Case Study | Application Modernisation in Azure

Refactoring & Reengineering of Applications for the Cloud utilising Kubernetes for Containerisation in Azure

Published: 1 November 2021

Business Challenge

Equity Bank is a forward-thinking bank with a firmly-held philosophy that modernisation is integral to excellent service and the financial security of their clients. Equity Bank had done their research and knew that they wanted to implement a Kubernetes-orchestrated architecture on Azure as the next step in their modernisation journey.

Tangent Solutions provided the Equity Bank with a modern, secure, hybrid banking service. 

The Solution

Equity Bank had already started the process of refactoring and reengineering their core applications.

Their internal capacity, however, did not extend to implementing cloud-native technologies nor ensuring a secure and available architecture on the cloud. They approached Tangent Solutions to be their qualified partner.

Tangent Solutions was engaged to deploy and modernise Equity Bank’s infrastructure safely in the cloud. Being a financial services client, this meant adhering to strict regulatory compliance.

The Process

In consultation with the client, Tangent Solutions assisted with finalising the architecture of Equity Banks’ cloud-native infrastructure on Azure. 

This included a review and implementation of the governance and security policies to be applied to the cloud environment.

Tangent Solutions implemented a microservices architecture on top of Microsoft’s AKS service; with the refactored application code being written using .Net Core. 

The data analytics pipelines were transformed from Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) to Extract, Load, and Transform (ELT), eliminating the need for the staging of data. Event streaming was implemented as part of this cloud-based modernisation, allowing the client to collect event-data at volume (as opposed to transactional data) positioning them for predictive analytics with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Security considerations included implementing a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) blueprint for the landing zone, securing the perimeter, and implementing a DevSecOps pipeline to ensure the security of code and the security of containers. A Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) strategy was implemented using Azure DevOps with GitOps being used to mitigate against configuration drift in the cloud environment. 

Tangent Solutions designed a hybrid cloud solution with key production workloads deployed in Azure, built according to a microservices architecture, with Equity Bank’s on premises-solution. This allows for regulatory compliance; keeping data and systems of record in Kenya, while processing and integration services remain in the cloud.

Business Outcomes

Equity Bank now provides its customers with a highly-scalable and secure cloud- native banking service that meets the standards demanded by the regulatory environment. 

With the event-driven model, the data output is now available for analyses with Azure’s machine learning toolset.

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