Kathy Gibson is at Nutanix .Next On Tour in Sandton – African Bank emerged from curatorship about five years ago with the daunting task of having to build an effectively new bank.

Part of the new business structure has been to develop a completely distributed IT environment based on Nutanix technology.

Derek Chung, who looks after infrastructure and engineering at African Bank, says one of the major challenges that the bank faced – and which Nutanix was able to solve – was the speed at which is needed to deploy new infrastructure and systems.

In fact, says Chung, they were able to create and set up a new transactional banking system in just eighteen months – an almost unheard-of achievement in the past.

Today, every one of the bank’s applications is on Nutanix, he says.

“Effectively our entire data centre is on Nutanix, except where physical servers just don’t support a virtual environment.”

In the past, African Bank had a traditional server infrastructure, with multiple servers and storage area networks (SANs).

“It was tough at the time,” says Chung. “Servers failed and there were SAN issues. From a transformation point of view, replication was a big issue.”

With the implementation of Nutanix, many of the challenges around SAN and server breakdowns were eliminated, he adds.

“For me, watching engineers not worrying about storage subsystem was a huge gain.”

African Bank’s business transformation is the driving force behind the IT changes, and the Nutanix environment is starting to deliver good outcomes, Chung says.

The bank is working towards a multi-cloud strategy, with two public cloud partners. “We have a strong cloud platform in Nutanix that allows us to move across cloud platforms,” Chung explains.

Other plans for the future include leveraging the platform to offer a database self-service environment, automated backups and more.