The Cloud or Bust


If you’ve ever read Flash Boys by Michael Lewis you’ll know that information technology has forced massive changes on the investment industry. Here at Link, we are leveraging new technology advances to provide our clients and our internal teams with stable, secure, and snappy IT infrastructure.

In the past, managing physical IT infrastructure (servers, networking, firewalls, etc.) was a big headache for small companies. Special considerations had to be made in the server room for fire detection and suppression (liquid sprinklers are a no-no), a backup power supply, specialized climate and temperature control (prevent processors from overheating), storage device decommissioning (privacy concerns), and even which employees had access to the room(security). The required facilities, manpower, hardware and know-how added a significant management cost for the business. That cost would eventually have to be calculated in the product.

With the advent of hosting in the cloud, however, these special considerations can be managed by a ‘cloud provider’ – a company that specializes in managing all those concerns in a massive datacentre where they can essentially offer ‘bulk infrastructure hosting’. Competition in the ‘bulk infrastructure hosting’ corner of the IT industry has been fierce in the last couple of years. Link has decided to take advantage of this convergence of opportunity in this IT sector and host our infrastructure in the cloud significantly reducing management costs, which will lead to reduced fees.

In order to guarantee continuity and quality of service, we take advantage of:

Self-healing servers – We’ve instrumented our servers so their health is automatically monitored. If a server gets into an unhealthy state, it will automatically get rebooted. This will not result in loss of service to our clients, because we also take advantage of...

Geo-diverse load balancing– If a server is being rebooted or has been identified as unhealthy, our infrastructure automatically shifts any user requests to another identically configured server in a geographically different location. This also manages contingencies like power outages, hardware failures, and other force majeure events in a specific location/datacentre.

Looking forward to the future, we plan to take advantage of Cloud features like:
Auto-scaling – our infrastructure will automatically grow and/or shrink in size and capacity depending on demand for resources.

On-demand provisioning – we hope to automatically build out and delete servers based on demand. Since we pay for cloud resources by the hour, we can terminate resources we don’t need so we aren’t paying for infrastructure we aren’t using.

By: Perry Mackenzie
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