back to article Financial giant Santander: 80% of our IT infrastructure in cloud

Spanish financial giant Santander has migrated 80 percent of its core banking IT infrastructure to the cloud as part of its $20.8 billion (€20 billion ) modernization programme, with the help of in-house software created by resident developers. Readers hoping for a tale of disaster and woe may be sorely disappointed as the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Spanish financial giant Santander has migrated 80 percent of its core banking IT infrastructure to the cloud"

    Eugh, these figures need to be challenged. They're only remotely true because the banks are pulling the same trick the also-ran "cloud" players did a few years back in reporting their revenue numbers. They've simply relabeled huge chunks of their vast on-premises estates as "cloud" by replatforming some of it to Kubernetes (or even just VMWare) and outsourcing the operations on a per-usage basis to the usual suspects. It's still largely running from physical kit running in a datacentre that up until 2019 had barely even the whiff of cirrus about it.

    In other words, in all the major banks, if it's not a mainframe it's probably "cloud".

    This trend of reporting a blended figure is being driven by the need to be seen to be successful in "cloud", in spite of the fact almost none of the banks (for varying reasons) have had any such success. It takes a brave banking CIO to be the first one to admit that many of the advantages of cloud tech simply don't bear out for the mundane, large scale, predictably-sized, highly regulated and exceptionally reliable workloads and systems that characterise most financial organisations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Quite so!

      PaaS and SaaS are all the hype now and, according to current policy, we must use them. Even though the resources run on the same datacenter in southern Spain as before there are shiny new wrappers and project budgets multiplied. Progress.

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      I did an audit at two Santander Datacentres,... .. er, seven years ago, and at the time, they were replete with kit. Santander had grown by acquisition, and had literally wheeled kit from companies they'd bought into their datacentres. So a small team of contractors were hired to compare it all to their asset inventory, and record all connectivity, power, network, disk arrays, etc, and add labelling where required. This is the only place I've ever seen an IBM Z-Series (well, there were two, as the DCs were mirrored) and I'd never seen one at Warwick when I was blue. So the notion that 80% of this kit has been decommed sounds a bit hopeful. it wouldn't just be a migration to cloud, but a migration off those legacy platform, and a merge into a new system.

      If it is true however, I expect Santander to be leasing space in it's rather tasty Tier 4 data centres to recoup some of the money they spent on them.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "$20.8 billion (€20 billion ) modernization programme,,,Readers hoping for a tale of disaster"

    Whether or not it's a tale of disaster depends on whether the modernisation process is worth the €20 billion. Nearly half the annual revenue is a pretty big budget even when spread over a few years.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably explains why its now even worse than before.

    One simple example:

    Menu option: Choose 'Pay already setup payee'

    Display dialog: Please choose the 'Pay already setup payee' on left hand side instead

    Seriously someone actually coded a menu option to tell you to choose a different menu option to do the task selected.

    Still I suppose now its all in the cloud thats all ok.

    Cant imagine they have actually fixed the cannot report an issue as the 'report an issue dialog' pages cant be displayed. Still its in the cloud so thats all ok.

    1. Potty Professor

      "Breaking any of these moving parts could have disastrous consequences"

      My experience exactly. The Pay Existing Payee page does not have the same Look and Feel as the rest of the site, it looks like something a teenage script kiddie knocked up in half an hour, and it doesn't work with Firefox on XP, hanging at the "Continue" stage. I have reported this to Santander, and they just shrug and say "Use Chrome". Not a viable solution to have to change browsers just to use one part of a site which, otherwise, gives me no problems.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spanish financial giant Santander has migrated 80 percent of its core banking IT infrastructure to other people's computers.

  5. Pete 2 Silver badge

    open? banking?? hell, no!

    > "closer to Santander's aim of becoming the best open financial service platform."

    Personally I would prefer whoever I bank with to be very, very, closed. Closed tight. Inaccessible to everyone who is not a customer - and then: only once they can prove they are who they claim to be.

    As for spending €20billion on moving to AWS, I wonder how many multiples of that it will cost them to move away again?

  6. NeilPost Silver badge

    Cheque Scanning

    You still can’t image cheque deposits on their app yet…. so off to Starling Bank I went.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    60 percent of its infrastructure was delivered off-premise.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like