We live in challenging times where individuals and organizations are overwhelmed by the global health crisis, which has caused a sudden shift in the way we work and operate. On the economic side of the equation, the market is constantly changing. Companies are striving to achieve their financial goals in a world strickenby COVID-19. Moreover, businesses are trying to keep pace with the dynamic and ever-fluctuating digital market. Specifically, the public cloud market is expandingmore rapidly than ever before. Current projections indicate that public cloud is going to reach $623.3 billion worldwide by the year 2023. Further projections show an increase incloud market growth developing all through 2020 and beyond. Financial services, and hedge funds alike, are takingthe leap towards cloud adoption. Time has shown that traditional data centers failed to meet modern-day workloads and applications, both of which rely on powerful infrastructure, security and stability, functionality and seamless collaboration. In the public cloud vs private cloud debate, things are becoming interesting to say the least.
Public Cloud vs. Private CloudShowdown
Beginning with a high-level picture on this matter, some facets of private and public cloud services are quite different. Let’s have a look:
Lack of Access & Control
Flexible Utility Computing
Top Notch Security
Private Cloud Explained
As you wouldexpect, the private cloud entails a cloud service not shared with any other organization. When a business resorts to traditional private cloud hosting, the infrastructure, maintenance, and management of private cloud servers is assumed by that business.Such an environment is problematic for a lot of businesses, as it involves a substantial amount of pre-planning, understanding capacity needs way upfront and thinking of hardware and other services (broadband, cooling, electricity, and so on).
Public Cloud Explained
The workload responsibilities vary depending on whether the workload is hosted on Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), or in an on-premises datacenter.As you consider and evaluate public cloud services, it’s critical to understand the shared responsibility model, which defines tasks that are handled by the cloud provider and which tasks are handled by you. Within the public cloud environment, cloud service is offered to multiple customers by a high-level cloud provider. In a nutshell, public cloud services are shared between multiple tenants (users). You are given complete ownership to accommodate complex business demands.Lock down by tenant is a key feature here. Everything is accessible, and yet there’s no chance of other clients accessing or viewing the data. Public cloud denotes SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS services. Simply, everything stays within the public cloud service and runs on remote servers that are managed by the provider. Commonly, clients and customers of that provider gain quick and intuitive web access to everything they need. The additional benefit is having a seamless transition for users, thus emulating the feel and workflow of traditional drives. Public cloud services do not necessarily mean drastically lower costs right off the bat.Conversely, they are an efficient way of handling costs without worrying about how business needs will change further down the road. Server managementof SaaS and PaaS is not handled by internal teams; hencethe cloud provider does all the heavy lifting there. Essentially, internal teamscan focus on your core business.
Using the Cloud as Your Shield
Now that you understand the differences between public and private cloud, let’s talk about how public cloud combats the pain points of traditional, on-premise systems. To comprehend what traditional on-premise set ups entail, let's break it down to 3 principal disadvantages that can easily be countered via public cloud adoption:
Private Cloud Gives You High Vulnerability
Enterprises frequently have their production environments located within the organization’s office locations.Precious data or info becomes highly exposed to physical access via unauthorized users. Company data is increasingly open to insider threats.In fact, research indicates that in the past year or so approximately 68% of 437 IT professionals regarded their organizations to be moderately to extremely vulnerable to insider threats. So, potentially anybody who’s an enterprise employee might want to steal or compromise the data of your organization. All of these factors increase the chance of a security breach. Valuable business information and delicate data should be shielded from this.
Public Cloud Gives You Anonymity
Data storage that is not in an easily identifiable location is less likely to be compromised, stolen, or attacked. Also, major public cloud providers such as Microsoft and Amazon go to great lengths to protect their locations and servers with tight security others cannot match (everything from security cameras, to biometric ID checkpoints). Recent examples from certain locations have shown that Amazon and MS made significant investments into such endeavors to ensure an incredible level of efficiency and security.
Private Cloud Gives You Overpriced Long-term Commitment
Securing on-premise data storage and having high-level protection is a big deal. This traditional method is way past its sell-by date. It's time-consuming and expensive. Enterprises know exactly how complex their data management can get and how secure it needs to be.They no longer need to be beholden toinflexible system ownership. Historically, financial services and hedge funds puttheir data in the private cloud,and they get locked into one supplier. In other words, they end up tied to services and solutions without being able to shift to a different vendor. This has a massive, potentially negativelong-term impact on the business and workflow management.
Public Cloud Gives You Agility
We’ve already mentioned this, but to recap, companies can optimize services, have their costs managed, in addition to unlocking numerous features and more functionalities that transform financial business operations to a more granular, auditable workflow. You provision the services based on what business units are consuming it. Segment your data management according to the needs: trading team, tech team, dev team and other business units.
Private Cloud Gives You Limited Options, Limited Support
Poorinfrastructure is frequently the case with private cloud. For instance, traditional data centers often lack experienced teams of cybersecurity professionals to properly protect their on-premises data. This is one of the main reasons why on-premise cloud services are becoming less popular these days. But more importantly,utilizing private cloud services also involve storage capacity limitations. Less advanced technologies are employed, which usually have low capacity. Anotherdisadvantage is that privately held data is more difficult to access from remote locations, because of increased security measures.
Public Cloud Gives You Powerful Infrastructure
Relying on public cloud providers lets you feel more at ease because useful solutions and tooling are available straight away. Your business operations benefit immediately from virtually unlimited resources, the ability to rely on massive capacity for data storage, and easy transition for complex financial workloads. You can also access relevant data from anywhere, at any time. So, accessibility is far greater than in the private cloud environment. The customers’ and clients’ data stays secure at all costs within the public cloudbecause major cloud providers spend millions upon millions of dollars to keep it that way. Such a high-functioning system from cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon or Google requires hundreds of thousands of IT professionals all over the world.
Leveraging the Cloud for Financial Services
Financial services can easily handle intricate and robust workloads instantly on the public cloud. Application hosting, data managementand storage are all handled swiftly and from the get-go. What’s more, any weekly releases, SaaS-oriented QA testing, dev deployment is run in an up-to-date manner, where a single server scales to business and developer needs.The beauty of it is that business unit add-ons or shifts in strategy or management can be included along the way. The public cloud combined with the efficiency of expert-level managed services, are already regarded as the perfect tech-cocktail so to speak. This cocktail shows massive promise for larger capital firms in the near future as well as right now. For example, in the current global crisis, certain businesses experienced ROI simply by switching to the public cloud. Additionally, on March 29, 2020, Microsoft officials confirmed a 775% increase in demand for its cloud services in locations enforcing social distancing and stay-at-home isolation due to COVID-19.
[et_pb_section fb_built="1" admin_label="section" _builder_version="3.22"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" _builder_version="3.25" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.27.4" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"]With each passing month the world is learning how to fight and survive the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Challenged by this unprecedented phenomenon experts are trying to project exactly how it is going to shape the future of the global economy. Scientists and analytics are focusing on global and regional logistics to map the road ahead so that society can reboot itself. The digital market might be the one field of human endeavor that rises to the occasion and even goes beyond. While the IT sector first took a hit back in March 2020 when people started self-isolating, specific segments of the technology market are now thriving. IT decision makers are pouring their efforts into modern tech solutions to help companies establish remote work infrastructure all throughout April and May. The cloud market for one has become a shining example of streamlining complex enterprise workflows during these difficult times.
Cloud Market Growth During COVID-19
That's correct, the cloud market has seen significant growth during Q1 2020. Before we get into the specifics, let’s have a look at what big players are doing.
Microsoft appears to be in top form. Widespread isolation forced a vast majority of the global populace to work from home. Companies are now required to inject corporate-level efficiency into people’s homes. MS emerges with a vast range of helpful services and benefits from Microsoft Azure packages. In practice, the company’s communication platform, MS Teams, has seen a massive jump in usage. They are prioritizing cloud capacity in general, but beyond that are focusing on specific industries, primarily health organizations. “Top priority will be going to first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure organizational use, and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams,” said MS in an official blog post. Additionally, the popularity of Microsoft Azure continues to climb. At the moment, the service is the public cloud favorite among enterprises. It was pointed out that 77% of enterprises regard MS Azure as a vital component to their current operations. Also, Office 365 is being rebranded into Microsoft 365, with the suite promising to offer additional AI-driven features.
Amazon made other efforts. Its subdivision, Amazon Web Services, is directing a whopping $20 million towards scientists who are working on diagnostics and testing for the highly unpredictable corona virus. AWS is also the number 2. choice, with 33% of enterprises claiming it’s a critical addition to their business operations. Furthermore, the latest cloud market analysis has shown increased usage of Amazon’s cloud services, as the need for remote work climbs. Various AWS tooling proved helpful in the current situation, including:
Amazon WorkSpaces: the service is achieving record highs, as companies upscale their work-from-home efforts in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. AWS WorkSpaces marks an avg. daily spend during March ‘20 +155% Y/Y versus +57% vs. February ’20.
Amazon AppStream: Amazon is set to roll out 450 applications enabling students to study remotely in an easy-to-set-up manner.
AWS COVID-19 Data Lake: the cloud industry giant instituted a centralized repository of fresh an curated datasets and characteristics about the corona virus and associated illnesses.
IaaS and SaaS Stats
Current data and reports on the economy and global market aren't exactly painting a pretty picture. However, an increasing number of businesses are viewing cloud adoption as the perfect safe haven in an otherwise unstable financial climate. The latest statistics indicate that the cloud market is growing and hasn’t been devastated by COVID. Quite the opposite, in fact. IaaS/PaaS Cloud Infrastructure Services were dominated by MS, Amazon and Google. Also, the public cloud is taking center stage within the infrastructure, hardware and software realm. The steady growth has been noted during 2018, all through 2019, and in 2020. Last year, MS has seen steady growth in the utilization of its cloud services. Emphasizing enterprise-grade SaaS – Microsoft, Salesforce and Adobe are taking the lead, for cloud-based services. Recent data has also brought some staggering numbers to our attention. It appears that, as of February 5, 2020, $1 trillion market capitalization of the public cloud industry, marking a 45% growth rate. On the IaaS front, while AWS is in the lead, Microsoft Azure sports an impressive figure of 62% in annual growth. Conversely, enterprise SaaS vendor market share was also led by Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe, SAP, Oracle. Accumulated statistics and data all point to the rather obvious expansion of the cloud market.
Lessons Learned from COVID-19
There’s absolutely no doubt that the corona virus calamity is going to leave a major dent in the global economy. The devastating effects were felt in damn-near every corner of the world. When it comes to all the technology we’ve managed to create as a species, the cloud space is most certainly playing its part beautifully. The global population already experienced the biggest benefits of cloud market growth:
In closing, people are helping each other and reaching out to each other more than ever before. Companies and businesses continue to connect. The public cloud bridges the gap with limitless tooling, vast infrastructure scalability and functionality.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_cta title="Webinar - Security with Microsoft 365 Tools" button_text="Add to calendar" _builder_version="4.1" header_text_color="#000000" body_text_color="#ffffff" body_font_size="17px" background_image="https://hentsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Movavi-ScreenShot-018-Webinar_-Microsoft-Modern-Workplace-Boosting-Safety-and-Stability_-hentsu.jpg" custom_button="on" button_text_size="14px" button_icon="%%370%%" button_custom_margin="5px||||false|false" button_custom_padding="15px||15px||false|false" filter_saturate="109%" filter_brightness="88%" filter_contrast="132%" hover_enabled="0"]
Join our next installment of the Microsoft Modern Workplace Webinar Series focusing on Safety and Stability.
Event starts on Wednesday, May 6th at 10am EST / 3pm BST.
Hentsū have grown and expanded in 2019 and we continue to set the trend for 2020. Last year saw us bolster our support offering with the expansion of our Boston and Belgrade offices, as well as the opening of our new office in Bangkok, the first in Asia. The New Year is bringing more of the same growth trend as we are kicking off the expansion with a move to a new London Office!
We outgrew our previous office, so we are moving into a bigger and better space at the beginning of February! Our new offices are at 30 Crown Place and feature incredible views out onto the city with floor to ceiling windows that wrap around the office. We have upgraded our client meeting rooms and have more communal break-out spaces for employees with perfect cozy seating to enjoy those Monday morning 9am meetings.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://3bb4f13skpx244ooia2hci0q-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/1072.jpg" _builder_version="4.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.1"]The new offices are also located right next to the bustling Broadgate Circle and Exchange square, where you can find numerous restaurants, bars, and cafés, perfect for a quick lunch or an after-work tipple. It’s also a great location for access and commuting, right in the heart of the City, a short walk from Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Bank.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src="https://3bb4f13skpx244ooia2hci0q-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/reception-2.jpg" _builder_version="4.1"][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.1"]
This move is setting the tone for the rest of the year, as we are also in the middle of planning the office move for our expanding Bangkok team to bigger and better offices, and more additions in the pipeline for our London, New York, and Belgrade teams.
If you would like to be a part of our growth, check out our current job openings here!
Hentsū Achieves Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Competency Partner Certification
[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.22"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.25" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4"] Hentsū, the global leader in cloud services for asset managers, are proud to have achieved the Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Competency partner certification.In recognition of our experience and technical ability providing cloud solutions, Hentsū is now Cloud Platform Gold status in the Microsoft Partner Network, both in the UK and the US. This is less than 1 year since our Silver certification and compliments our Microsoft Tier 1 Cloud Services Provider status in both regions.Hentsū have been providing Microsoftcloud solutions since our inception in October 2015.The Microsoft Gold partner certification signifies that Hentsūhas achieved the highest level of Microsoftpartnership program status. Hentsū will continue to work closely with Microsoft to remain at the forefront of the latest cloud developments, products and services, as well as ongoing enablement and training.The Gold competency is a recognition of the outstanding skillsand expertise of our staff, which are the foundations of Hentsūcapabilities in financial services.This type of investment in training and certification is a hallmark of Hentsūas a technical solutions provider.Bringing value to our clientsThis important designation recognizes that our certified associates are at the leading edge of cloud knowledge and can offer clients the best technical guidance and solution execution. Collaborating with a Microsoft GoldCertified Partner means working with proven technical experts who have built up realexperience in the solutions they deploy.OurMicrosoft Certified Partner status has a wide range of technical benefits which includes access to cloud services and support.We are proud of the continued dedication of our staff and their hardwork which has enabled us to reach this prestige status. In order to achieve this certification, we had to fulfil extensive requirements, training, certification, and reference case studies. We are honoured to be considered amongst the best when it comes to cloud solutions and support.Our servicesSince our inception in 2015, Hentsū has been pioneering asset manager solutions across all three cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft and Google. We have been steadily growing our expertise and experience with each provider and the solutions we offer. Today we cater for all technology requirements – from the staple of collaboration and security using Microsoft 365, to the high-end data science and quant workloads. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" custom_margin="-35px||-2px" custom_padding="0px||0px"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_cta title="Talk to us about your public cloud strategy today" button_url="https://hentsuprod.wpengine.com/contact" url_new_window="on" button_text="Contact Us Today" _builder_version="3.16" button_text_size__hover_enabled="off" button_one_text_size__hover_enabled="off" button_two_text_size__hover_enabled="off" button_text_color__hover_enabled="off" button_one_text_color__hover_enabled="off" button_two_text_color__hover_enabled="off" button_border_width__hover_enabled="off" button_one_border_width__hover_enabled="off" button_two_border_width__hover_enabled="off" button_border_color__hover_enabled="off" button_one_border_color__hover_enabled="off" button_two_border_color__hover_enabled="off" button_border_radius__hover_enabled="off" button_one_border_radius__hover_enabled="off" button_two_border_radius__hover_enabled="off" button_letter_spacing__hover_enabled="off" button_one_letter_spacing__hover_enabled="off" button_two_letter_spacing__hover_enabled="off" button_bg_color__hover_enabled="off" button_one_bg_color__hover_enabled="off" button_two_bg_color__hover_enabled="off"] Need to improve how you run your hedge fund technology? Concerned with your legacy private cloud provider? Not getting the service you need? Hentsū can help! [/et_pb_cta][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
An established asset manager approached us with a research platform challenge. Their application brought together market data with their own research and opinions into one view to create and evaluate their strategies.
Their legacy implementation ran on several servers as a monolithic application, with a hand managed and complex infrastructure. The overall performance was poor, which is unacceptable in a trading research environment where timeliness, speed and accuracy are paramount. In addition, the ongoing cost of this setup was hard to justify.
The solution had to be able to process several data feeds reliably and merge with the in-house research data.
Security was paramount, with the highly sensitive trading research information held within the system.
The application had to be responsive, dynamic with auto-scaling and auto-healing capabilities.
After reviewing the challenges, Hentsū were able to create an elegant serverless solution in Azure leveraging the huge power and scale of the cloud, which is simply not possible in a private cloud. Where possible we used cloud native services for their low cost, breadth of features available, and ease of management.
Hentsū took the existing legacy application and broke it up into microservices. The code was entirely rewritten into a modern cloud native stack, separating real-time applications from batch processing to be able to handle these appropriately.
The platform has built-in multi-region resiliency across the Azure cloud and is also hugely auto-scalable based on workloads and user demand. Within the application there are health checks and integrated alerts, automated recovery and restarts if any service fails.
Utilising such a cloud native serverless solution allows us to obtain huge processing power when needed, and only pay for what was actually used.
The entire platform has been built as a serverless solution. The batch work now uses Azure Batch; scripts have been turned into Docker containers which are scheduled onto temporary machines used for the smallest amount of time necessary. This allows for simplified management, huge parallelism, and low cost.
The application servers are now hosted with Azure App Service to leverage the reliability and huge number of management tools available. Hentsū built out the data pipelines to move data from the large number of feeds into an Azure Cosmos DB. A managed database was used to take away the headaches of managing a database on a machine, such as patching or disk management, while getting access to features such as georedundant automatic backups and one-button scaling.
Hentsū also developed the API server that allows individual services to get access to the data, as well as a web app that the client interacts with to perform their data analysis.
Bitbucket and Bamboo are used as the CI/CD pipelines, which test and build the application and batch Docker containers and then deploy to the container registry, all automatically when the code is updated. This can be adapted to use any repository and build server products if needed, such as Azure DevOps.
Security is crucial, with all access to the application handled natively within Azure and integrated with Azure AD for a seamless and authentication experience with world-class security.
The Benefits of Azure App Service
Everything you need to secure and manage a web app is contained in Azure App Service:
The servers are created as Docker containers, making them easy to create, version, and deploy
Deployment tools such as blue/green deployments, split traffic, and slot dependent environment variables for minimal interruption in deployments
All authentication handled through Azure Active Directory. This leveraged Azure class security while simplifying the platform development as app security did not need to be included in the app itself
One button upgrading / downgrading of hardware, with a change taking around 2 minutes
Custom domain handling and TLS/SSL set up in a few button presses
Network security, such as restricting access by IP
The client was very pleased with the final product, particularly around the much lower cost and ease of administration. Additional iterations of the platform are already being seamlessly deployed, with the underlying infrastructure able to handle any amount of additional data or load from end users.
In these challenging times, Hentsu is determined to ensure the safety of employees, clients and our communities. Cloud technology is enabling us and our clients to adhere to the social distancing recommendations, whilst still powering the productivity and collaboration in the current remote working environment. We will continue to support our clients and others in the community as the COVID-19 situation evolves.