Why did Monzo choose AWS


(James Murray-Ferris) #1

Hey All…

I was sitting here reading some of the posts and it mentions Tom appearing at the AWS Summit and this is obviously because you chose to AWS services and I just wanted to know how you came to decision of choosing AWS over other cloud providers? Was there something that AWS did better than the others or was it a decision based purely on reputation?

Just intrigued being a bit of a cloud geek haha

Thanks
James


Monzo & the Recent AWS Outage
(Jonas Huckestein) #2

When we first started we were planning to host everything on our own hardware. Amongst other things, the FCA handbook (section SYSC 8) required us to provide the regulator and auditors with physical access to our servers. Multi-tenancy cloud vendors would never allow this and banks generally didn’t run critical software in the cloud.

Then two things happened that changed our mind about outsourcing to the cloud:

  1. In 2015 the FCA awarded a £5m contract to AWS for their own IT needs
  2. In early 2016 the FCA released draft guidance on a new interpretation of SYSC 8 rules as it applies to the cloud. The final guidance was published in July 2016.

With that in mind, I think it is fair to say that reputation, especially with the FCA, played a large role in our vendor selection. AWS has also been incredibly accommodating and helpful around the special needs of regulated firms. This is clearly a long-running and well executed strategy on their part. On a panel at the Next Money conference this year, a representative from AWS claimed that 100% of the top 50 fintechs in the UK (by whatever measure) are running on AWS.

Long-term we would like to be as independent from any particular cloud service provider as possible. This is one of the reasons we are running our services in kubernetes.


(James Murray-Ferris) #3

Hi Jonas.

Thank you for the response it’s really interesting to see why certain companies or technologies are used and it’s also a great example of how conainters can be a really good use in a real world scenario.

Thank you :grinning:


(Damien) #4

Very interesting Jonas - given your use of Kubernetes, I wonder if you’ll be implementing a broker layer in the future that can compare the cost of the major cloud provides and automatically deploy onto the cheapest provider (obviously it’ll be a lot of work to obtain regulatory and risk approval for several cloud providers)


#5

Good. In the case of AWS, the parent company Amazon is not just a provider of cloud services, but potentially also a competitor to Monzo. And recent outages demonstrate the cloud is not all magic wonder dust.