Customer Stories / Financial Services
Leumi Group Accelerates and Simplifies Migration to the Cloud Using Amazon EKS Anywhere
Learn how Leumi Group is deploying workloads on-premises or the cloud according to its business needs using Amazon EKS and Amazon EKS Anywhere.
Leumi Group (Leumi), a leading bank in Israel founded in 1902, sought to transform its business with a cloud-first strategy. However, transitioning to the cloud after 50 years of operating on-premises presented a yearslong challenge. It would require a hybrid environment so that Leumi could migrate its systems to the cloud while continuing to deliver quality service to its customers. The bank would be the first in Israel to have a core system running solely on the cloud—so it needed a provider that would help it venture into new territory.
The bank turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and took advantage of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications. To operate Amazon EKS on-premises, Leumi used Amazon EKS Anywhere, a deployment option for Amazon EKS that companies can use to create and operate Kubernetes clusters on self-managed infrastructure. Leumi can now deploy workloads on AWS or on-premises according to its business needs. The bank’s new environment facilitates a consistent, scalable approach to deployments, saving time and money and increasing innovation velocity.
Opportunity | Using AWS to Open the Door to Innovative Cloud-Native Solutions for Leumi
Leumi is Israel’s oldest banking corporation, delivering digital products and banking services to individuals, small-to-medium enterprises, and large corporations. To fulfill its strategic objective to create a technological environment that increases business performance and customer service, Leumi also runs a technology company called FinTeka. FinTeka provides financial technology (fintech) startups with access to Leumi’s open banking operations, infrastructure, and capabilities, which they can use to develop financial solutions that Leumi can, later on, deploy to its customers.
Leumi’s cloud-first strategy aims to accommodate startups by meeting them in their chosen cloud environment—which, for most, is AWS. Leumi dictates that every new project be examined as a candidate for cloud deployment. “On the cloud, we can move fast, just like startups,” says Moti Levi, manager of the Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) team at Leumi. “These fintech companies integrate with Leumi—which has a huge amount of data, experience, and knowledge that can drive them forward—while using their preferred cloud technologies.” However, Leumi’s hybrid environment meant that it also needed the technologies and capabilities for cloud-native workloads within its on-premises infrastructure. The bank is planning to migrate fully to the cloud in the future; because Amazon EKS and Amazon EKS Anywhere are supported by the same technology, it can transition from on-premises to the cloud with reduced risk. It will need to maintain a hybrid environment over several years as it migrates data to the cloud.
In 2017, Leumi started developing workloads based on the microservices paradigm and deployed them on virtual machines, and then on another Kubernetes solution that eventually reached its end of life. At that point, Leumi chose to migrate to the cloud and searched for a Kubernetes-conformant option that was consistent with Amazon EKS. It found that solution in Amazon EKS Anywhere. Despite having used other cloud providers, Leumi chose to go all in on AWS. “If we took more than one cloud provider, we would never be as professional or as detail-oriented or make the best of the cloud,” says Levi. “AWS was a better fit and had experience serving our industry.”
Using Amazon EKS and Amazon EKS Anywhere, we save time and money and maintain the stability of the production environment.”
Manager of the Cloud Center of Excellence team, Leumi Group
Solution | Modernizing and Saving Time and Money on AWS
In just 5 months, Leumi migrated 16 on-premises applications from its former Kubernetes solution to Amazon EKS Anywhere with no service interruptions. The transition and management of Leumi’s products and services are transparent and simpler than running two Kubernetes clusters on the cloud. Because it hosts both its cloud and on-premises clusters on AWS, Leumi can also access the same level of support from the AWS team, further simplifying Kubernetes management across its environments. “Amazon EKS Anywhere made what could have been a complex migration very simple,” says Levi. Most of the bank’s Kubernetes workflows are already running on Amazon EKS Anywhere; its next step will be to migrate the applicable services to Amazon EKS in the appropriate AWS Region, a physical location around the world where AWS clusters data centers. “Because Amazon EKS Anywhere offers a Kubernetes distribution that is consistent with and as reliable as Amazon EKS, we can first migrate our products and services to an on-premises solution and use it as a stepping stone to migrate to the cloud,” says Levi. “We don’t lose anything. We only gain big value resulting from efficiencies of scale.”
Using Amazon EKS Anywhere, Leumi doesn’t have to modify its products to migrate them to the cloud. “Because we use Amazon EKS, not a lot has changed for our developers,” says Levi. “The code is the same code, and the containers are the same containers.” Now, developers have access to a control plane that supports them in migrating to Amazon EKS Anywhere in just 1 week. On AWS, Leumi has the agility to improve collaboration with fintech companies. In 1 hour, the CCoE team can deploy a new environment for a proof of concept with a third party, which previously would have taken weeks, and they can use management tools included in Amazon EKS Anywhere. The option to purchase one-stop support from AWS for its Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters also simplified the support process, providing a unified experience across Leumi’s cloud and hybrid Kubernetes environments, which are fully powered by AWS.
Because Amazon EKS is a managed service, Leumi’s developers can focus on business logic rather than infrastructure maintenance, which accelerates time to market and helps maintain high security. Implementing and operating Amazon EKS Anywhere was native to the bank’s operations teams, therefore reducing the risk of operating new technology. Applications can run agnostically either on Amazon EKS on the cloud or Amazon EKS Anywhere on premises, improving developer agility. Developers can get to work faster and take advantage of cluster pricing on Amazon EKS Anywhere, which has unlocked key benefits for Leumi. “Using Amazon EKS and Amazon EKS Anywhere, we save time and money and maintain the stability of the production environment,” says Levi. Leumi has used its new infrastructure for about 6 months without downtime, even when working from a secondary site.
Outcome | Leading the Way to the Cloud on AWS
In the future, Leumi plans to run thousands of workloads and microservices on Amazon EKS Anywhere and will introduce self-service tools so that its developers can more efficiently manage its cloud environment. The bank is also holding informal presentations for internal staff about AWS services so that they can better acclimate to the cloud.
“We appreciate the support and close engagement and assistance from AWS,” says Levi. On AWS and by using Amazon EKS Anywhere in particular, Leumi is meeting its mission of conducting proactive, innovative banking for customers.
About Leumi Group
Founded in 1902, Leumi is Israel's largest bank according to market cap, operating some 200 branches across Israel. Leumi is a pioneer in the global digital banking field, offering a wide variety of advanced and innovative online banking services.
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)
Amazon EKS is a managed Kubernetes service to run Kubernetes in the AWS cloud and on-premises data centers. In the cloud, Amazon EKS automatically manages the availability and scalability of the Kubernetes control plane nodes responsible for scheduling containers, managing application availability, storing cluster data, and other key tasks.
Amazon EKS Anywhere
Amazon EKS Anywhere lets you create and operate Kubernetes clusters on your own infrastructure. Amazon EKS Anywhere builds on the strengths of Amazon EKS Distro and provides open-source software that’s up to date and patched so you can have an on-premises Kubernetes environment that’s more reliable than a self-managed Kubernetes offering.
AWS has the concept of a Region, which is a physical location around the world where we cluster data centers. Each AWS Region consists of a minimum of three, isolated, and physically separate AZs within a geographic are
Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.