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Why Hedge Funds are Hosting Applications in the Cloud

By Kulvinder Gill | Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

In last week's article, The Cloud Trifecta: Scalability, Cost and Efficiency, we looked at the top three winning reasons hedge funds are gravitating towards the cloud. In today’s article, we will examine further why firms are outsourcing the IT management of their applications to third-party cloud providers and the questions you should be asking. As validation of this trend, leading application vendors including Advent, ConvergEx, Tradar and Ledgex Systems have introduced efforts to certify third-party hosting providers.

First up, hosted applications for hedge funds:

Why Funds Are Moving

Following are some of the key reasons hedge funds are considering using the cloud for application hosting.

  • Enterprise-grade Infrastructure: Cloud provider delivers a resilient and robust infrastructure that includes best practices around N+1 configurations to ensure the application is highly available.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: By hosting an application with a cloud provider, hedge funds can reduce costs and minimize capital expenditure outlays on new equipment. Ongoing maintenance, monitoring and upgrades are all handled by the provider and should be included in the monthly cost.

  • Scalability: A hosted platform can provide virtually unlimited computing resources, a redundant infrastructure and easy expandability to support a firm's needs. In many cases, allocation of CPU, memory, storage resources and Internet bandwidth can be increased on-the-fly.

  • Management: The cloud provider is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the platform to ensure Service Level Agreements are met.

Questioning a Cloud Provider

Asking the right questions is essential to vendor evaluation. Here are some of the must-ask questions when considering moving your application to a cloud provider:

  • Which application vendors have systems operating in the cloud?

  • Does the application vendor confirm their product works in a hosted environment?

  • Are there any issues associated with virtualizing the applications?

  • How is the application deployed? Does the software run native over the Internet, or does it require a delivery mechanism such as Citrix?

  • Are there any limitations with this type of deployment? Are there certain pieces of functionality that will not work if remotely deployed? Are there display limitations?

  • How many clients for the specific application have a hosted implementation?

  • What certification levels does the cloud provider have with these application vendors?

  • Will the application vendor help with a “proof of concept”?

  • Will there be any changes to the level of service if the application is deployed in a hosted environment?

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