Azure Cloud Solution
Central Bank of Nigeria


  • Customer Name: Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Industry: Financial Services (Banking & Regulation)
  • Deal size: $1.2m Yearly Consumption
  • Microsoft Solution: Azure Cloud
  • Partner: Reliance Infosystems

Business Problems and Opportunities

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the apex bank that regulates activities across all financial institutions in Nigeria. As a regulator and governing body at the forefront of financial services sector in Nigeria. CBN has invested heavily in technology both on-premises and the cloud.

CBN had a few servers hosted on 3rd party cloud service providers. Users connected over the internet to access these servers. The servers were hosted on VMWare Virtual Machines and physical servers while storage was provisioned from SAN. However, the maintenance cost was high, security was a very big concern, effectiveness of backup and DR were also in question. These key concerns triggered the consideration of Microsoft Azure.

While the need to Migrate these workloads to the cloud and modernize the applications and Databases in the cloud was obvious to the team, the zeal to execute suffered some initial drawbacks partly because the experience with the 3rd party providers was not so remarkable. On top of that, CBN also wanted a blend of Cloud security solutions to adequately protect all the assets in the cloud. There were also concerns around training of the SOC team to manage cloud security.

To get on with the project, we needed to remove these blockers. Bias towards on-premise by providing business case justification for Cloud migration of workloads. Since the objective was to migrate workloads from 3rd party managed cloud service to Azure, with focus on making its line of business applications highly available, enjoy the compute and storage scalability, security, and effective data backup/DR, we immediately settled to conduct a cloud workshop for stake holders providing the forum to address all migration concerns and set expectations right from the beginning.

Solution Deployed

CBN needed to modernize and re-architect certain applications, so we leveraged Azure Web Services for the modernization efforts for .net, php and python-based applications, while leveraging Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for MySQL for the database modernization.

Some applications and databases are still running off Azure virtual machines, and those are in consideration for modernization as well. However, Standard DDoS protection was enabled at the Virtual Network Layer.

Application gateway was deployed to protect the Web applications and databases, while configured Azure Defender for Cloud and Azure Sentinel were deployed to adequately protect all the assets in the cloud, to detect, remediate and respond to threats. Thereby preventing escalation of global cybersecurity threats such as ransomware, Credential harvesting, Brute-force, and such sophisticated attacks.

Reliance Differentiation in the Marketplace

We have continued to focus on helping our customers digitally transform their operations creating a reliable partnership that drives the achievement of collective objectives. On top of the Microsoft Azure migration we have continued to introduce other cloud services to the customer and have grown Azure consumption steadily at a rate of 20% per quarter. Starting at $40,000, CBN currently consumes $104,568 per month. Together with the customer, we have continued to identify opportunities and on-board customer on value adding services. Our role at reliance is to create a strong partnership with the customer identifying their mission and making it ours. It sets us apart.

In recognition of our commitment to digital transformation, Reliance Infosystems was recently awarded the Digital Transformation company of the year 2021 issued by the Beacon of Information & Communications Technology in addition to the Microsoft country partner of the year 2021. These awards are a testament to the great achievements of Reliance Infosystems in digitally transforming businesses while helping customers lower costs, improve efficiency, and boost productivity.

Engagement with Microsoft Nigeria

Considering CBN enterprise support agreement Microsoft, we needed Microsoft Nigeria to validate Reliance Infosystems Azure competency in this account and co-engage on addressing any concerns CBN may have regarding the migration process. Also, showcasing our advance specialization in cloud migration was necessary to convincing the customer they were with the right partner who possesses right skillset to deliver on the project. The Microsoft team, Nizar El Ouarti (, Segun Aina ( , Babajide Adeyemo (, Peter Mgbolu ( provided the much needed support in our conservations with the customer. CBN was reassured of our competency in delivery which gave the comfort to proceed.

Removing Deployment Complexities

Having capture CBN needs and narrowed down to lift and shift of workloads, ensure high-availability, scalability in line with future needs, cloud security, maintain VPN access and backup and DR. We set out to achieve these needs by decomposing the needs into tracks and mapping to the following Azure solution Azure site Recovery, process server, landing zones (Resource groups, virtual network, virtual network gateways for IPsec, VPN, NSG, DDoS) Managed disks, Azure virtual machine, Availability sets, Azure backup, Point-to-Site VPN, RBAC for adequate governance.

With this approach, we were able to achieve the following benefits for the customer High-availability, scalable infrastructure (Storage and compute), seamless and secure communications between Azure Infrastructure, CBN Headquarters and branch offices, Guaranteed backup and disaster recovery, governance and cost reduction the successfully migration to cloud established new consumption needs around SharePoint and Azure for the individual business units.


Recent testimonials showcase countless positive feedbacks from Customers on the roles Microsoft technologies are playing in their environments to help them increase productivity and reduce cost.  View attached links for feedback from a few Reliance infosystems customers who are today, leveraging the opportunities provided by Microsoft cloud platforms in delivering business outcomes.

Microsoft Azure Deployment Footprints

As at FY 2022, our deployment foot print for Azure spans across the following organisations but not limited to the list here. Kuda Bank, Ghana Waters Authority, Fidelity Bank PLC, Access Bank PLC. We have continued to help these organisations create new possibilities with Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Currently we are modernizing applications on Azure, providing micro services with Kubernetes and hosting business applications on Azure allow these businesses support their business processes in a more flexible manner, accommodate the frequent changes within the operating environment.