Blog Entries from 09/2012
If you've ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at our data centers, today is your lucky day! We've developed a little virtual tour to show you around our colocation facilities without your ever having to leave your desk.
Five a.m. on September 21, 2012. Do you remember where you were? (C’mon, it was only last week!)
For millions around the world, they were eagerly anticipating the new iPhone 5. Be it in line outside a store (like yours truly) or at their doorstep waiting for the UPS/FedEx drop-off (like those who plan ahead), over 2 million people anxiously waited for the next iPhone to hit the streets. And they didn't just do it because the Kool-Aid tastes good.
The iPhone 5 is bigger and faster. The screen is bigger, yet the entire phone weighs less - big perk. And its tech specs, for my fellow geeks out there, are faster across the board. Everything from the processor to memory to cellular connection is a step up. Pretty much the same phone we've all come to love but faster. No down side there!
When it comes to compliance, hedge funds and investment management firms have a lot to think about. Dodd-Frank, registration, Form PF, oh my! And these days they can add one more thing to their plates: social media.
Social media, in the mainstream, may be a tool for chatting, researching or staying up-to-date on current events. But for investment firms, social media can be a great marketing opportunity and a way to spread their message. It must also be closely monitored, though, particularly as regulators seek to address its prevalence with archiving requirements.
A History of Social Media in the Financial World
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs – one of the largest investment banks in the world – joined Twitter. It was a remarkable day, and with 132 characters (barely within the 140-character limit!), Goldman announced that it would be posting updates in the future about its work and its employees. You’re probably thinking “why so remarkable?” The reality is that the financial services industry has traditionally steered clear of social media, worried that it would only pose problems and concerned about bodies such as the SEC reacting in an unfavorable way.
A volatile economic environment, increased investor scrutiny and changing regulations have put the spotlight on organizational transparency and operational risk at investment firms. These factors, combined with the rising overhead costs inherent in owning, managing and monitoring a technology infrastructure and related services, have caused technology to take on a greater importance in recent years. It’s become a competitive differentiator and – with the explosive growth of cloud computing –a game-changer for funds’ operational strategies.
One major change we’re seeing within the industry is a trend toward outsourcing. In the past, we’ve discussed a number of outsourcing options, such as cloud computing, colocation, FIX connectivity and staffing. Today, let’s take a deeper dive into one aspect of outsourced staffing: leveraging a third-party help desk for day-to-day technology questions, systems management and troubleshooting.
Last week we explored what big data is and what its implications are on the hedge fund industry. Diving a little deeper, today we are looking at the storage considerations for the endlessly growing amounts of data with which companies must cope.
We create 2.5 quintillion(!) bytes of data every day, so not surprisingly, big data is breaking today’s storage infrastructure barriers and creating new challenges for companies. NetApp has pinpointed three areas where storage is faltering – complexity, speed and volume.
- Complexity. Data is no longer just about text and numbers; it's about real-time events and shared infrastructure. The information is now linked; it is high fidelity, and it consists of multiple data types. Applying normal algorithms for search, storage, and categorization is becoming much more complex and inefficient.
Cloud computing is without doubt a term most of us have already heard and read about. However, the boom of its characteristics - richer user experience, immediate response to user actions, and offline mode compared to web applications or programs installed in user devices or PCs - makes this platform very convenient and even a necessity.
Recently more software developers have gone beyond using the cloud just for business purposes to create more entertaining experiences, ensuring cloud services rule the personal lives of consumers too.
The Evolution of Consumption
In our daily business and leisure activities we utilize multiple devices to consume and produce data that go from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets. The main function of cloud services is to allow us to centralize and sync our content across those devices.
Consumer cloud apps provide functions that go over and above simple storage or sharing and do not need to be installed on a PC or smartphone. It offers the best of both worlds - applications for both personal and professional use.
The phrase ‘Big Data’ is the rising star of industry buzzwords, but what exactly does it mean? In this article we’ll aim to define big data and potentially more importantly, discuss the implications of big data on the hedge fund market.
Wikipedia defines big data as a “collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools.” As a result, the top software companies (i.e Oracle, Microsoft, HP) as well as financial application vendors are investing heavily in building systems to help companies harness the power of big data.
And big data just keeps getting bigger. According to IBM, each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data from everyday activities including social media, digital pictures and videos, online transactions, GPS signals and more. Highlighting the explosion of data, it is estimated that 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone.
We’ve talked about it a lot recently. Security, I mean. We’ve written countless articles (on everything from cloud security to network security) and even put together a fun video busting some common cloud security myths.
But we always have more to share, and that’s why we’ve dubbed September Hedge Fund Security Awareness Month – to bring you more content, reveal more expert advice and generate more education on the importance of keeping your business safe.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up during Security Awareness Month: