• Quick and reliable public cloud deployments using Terraform
  • Enables users to describe public cloud environments in code
OK, the secret is out (our CTO Alex gave a talk about it, you can watch it below). One of the reasons Hentsū can deploy environments so quickly and reliably is because of the tools we’ve selected.  We’ve been using HashiCorp Terraform to describe, deploy and maintain public cloud environments since the company was founded. So we were glad to see Microsoft recently announced a multi-year partnership with HashiCorp to enhance the Terraform Provider for Azure. This is great news for Terraform users, like Hentsū, who have already benefited from using the Infrastructure as Code method of provisioning.

What Exactly is Terraform?

Terraform enables us to describe public cloud environments in code (HashiCorp Language). Terraform can then compare a public cloud account to the code and create a plan of changes to bring the environment up to date. If the plan is acceptable it can then be applied by Terraform to create, update or delete infrastructure resources such as networks, routing tables, firewall rules and virtual machines. It does this rapidly with as much parallelisation as possible leading to a slick, reliable and iterative way of deploying and maintaining public cloud environments. Deploying additional environments (test, staging, production) becomes a copy & paste exercise, or we create reusable modules. Using a code versioning system, like Git, we can version control a public cloud environment and even rollback to a previous version if, for example, a firewall rule change didn’t have the desired result. Changes can be codified on a separate code branch, and a pull request and approval required to promote changes to the master branch. This makes for a robust change management workflow for business-critical production environments. The code commit history provides an audit trail of who changed what, and the commit notes describe why. Terraform requires administrative credentials to make changes to public cloud environments. Storing these securely is a challenge so we prefer to generate short lived credentials that are usable for maximum 1 hour. Also, as part of a release pipeline, a scheduler like Teamcity or Jenkins can apply approved changes on behalf of IT and development teams.

Hentsū and Terraform

Microsoft backing HashiCorp only confirms that using Terraform to provision resources on cloud platforms is becoming the standard way of deploying infrastructure. Hentsū has first-hand experience using the software to deploy infrastructure successfully for its clients.

How Hentsū can Help

Want to discuss using Terraform software to deploy onto the cloud? Contact us at: hello@hentsu.com

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY
  • Cloud connectivity: connecting transatlantic offices through the public cloud
  • Forgoes expensive purchasing of capacity on monthly basis
  • Offers flexibility in scale and highly cost-efficient
  • Hentsu used Azure backbone network to connect offices across the Atlantic, saving thousands a month for our client
It’s no secret that running a business across continents has its challenges. Now imagine having to connect two office networks, only with an ocean in between. Traditionally, purchasing capacity on submarine cables would have been the only way to connect the two, but thanks to the cloud connectivity with Azure, Hentsū has come up with a more cost-effective and flexible way of conquering the ocean in between.

Cloud Connectivity across an Ocean

As part of some of the public cloud infrastructure work Hentsū provided for one of our clients recently, we connected their London and New York offices without the use of leased transatlantic links. These services, which are usually used to connect networks in different locations, are expensive and often leased on a one or three-year basis. Depending on factors such as bandwidth, a transatlantic link can cost roughly £8000 a month. A big financial commitment for most firms. Instead, Hentsū’s experienced consultants were able to come up with a more cost-efficient solution to spending thousands of pounds a month on connecting offices through cloud connectivity.

How it Works

By exploiting the fact that public cloud providers already have high capacity and highly resilient connections between regional datacentres, Hentsū connected the two offices through the public cloud provider’s own international backbone network. Essentially, Hentsū could reuse the link between the customer’s UK and US public cloud data centres, in order to create a wider area network (WAN) between the New York office and London offices. Once an office is connected to a local public cloud network point of presence, or site-to-site VPNs over internet, clients can reuse the public cloud provider’s backbone network to connect offices. While it’s possible to build a route between offices via the public internet, Hentsū connected the client’s offices through Microsoft Azure’s backbone network, as demonstrated in the below diagram. Azure’s VPN gateway service supports transit routing, and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) enabled gateways will automatically learn routes to other sites via Azure. Although Microsoft ExpressRoute doesn’t natively support transit routing and will drop packets not destined for a vNet on Azure, it’s possible to build “transit VPNs” to a network appliance on Azure and tunnel traffic across ExpressRoute, known as an overlay network. As demonstrated in the diagram below.   The benefits of an ExpressRoute Premium are that it can be metered (pay for what you use) or unmetered (fixed cost of unlimited usage). Not only is this cheaper than buying capacity on a transatlantic link, but it also offers flexibility as to when and where the link is no longer needed. Overall, this is another great example of yet another service the public cloud is able to offer to users.

How Hentsu can help

Want to know more about cloud connectivity and Azure? Come talk to us… You can contact us at: hello@hentsu.com    

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY

What is MiFID?

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is the European Union framework legislation for financial instruments and their organised training. Whilst it has been in place since 2007, new revisions are being made vis-a-vis the financial crisis and the need to protect and strengthen financial markets and investors. These revisions, known as MiFID II will be enforced from the 3rd of January 2018, but with almost every financial organisation initiating a change control freeze during December, the go-live date will effectively be the 30th November 2017.

Who is Impacted?

All financial services firms undertaking business within the European Economic Area will have to comply with the MiFID requirements. This means many firms are facing hundreds of pages of documentation that set the terms of the legislation. The effects the new legislation will have are far reaching. They will impact the ways in which they operate and function, effecting everything from trading, transaction reporting, client services, IT and even HR systems. Asset Managers and small Broker-Dealers have regulatory requirements to compliantly collect, store, and produce firm books and records. Firms have additional regulatory responsibilities to monitor electronic communications and trades for potential violations. Today, Asset Managers and small Broker-Dealers need to spend almost $1mm / year on infrastructure, software, and resources to remain compliant with regulatory requirements – often enlisting multiple vendors to form a complete solution.

Use Hentsū to Help Meet the MiFID II Requirements

The hundreds of pages of documentation cover a number of topic areas, and without the proper knowledge and insight, navigating the never-ending legislation can be time consuming. Hentsū has invested time and expert knowledge in understanding and mastering the requirements asked by MiFID II. This has culminated in the Hentsū Regulatory eCosystem, the first solution on the market, which enables financial firms to meet the end-to-end requirements of the upcoming MiFID II regulation through our suite of best of breed compliance and regulatory technologies. Hentsū offers a one-stop subscription to the top artificial intelligence consultants and solutions on the market, to help firms efficiently monitor and capture risks in trades and communications. The Regulatory eCosystem includes:

Record Keeping

Amongst the requirements being enforced in the new legislations, firms must capture records, in context, across multiple communications and collaboration channels from all approved devices. Hentsū helps clients manage retention policies governing all forms of communication, as well as the creation and management of granular policies across specific users, groups, business units, and geographic market units.

Voice Analytics

Records must include the recording of telephone conversations or electronic communications relating to, at a minimum, transactions concluded when dealing on own account and the provision of client order services that relate to the reception, transmission and execution of client orders. Through the Hentsū suite of best of breed technologies, we help you retain good quality recordings of voice conversations so regulatory markets can identify and protect investors from potentially inappropriate behaviour.

Trade Reconstruction

MiFID II that firms gather together all communications related to a trade upon the request of a regulator. Firms must be able to supply regulators with communications associated with a specific trade. Trade reconstructions must include structured records as well as relevant unstructured records as they pertain to a trade.
The Hentsū Regulatory eCosystem helps capture and index all forms of structured and unstructured content, ensuring that trade data can be analysed in conjunction with communications information.

Surveillance

Firms must establish supervisory policies and procedures to ensure that managers, employees, agents, and outsourced regulatory markets comply with the directive. The Hentsū solution, allows monitoring for business, conduct, and market risks.

Compliant Storage

Firms must make records available to clients for five years and for up to seven years for regulators. Records must be maintained in a durable medium that cannot be altered or deleted but must be searchable and readily available upon request. The Hentsū platform enables safe and secure content storage that adhere to these standards, including SEC 17a-4.  It also ensures retention of information for the required seven-year retention period.

Consulting, Integration, and Expertise

The eCosystem offers access to the top regulatory and technical expertise for industry advice, best practices, and helps enable compliant management and configuration of systems and monitoring programs.

What Next?

The relative ease and functionality of the Hentsū Regulatory eCosystem is a huge relief for clients looking to meet the strict deadline and fully ensure compliance with the new legislation. Instead of swamping through hundreds of pages of regulations, firms now have the option to trust that their compliance is being handled by capable experts and consultants. Download your grab-and-go guide to meeting the MiFID II requirements here. We would love to hear about your challenges around MiFID II and where we can help! Email us at: hello@Hentsū.com

Date/Time

Date(s) - 01/01/1970
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Location

600 5th ave. NY, NY