With buy-side firms' business continuity plans facing increasing scrutiny from regulators, INDATA has introduced a turnkey disaster recovery (DR) service. In addition to helping buy-side firms back up their data, the new DR service provides firms with access to all their applications via the Internet, according to the vendor, a provider of trade order management, compliance, portfolio accounting and front-to-back office applications to more than 160 buy-side firms. INDATA expanded its Greenwich, Conn., data center in order to host the DR service, which already has gone live.
"Data backup and application backup are becoming increasingly important to our client base," says Dave Csiki, managing director at INDATA. In the event of a disaster or a failure, firms relying on the INDATA DR service will be able to resume operations within the same day or even within the same hour, according to Csiki.
The SEC is paying more attention to firms' disaster recovery plans, Csiki relates. "Certainly, DR is always an issue for a firm. You want to have plans in place, but that has escalated for regulatory purposes," he says. "If a firm backs up its data nightly to a remote office, that's really not good enough," he continues. "You have to back up all of your applications as well."
While there are large industry players, such as SunGard and Comdisco, with offerings in the disaster recovery space, these vendors' solutions tend to be expensive, Csiki contends.
Denise Valentine, senior analyst at Celent in New York, says, "It's a good plan for [INDATA's] own value proposition." But she argues that the application service provider (ASP) model offered by many software vendors provides similar application-backup capabilities. Valentine notes that Integrated Decision Systems (IDS), which was acquired by CheckFree, invested $8 million to generate an ASP, while Linedata has an ASP initiative for its LongView Trading OMS.
To offer the DR service, INDATA has architected its technology to run its system completely via the Web, according to Csiki. In the event of a critical failure, such as a building collapse, buy-side firms could access the DR system via any remote offices with Internet access, he explains.
If a buy-side firm is using INDATA's OMS, in addition to backing up data and applications, the software company backs up all the external connections that the OMS requires for trading, Csiki points out. "You're connected up to external sources, whether they have FIX networks or Omgeo or pricing providers," he says. "We're able to offer that in a hosted environment as a backup."
Csiki points to the connectivity as a major advantage of INDATA's DR service. When firms contract with other third-party disaster recovery services, they may get both data backup and hosted applications, but they likely do not get connectivity to all the external parties necessary to remain up and running, he claims.
However, "The competitive vendors in the category would say [INDATA] has no experience in running disaster recovery," Valentine cautions.
Still, Csiki contends, "There isn't a good solution for buy-side firms, and that's why INDATA is offering this solution. Currently, you have larger generalist providers and also the costs that go along with it." The cost of a full hot site for which a firm rents office space and has all of its services backed up can be $80,000 a year, he estimates. "It's cost-prohibitive for the buy side," Csiki says, noting that INDATA's solution is more cost-effective, though he declines to offer specific pricing. <<<
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