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Less is more

F.Y. Teng | April 16, 2012
Insights of the CTO of HK-based global trading house 8 Securities on the value of the cloud.

Which other providers did you consider before deciding to run with AWS, and how were they evaluated?
We have been using AWS since 2009. The first iteration of the product was an FX trading dashboard running in the cloud. It was developed in java and running on Linux. At some point during our development cycle we migrated to .Net and Windows. We were still able to run our application in AWS. As I mentioned before, the ability to pivot and change our mind without being penalised is fundamental to what we do. The fact that AWS offers competitive pricing, no lock-in, ongoing innovation of their product, a stable and mature product means we have been happy customers of AWS for the past three years.

However, we did evaluate Microsoft Azure about a year ago. We found the experience much less straight forward than with AWS and didn't feel the product was mature enough for what we were trying to achieve.

Why did you opt for AWS?
We tried alternative providers before but found that AWS offered the most robust platform with well-developed services that were stable, flexible, extensive and fairly priced.

We are impressed with Amazon's strategic commitment to cloud computing and its innovation pace in rolling out new or enhanced services which we can easily use to develop our apps and to implement our services very quickly. This has actually saved us a lot of time and resources, allowing us to focus on our customer offerings.

Security-related certifications are important considerations for financial trading services too. AWS has also achieved industry certifications related to security such as SOC 1 Type II audits, ISO 27001 and PCI-DSS Level 1, which give us a lot of confidence.

In addition, there are direct and indirect benefits using AWS cloud platform for the deployment of our trading portal:-

* No upfront capital cost and the ability to contract any time-that means it is cash flow friendly for a startup.

* We derived 82 percent savings in the initial stages of the start-up versus on-premise deployment.

* We saw 60 percent savings for our market launch stage versus on-premise deployment.

* AWS has reduced the infrastructure risks of downtime.

* Our IT resources are now focusing on generating direct value to the business through product enhancement. We are no longer spending time on provisioning, commissioning and supporting hardware.

* We are able to respond to market conditions without over-provisioning.

* We are able to correlate infrastructure cost to business initiatives and revenues.

* The agile provisioning of AWS resources allows us peace of mind in specifying the capacity and resources required for a project. It means less time spent on worrying and planning what infrastructure will be required for the next three years.


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