Arup Das Opalesque Industry Update - The earthquakes and nuclear disaster in Japan coupled with the unrest in the Middle East have caused hedge fund managers to take a closer look at their disaster recovery (DR) programs. According to Alphaserve Technologies, the IT provider to some of the world’s largest hedge funds, many managers will be shocked to find that not only are they several years behind the advanced approach used by the big banks, but are also paying up to 50% more for old legacy ‘managed disaster recovery’ technology and methods. As hedge funds rethink how they will respond in the face of disasters, Alphaserve points to the route taken by these large banks as being an effective solution.
The traditional hedge fund industry approach to DR, which experts term as ‘active/passive’, requires hedge fund managers to purchase or rent a whole second set of servers that sit idle in one of the traditional DR providers’ data centers until needed – which is almost never. This means that not only are many hedge funds wasting resources but also are writing huge checks to DR providers to house the underutilized servers in a facility that may be of lesser quality and higher cost than top-tier data centers. Moreover, in the event of an actual disaster, it may take as long as 3-5 hours to get the systems up and running again, requiring employees to connect to the alternative infrastructure and trust that the transition to the DR platform provides the same user experience.
“For years now, the big banks have realized the flaws in the ‘active/passive’ system and have implemented what we like to call an ‘active/active’ system. This system, which is basically just a robust, cost-effective infrastructure that is split over multiple locations, has no servers sitting idle and makes use of higher quality, lower cost, top-tier data centers,” said Arup Das, CEO and CTO of Alphaserve Technologies.
Mr. Das explains that, if the old active/passive model featured four working servers sitting in the fund’s offices and four idle servers sitting in the DR facility, the new active/active model instead utilizes only 2 active servers in each location.
Any two of these servers have enough excess capacity to take on all network functions if needed and are constantly copying information from the servers in the office to the servers in the data center. Should disaster or a power outage strike, the fund can be back up and running almost instantaneously. Employees of the hedge fund could then access the servers remotely from their homes or anywhere else with an internet connection rather than driving out to the physical location of the DR center. Using this system, funds can save upwards of 50% on operating, hardware, storage and maintenance costs.
“There is a widely held perception that switching DR providers is a tedious, long and costly ordeal. In truth, the relocation of hardware, migration of data and connection of remote infrastructure monitoring, management and analytics tools are all simple processes that can be completed in as little as a few days,” added Mr. Das “Every hedge fund is required to have DR, but that doesn’t mean every hedge fund should continue to use the same outdated and costly approach.”
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