Determining Your Storage Design Requirements
Whether you are launching a new hedge fund, looking to optimize your existing fund operations, or simply evaluating your current technology environment, storage options are something you’ll want to take a close look at. Whether it is a traditional server-based storage solution, a virtualized solution utilizing the Cloud, or another product, you’ll want to cover your bases.
We’ve outlined six key considerations for selecting the right storage design for your hedge fund:
First and foremost, you’ll need to understand your storage capacity requirements in order to determine what the best solution is for your hedge fund. Will a particular storage design enable you to reduce your capacity requirements? Will it increase them? If you’re an established fund, consider your current storage requirements, as well as how they may evolve in the near future. You want a solution that will scale with your firm.
You should also consider the flexibility and scalability of your solution as it applies to performance. Are there any limitations to your storage hardware? If you’re considering a Storage Area Network (SAN), compare its capabilities to that of your current performance requirements with disk systems in your servers. Consider what the collective performance might be if you use both as a multi-tooled solution.
In terms of support, take a closer look at the manufacturer of the product you’re looking to purchase. Do they offer 24x7x365 help desk or maintenance support? What is the lead time for parts replacement? Are they a financially viable company that will be around in five or 10 years to continue providing you with their products? Or perhaps they are an acquisition target. If that company is bought out, your product may disappear.
Are you also considering a business partnership with a service provider who can offer enhanced services and support for the system you are considering? Is your integrator certified to support this manufactured product? These are important questions to think about.
Like with capacity, you’ll need to evaluate your fund’s functionality requirements and compare them to those offered by the various products you may be considering. What are your must-have features and functionalities? Do you want the ability to have snapshots of your data? Some products may not come standard with this function.
In addition to your must-haves, what are your nice-to-haves? Are there specific applications you’ll need support for? Ask your service provider if they integrate any services or functionalities to meet your business needs. Hopefully they can identify any requirement gaps and fill those voids.
Is the system you are considering highly available? Does it allow for fault tolerance? What RAID level is offered? You’ll also want to be sure that the storage platform you select supports whatever replication methods you need to support your RPO requirements. Your vendor should put in writing what their uptime availability percentage is.
Ultimately, many of your storage considerations may come down to your technology budget. Consider both your upfront costs as well as those for ongoing maintenance, upgrades and product support. You also have the option of leasing equipment or renting capacity in a Cloud environment, if purchasing hardware is not part of the IT budget. Just remember: if you cut corners up front, it could end up costing you more money in the long run. As always, keep in mind how your business may scale in the future to ensure you don’t outgrow your solution.
What storage solutions are your firm considering in 2011? Are you sticking with traditional server-based models, or are you moving your data to the Cloud?
For more information on storage solutions for your fund: