Innovation fuels NAB's Linux foray

A shift to Linux-based grid computing at the National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB) has opened the gate to a more agile IT infrastructure and dramatically reduced maintenance costs, according to one of the bank's senior technology strategists.

Speaking at a Red Hat Inc. Linux event in Sydney yesterday, the NAB's architecture strategy manager for enterprise technology Simon Spencer, said the bank needed to be more innovative with its infrastructure because it is becoming more important to be able to deliver cost-effective, agile and integrated financial services solutions.

To explore infrastructure options, NAB established a Linux innovation lab, dubbed "G2," and ported a number of its core applications to Oracle Corp.'s 10g on Red Hat Linux.

The G2 name came from the two databases it contained - inbound transactions from ATMs to an operational database, like a piece of middleware, and the replacement of the bank's global warehouse.

After a successful trial phase, the bank went live with a global data warehouse which has been in production for the past year.

"The NAB now runs one of the largest data warehouses at around 11TB with 30GB of raw transactions a day [processed] on a Linux-based infrastructure," Spencer said.