Technology

Neil Smyth - StatPro Marketing and Technology Director

Neil Smyth, Marketing and Technology Director, StatPro

Technology is the strategy

StatPro believes only the right technology in partnership with industry knowledge and experience can deliver true value. This is why we dedicate so much of our time and resources to new technology and understanding how it can enhance our solutions and ultimately benefit our clients. The global investment management industry is changing at a rapid pace. New product innovation, market volatility, rising client expectations and an increasing regulatory environment are all placing huge demands on investment managers. The technology industry is used to rapid change, but in recent years this has gone into overdrive with an explosion in open source projects, maturing cloud computing solutions, new development technology methods and increased collaboration thanks to Web APIs and mobile platforms. It’s no wonder then, that new technology presents an enormous opportunity for asset managers, but how can you harness this while maintaining focus on your core business?

This is why it’s so important to work with the right technology partner and to fully understand the types of technology they are using to provide solutions to your business. This page is designed to explain some of the core technology platforms StatPro has invested in and why. We want to be open and transparent about our technology and our forward looking R&D, because we believe the technical delivery of a solution can set it apart from the competition when you’re measuring project success. We don’t believe in staying still, our thoughts echo the words of the great Wayne Gretzky “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”.

Uncovering the cloud computing ecosystem – public, private, IaaS and PaaS

Cloud computing means many things to many people. Scalable, secure and flexible Software as a Service is what we deliver to our clients, but to do this we use a wide array of cloud-based platforms and a healthy mix of commercial and open source software frameworks. At StatPro we have taken a hybrid approach and use multiple cloud platforms. In our private cloud, our trained and qualified engineers manage the on-premise systems across multiple data centres using best of breed solutions. In our cloud environments, we take advantage of both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and host our solutions. The diagram below shows the difference between on-premise (private cloud), IaaS and PaaS. Between these three cloud-based services, StatPro produces SaaS solutions for our clients.

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Inside our private cloud we use best of breed solutions to manage our environment. We use server virtualisation technology to create many virtual machines that run on a cluster of connected physical hosts providing CPU and memory resources. Our data storage platform is also network connected and shared, meaning we can create, expand and move virtual machines on the fly giving us maximum flexibility with our hardware.

NetApp, VMWare, Cisco

StatPro uses network connected storage and server virtualisation technology to provide maximum flexibility in our private cloud.

StatPro’s cloud-based IaaS platforms

StatPro is also utilising public cloud infrastructure in a number of innovative ways. The massive scalability of the public cloud enables us to access a much larger pool of CPU and memory resources in a much more cost effective way than using our own hardware platforms. One area where this helps is in the management of very large data sets and very large numbers of portfolios. Our new portfolio performance and data management module has been built in the Amazon Infrastructure as a Service cloud. This highly secure and scalable platform allows us to dynamically increase and decrease the number of servers we use, depending on the workload and stress on the system. We also take advantage of many Amazon services to ensure the platform is fault tolerant and available even in the event of a complete site disaster. We still manage the configuration of all services including the network and security design. Using open source frameworks such as Ruby on Rails gives us a powerful and flexible code platform to write our applications on.

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StatPro uses the Amazon public cloud for scalable IT infrastructure and Ruby on Rails for application development.

StatPro’s cloud-based PaaS platforms

StatPro is also working with Platform as a Service providers such as Microsoft Azure. In this environment we are further extracted from the management of the underlying hardware and also some of the operating system management. We can simply connect to services that provide exactly what we need when building and delivering software. One of these services is called HDInsight and is a new type of database system allowing StatPro to manage large volumes of unstructured data very quickly. This is helping us with our research into new ways for managing very large benchmarks and the challenge of advanced Fixed Income analysis and the data volumes involved. These cloud-based platforms help us design new systems that can cope with the demands of a modern global asset manager and the many portfolio products they manage and the analysis requirements they have.

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StatPro is also developing solutions in the Microsoft Azure cloud using Hadoop running on the HDInsight platform for scalable data processing.