As cloud adoption in financial services evolves, companies are seeing benefits relating to greater agility, resilience and innovation. Migrating to the cloud isn't as simple as 'lifting and shifting' - it is about transforming the way markets are served. There are a whole host of challenges that go with operating that infrastructure behind it. In April 2021, Parameta Solutions, the flagship brand for TP ICAP’s data and analytics division, shared insight into how they leveraged CJC, a leading capital markets technology consulting firm to migrate their holistic market data universe to the Google Cloud Platform.
This case study covers the challenges of operating cloud infrastructure and the solutions to overcome them.
- Out-of-the-box Cloud Migration Expertise.
- Global Reach and Enhanced Technological Capabilities.
- Improved Cloud Features:
- Data Science.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Machine Learning.
- Real-time Market Data via FIX Protocol.
- ICAP SURFIX.
- OTC Data.
- FX, Money Markets and Derivatives.
- Google Cloud.
- Footprint Messaging Application.
- Google Cloud Deployment.
- Messaging middleware:
- FIX Protocol.
- Kubernetes Cluster.
- Cloud Tooling.
- ITSM Helpdesk.
- Real-Time Monitoring.
- Capacity Management.
- Change Management.
- Configuration Management.
- Incident Management.
- Service Reporting.
Migration of existing systems designed, built, and installed for physical servers and networking technologies is a key challenge of cloud adoption. Historically, these systems have been migrated from one type of physical technology to another, normally due to the requirement for faster technologies or improved operating systems. This essentially is a ‘lift and shift’ upgrade. The expertise and experience to provide this upgrade are frequently encountered and are normally a standard part of a firm’s IT support model. In contrast, cloud platforms require new skills and fundamentally different approaches to technology. Migrating to the cloud isn’t simply about 'lifting and shifting' - it’s about transforming the way that markets are served. Providing an endpoint and allowing clients to connect is one thing, but there are a whole host of challenges that go with operating that infrastructure behind it. Full management and scaling are the key differences. Cloud infrastructure is supported by the CJC team against a service-level agreement (SLA).
CJC’s Chief Technology Officer, Peter Williams, describes this aspect of the customer scope.
There must be a holistic approach to the operational support model, not just the development and implementation of new ways of delivering and subscribing to the data. Your team’s skills and processes need to be aligned with the way the technology is utilised. In order to implement new and forward-looking capabilities, having a traditional support function is of no value. Your team should be familiar with site reliability engineering (SRE) disciplines and automation processes.
The process of transferring data into the cloud is one thing, but there are various challenges associated with maintaining the infrastructure, providing support and managing the service levels. In order to provide a fully managed, supported, and scaled feed, we partnered with Google.
Parameta Solutions Market Data Universe
Parameta Solutions CIO, Roland Anderson, offers his perspective on the cloud and the data it contains, “we strive to meet customers where they are”.
The primary function of my role at Parameta is supporting all brands and businesses with data and post-trade technology. Within our firm, we have the ability to consolidate all our datasets, unified across all brands. The objective of this project is to unify our market data platform SURFIX - a single view of all our brands (Tullett Prebon, ICAP etc). Historically, you would have needed to connect to different parts of our operations to access this data.
The Solution - CJC Cloud Design
Rino Manzo, CJC’s Cloud Architect, discusses CJC’s approach to this problem.
Cloud-centricity was Parameta Solutions’ goal. CJC’s technology is largely based on the cloud. As a first step, we introduced Kubernetes and microservices. Blueprinting is then followed by deployment to Kubernetes and microservices. Later, the solution was integrated with Google’s cloud load balancer. We did not change, however, the standard FIX delivery mechanism that was familiar to the existing clients.
Google Pub/Sub implementation was a key addition, but it was an optional delivery option. Google data flow enabled this. The last feature we implemented was to allow end users optional integration with Google BigQuery. In addition, the new technologies and original modules of the CJC application worked seamlessly together. Customer choice and flexibility were key, as well as scalability and robustness provided by cloud services.
After deployment, the new Parameta Solutions SURFIX had a sizeable infrastructure. No matter how many clients connect, spin up and spin down as needed, the infrastructure will scale and be future-proof. Aside from this, the infrastructure paves the way for building new products, services and businesses.
“A major benefit of being in the cloud, specifically with Google, is the ability to capitalise on the global reach and enhanced technology of the company. In spite of being latency centric, we are not yet in the low-latency space. However, the hardware, and global fibre connectivity, make this a good place for Parameta. Parameta and Google are data-driven companies. Parameta’s data, including even voice, move around the firm rapidly and needs to be transformed, stored, and managed. We are integrating all of our electronic venues and proprietary market data to broaden the scope of what we are doing. To improve the business outcome, we must embrace the cloud technologies”.
Roland Anderson, CIO Data and Analytics, TPICAP/Parameta Solutions
CJC is the leading market data technology consultancy and service provider for global financial markets. CJC provides multi-award-winning consultancy, managed services, cloud solutions, observability, and professional commercial management services for mission-critical market data systems. CJC is ISO 27001 certified, enabling CJC’s partners the freedom to focus on their core business.