migrated UAT online banking environment four weeks after the start of the project.

Our team continued to work with them to refine configuration and focus on operational concerns such as backups, monitoring, alerting and DR.

Cut over to the new platform occurred without incident two days short of six weeks from the initial kick off meeting for the project, enabling imb to operate from the new AWS location within the Data Centre cut off period.

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The Results

The project demonstrated that by bringing together the best technology in AWS, an experienced technical project team from Mantel Group with its own IT and governance staff, imb was able to meet the challenge of time and reap the benefits of the latest technology.

The project was delivered under time and the migration to AWS cloud services delivered immediate savings and agility in its IT operations.

The up-to-date systems imb now uses presented opportunities for further transformation.

imb has gained a system that provides higher availability, better performance, lower cost and that provides unprecedented visibility on the status of its online banking platform in terms of availability, response time and utilisation.

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