Capital Support - Best Global Cloud Services Provider
Capital Support is a leading managed IT services provider. Midway through 2015, it was acquired by Six Degrees Group. Being able to rely on a stronger balance sheet, coupled with the fact that Six Degrees Group owns data centres and network assets, has helped Capital Support win larger and more complex customers, according to COO, Carl Chapman.
"We've always been fortunate to have an enviable customer list, even if most prefer no publicity. The new names on this customer list are swelling the USD500 billion AUM our customers reported last year," says Chapman (pictured).
Capital Support is able to provide customers with the option to use public cloud services, or to establish their own private cloud. Obviously the decision will depend on the individual fund manager, but Chapman says that there are common trends that the team has identified while working with firms, many of which tend to be driven by the fund's tolerance to, and attitude towards:
• Infrastructure Availability – for example, a 99.7% SLA may be perfectly acceptable to a Long/Short Equity fund, since the likelihood of downtime at a peak trading time is small. However, a Quant fund would be unlikely to accept that same risk.
• Service Level Agreement – establishing how the provider is accountable for the services delivered, along with the route to remediation in the case of a failure to deliver, is often a key influencer in the decision to host services in either a public or a private cloud.
• Security Strategy – how tolerant the fund is to the inherent risk using a multi-tenant platform, and how aligned the provider is to the security standards deemed applicable by the fund, their investors and regulators.
• Cost – a private cloud invariably attracts a higher premium in return for the increased availability and improved performance, redundancy and resiliency.
Discussing the characteristics of Capital Support's cloud environment, Chapman says that the cloud infrastructure is sub-divided into performance optimised data centres – or `pods' – with each pod having separate infrastructure components.
"As of February 2016, we have 14 pods across two entirely separate clouds, each hosting many terabytes of live data. The whole environment currently serves more than 3,000 seats, with capacity objectives of 45 per cent for any single component. As we reach this limit, capacity is provided such that at any time all systems can fail over to their disaster recovery equivalent with no impact to overall performance," confirms Chapman.
As well as choosing between a public or private cloud, fund managers can also choose to build their own local infrastructure to ensure that they have maximum control over the environment in which they operate.
It is this flexibility of service offering that puts Capital Support in a unique position. Indeed, it is the only niche mid-market IT services provider to the alternative investment market that builds its own platforms, within its own data centres, connected by its own networks.
"This allows us to provide low-level, end-to-end management and support of the entire infrastructure estate. This is recognised by our alternative investment customers, who value the single service-level model we utilise and the certainty they gain in knowing where (and how) their data is stored and managed – an important consideration for regulators and investors," confirms Chapman.