By Rick Morris – It wasn’t so long ago that hedge funds refused to countenance any kind of remote hosting solution. Concerns about security and speed of service plus a reluctance to relinquish control of the physical equipment were all legitimate reasons for keeping a technology system in-house. However, rapid developments in the area of cloud computing have brought about a change of heart among hedge fund managers.
Mark Smith, Managing Director of Asia for Savvis, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises, comments: “High levels of security for managed hosting and cloud is of the utmost importance to enterprises today. Reputable services providers like Savvis have data and network encryption at their disposal and can secure the cloud infrastructure at multiple levels. Our clients, such as Linedata, that offer cloud-based services on our infrastructure are able to provide their customers with service levels that can cover security, backup and recovery, infrastructure and service reliability as well as quality of service. This helps our clients’ clients limit their risk exposure.”
He also points out, “The benefits of a locally hosted solution are not to be neglected – facilities such as those used by Linedata in Singapore mean that latency will be negligible and local expertise can be used to greatest effect.”
To dispel another myth, a hosted environment does not inhibit connectivity or integration – these can be managed as securely and efficiently as for an in-house system; there are no limits to your interfaces with prime brokers, administrators or integration with business critical software.
In a recent report, Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and Web Hosting, Gartner notes that “the cloud has created new opportunities for cost savings and business agility,” and that is certainly a trend amongst Linedata clients in Asia who choose to manage their software through a hosted service.
Hosting is an area of particular expertise for Linedata, whose entire front-to-back offering is available on a hosted solution. There has been a significant increase in uptake during the past 18 months from clients who wish to reduce their IT overheads but not their business flexibility.
Hong Kong-based hedge fund OP Calypso has been a Linedata client for over seven years. On their strategic move to be hosted from an in-house version of Linedata Beauchamp, Michael Stockford, Chief Operating Officer, observes, "Our decision to move to a hosted environment was driven by several factors. Firstly, our own desire to ensure hardware capacity constraints do not become an issue, so that managers when travelling can safely and securely access the system wherever they may be. Secondly, to be able to easily upgrade to the latest software release. Thirdly, to address investor demands for managers to have robust internal portfolio systems that include efficient disaster recovery procedures.”
As Stockford indicates, clear business continuity plans, a disaster recovery facility and fully backed-up data are now pre-requisites for investor due diligence purposes, and a properly managed cloud scenario will help to achieve these - as well as a virus-free, protected environment. A well-hosted solution will enable secure log on from anywhere, so your business can keep running even if your premises are inaccessible for any reason. Far from being a security risk, a properly hosted and managed solution brings you business as usual plus the power of the cloud.
Rick Morris is Global Head of IT at Linedata
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