Blog Entries from 08/2010
In a world where power is the ultimate requisite and security is an utmost concern for hardware and applications, hedge funds and investment firms are often turning to colocation services for support. More and more, hedge funds are relying on data centers to host their hardware and/or software in an off-site facility which provides necessary bandwidth and increased protection. But like each important decision a firm makes, the choice to host equipment at a colocation center is one that requires certain considerations first.
Let’s take a look at why funds use colocation services, the pros and cons of doing so, and the considerations for choosing a data center.
Earlier this week, we discussed some best practices for project management, as well as strategies for managing the politics that are commonly involved in the project management process. Today, we’ll look at some additional pointers for navigating this project management process. At the end of this article we’ve also included a presentation that encapsulates the key elements to navigating project management politics.
Let's first look at how to promote full disclosure and openness in project management. Know that the job of a leader is not to make the right decision, but to make sure the right decision is made. Part of succeeding in this is getting the right people in the room. Very often, the answer is waiting to be said, so learn to listen just as well as you talk. Set a standard of communication by encouraging open and candid discussions. Look at the facts in an honest way all the time (don’t sugarcoat problems). Promote full sharing of information, bring forth issues and deal with them (it’s ok; there is no such thing as a perfect project).
Categorized under: Project Management
To most people, Project Management is generally defined as the art of accomplishing a goal through people. If we take the time to identify the mechanisms which make the accomplishment of project goals possible, politics is typically near the top of the list. Since politics are a fact of organization life all Project Managers are political beings by virtue of their position. That said, becoming politically savvy is easier said than done. Furthermore, it is not always viewed as a wholesome worthy goal to begin with.
Let us take a step back for a moment and understand what politics means. The word “politics” is derived from the Greek word “πολιτικός” ("politikos" or “civilian”), modeled on Aristotle’s book on government called Affairs of State. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, it can also be applied in corporate, academic, and religious institutions.
The fact is, we live in a world full of intricate systems of power. Ignoring external and internal politics can and will affect the health of your project. Understanding how to successfully use good politics to manage stakeholders through leadership and influence is not only a key component to project success, but also a key ingredient to your own longevity as a professional in the industry.
Categorized under: Project Management
The hedge fund industry is still trying to sort out the intricacies of the newly signed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – the legislation that is widely considered the most sweeping in recent memory.
To help break down the new law, Eze Castle Integration recently hosted a webinar, and we asked Jeff Blumberg, Partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, a law firm based in Chicago, to give an overview of the Dodd-Frank Act and provide attendees with details on what aspects of the law will directly affect them. After Jeff broke down the law, our own Managing Director Bob Guilbert examined the key technology areas where firms should be in compliance, in accord with this and other regulations as well as industry best practices.
According to the Standish Group's "CHAOS Summary 2009", only 32 percent of all projects in 2009 actually succeeded (delivered on time, on budget and within scope). Another 44 percent were challenged (completed late, over budget, missing scope), while 24 percent failed outright (cancelled prior to completion or never delivered).
That is an eye-catching statistic. Are project managers really that unsuccessful in today's world?
Suppose we poke a little fun at this statistic by playing a small role-playing game? Envision yourself as the ultimate project management failure. That's right. Your boss has hired you for one purpose and one purpose only - to ensure that no project is ever a success. What would you do to ensure that your project doesn't have a prayer?
Given today’s economic market –with continuous fluctuation and new regulations – many hedge funds are making the decision to move their offices or expand further internationally. European hedge funds are popping up at a steady pace, and the general expectation is that U.S.-based hedge funds will continue to open remote offices in Europe and Asia, maintaining strong footholds domestically and increasing operation and trading internationally.
Overseas expansion requires a number of strategic considerations. Today, let’s examine some key business and technology factors as well as prime broker considerations. One of the most important steps a hedge fund must take in beginning the international expansion process is to understand the local government requirements for establishing a new business in the selected region. These local regulations will impact launch time and all additional aspects of business.
As Y2K fades into a distant memory we have a new technological problem on our hands – we are running out of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. IPv4 protocol addresses that is.
It is estimated that by 2012 we will have exhausted all the available IPv4 addresses. In fact, TMCnet predicts that “by the beginning of August 2010, there were only 6 percent of IPv4 addresses remaining.” IPv4 gave us 35 good years of addresses, but now we must look to a new protocol to keep up with the Internet's substantial growth.
The expected solution is the new IPv6 protocol, which will allow for substantially more IP addresses -- trillions upon trillions of new addresses. IPv6, however, is still in its infancy and is not yet widely deployed.
According to Cisco, there has been much security testing and development of mechanisms to secure the protocol. Many commercial security testing tools have been updated to support the IPv6 protocol; many others have it on their road maps. Various security concerns around IPv6 have already been identified, such as insecure neighbor discovery, tunneling, and auto-configuration.
Categorized under: Security
Believe it or not, flu season is right around the corner. If you remember, the 2009 flu season caused quite a stir with the H1N1 pandemic sweeping its way across the world. In the end, H1N1 claimed the lives of over 18,000 people worldwide and affected people in more than 214 countries (WHO).
Businesses across the world – including hedge funds – enacted pandemic response plans in an effort to keep their day-to-day operations running smoothly and without major disruptions due to staffing issues. And while no one expects a repeat of 2009 this flu season (particularly since the H1N1 vaccine will be readily available from the start), it is still essential for funds to have pandemic response and business continuity plans in place in the event of any type of disaster. We’ve outlined six key steps firms should take to ensure their businesses remain at peak performance during disastrous times.
At Eze Castle Integration we often reference data center tiers (i.e. Tier II and Tier III) in our written materials and assume readers will automatically understand the value of these distinctions. In some cases this might be a safe assumption, but you know what they say about assuming so we’ll do a refresher in this blog post.
Data center tiers – Tier I to IV – represent a standardized method to define the uptime of a data center. The tiers are useful in measuring:
• Data center performance
• Return on investment (ROI)
Categorized under: Cloud Computing