May 30, 2024

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Editor’s word: Immediately we’re listening to from Gerardo Mongelli de Borja, Diego Garcia Teba and Víctor Armingol Guisado – Google Cloud Architects at BBVA. They share how Google Cloud matches into their multi cloud technique and the way their group offers Google Cloud providers to stakeholders in BBVA.


Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) is a Spanish multinational monetary providers firm and one of many largest monetary establishments on the planet. Based mostly in Madrid and Bilbao, Spain, BBVA has been engaged in digital transformation on a multi-cloud structure which began 9 years in the past. Companies like Cloud SQL and different options from Google Cloud have performed instrumental roles in our transformation.

Monetary establishments aren’t usually recognized for his or her fast embrace of latest expertise, however our willingness to attempt to profit from new Google Cloud options has helped us carve a trailblazing path of digital adoption and innovation not solely throughout the Spanish banking sector, however throughout the European and the Americas sectors as properly. 

How we began on Google Cloud

We started constructing on Google Cloud by deploying a social community service on Google App Engine with Firestore (again then Datastore). This proved to be an extremely versatile answer that offered such quick supply instances that we determined to combine our group’s intranet on the identical system. From that time ahead, BBVA stakeholders requested quite a few inside employee-related functions, and we developed them utilizing the identical App Engine/Firestore system. 

Since then, BBVA has additional prolonged its cloud adoption. We established a world architectural division whose primary objective was to construct an inside cloud known as Ether Cloud Companies (ECS). 90 to 95 p.c of our present Google Cloud providers have been born within the cloud, and to keep away from vendor lock-in, we’ve designed and constructed a multi-cloud structure, with our whole ECS spanning over Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure.  

To raised iterate on our long-term plans, our part of the engineering group was moved throughout the architectural division and tasked with constructing an integration structure for Google Cloud. This inside group offers the options and archetypes that enable the remainder of BBVA to construct their providers on high of Google Cloud, following our established patterns. 

Cloud SQL matches our technique for efficient managed providers

Over these 9 years, our database structure has reworked as properly, and we’ve examined numerous providers inside Google Cloud to find out which finest suited our wants and our roadmap, beginning with Datastore and later transferring to Cloud SQL as we explored relational database engines. We additionally used Bigtable upon its launch, and extra just lately, we’ve been utilizing Firestore.

BBVA prioritizes managed providers the place out there for his or her pace, ease of upkeep, and centralized management options. The totally managed relational database service offered by Cloud SQL matches completely inside our inside technique. Any time there’s a administration utility with a use case for a transactional relational database, we contemplate the choice of Cloud SQL. For many initiatives, we use MySQL, since individuals usually have expertise working with it. PostgreSQL can be used for extra particular use instances resembling international deployments, that are usually regional in Europe or the U.S. and supply service to Mexico and different American nations.

How BBVA approaches new initiatives

At any time when there’s a enterprise requirement inside BBVA, the answer structure division first jumps in and analyzes our general expertise stack and the initiative necessities. When a Google Cloud use case arises—and that’s primarily on inside employee-activity functions—we pull from lots of the Google Cloud options, deciding which instruments can be utilized throughout the group.

The inner utility examples embody paycheck portals, inside directories, and web functions like procurement, mission management, and administration management, all developed inside BBVA. For instance, we now have many WordPress apps throughout the group that use Cloud SQL. Many of the functions are constructed on high of our base stack of App Engine with Datastore. From there, if the initiative wants relational information protection, we suggest Cloud SQL as an answer. If the inner stakeholders want to put in their very own third-party product, we might counsel utilizing Compute Engine, Cloud Run, or Google Kubernetes Engine GKE)

As a result of the Google stack is so deep and various, our inside Google Cloud group usually fields inside questions on the best way to use a service, resembling the best way to combine Dataflow with an exterior cloud. So then answer architects usually come to us to ask for a proof of idea, or an investigation, which results in a brand new integration. 

Having that in thoughts, when an initiative brings its personal use case, the answer structure division units up the answer, and turns to us to arrange the entire Google Cloud surroundings. A part of our job is to supply day by day help to such duties. We arrange the mission, we arrange the Cloud Identification and Entry Administration (Cloud IAM) roles, and all of the permissions. Extra particularly for Cloud SQL, we arrange the database itself in response to their wants. We give them a root person with a generated root password, and we offer preliminary tips on the best way to begin utilizing Cloud SQL. For instance, we attempt to keep away from direct exterior connections, since we need to keep away from IP whitelisting, so we suggest utilizing Cloud SQL Proxy for his or her direct connections. On occasion, we monitor their use and consumption, the billing for these initiatives, and whether or not they have the right sizing for Cloud SQL databases. 

As a part of our fixed monitoring work on initiatives, we proceed to benchmark Cloud SQL towards different databases inside Google Cloud like Datastore and MySQL with a view to suggest the most suitable choice for every use case. Utilizing Cloud Composer, we additionally present backup techniques for particular person databases to adjust to authorized requirements. For instance, we’d want a full backup for the final ten years, or one backup for per week, or the final 30 full logical backups.  

We have now many IT silos inside BBVA. Totally different groups attempt to deal with an issue with an answer they prepare themselves. In order a part of our digital transformation, we might supply these groups the choice to place their data on a database sort of their selection as long as it is inside Google Cloud. That method, they get the options they want, and we get the management we want. 

Utilizing Cloud SQL to resolve shadow IT

One of many subsequent large issues for us to resolve is Shadow IT. Cloud SQL permits us to present mission homeowners, answer architects and different teams basically, a method to create assets in a safe, managed and accepted method whereas on the identical time giving them the liberty and suppleness to spin up assets with out us having to be a bottleneck within the course of. This enables us to use finest practices, maintain issues safe and in compliance, out of the field monitoring and alarms and offers us higher visibility into BBVA’s database stock on GCP.

Google Cloud helps our multi-cloud technique

The total integration of Google Cloud options feels pure and intuitive, and makes it really easy to work with its numerous instruments, resembling SQL Proxy or Identification Conscious Proxy (IAP). Every part is related and simple to make use of. And once we discover a answer that works for a use case, we reproduce that answer time and again throughout the group. Along with Cloud SQL, we’re tremendous followers of Firebase, and we now have an explosion of use instances inside BBVA which can be being dealt with properly with this answer. We’re presently migrating to Memorystore for Redis to alter our functions from Google App Engine model one to model two. 

As our embrace of the total Google Cloud stack of merchandise reveals, we’ve discovered them to be instrumental and efficient options in our digital transformation, providing safety, scalability, and totally managed providers that carry out throughout our multi-cloud structure, and permit us to concentrate on new initiatives and assembly the wants of our future roadmap. 

Study extra about BBVA. To additional discover the advantages to your group of a multi-cloud technique, take a look at our latest weblog.

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