The Archaelus Fund


Background.  The Archaelus Fund is a hedge fund with approximately 500 million dollars in investments.  They have a total of five traders with three in London, two in Paris.  They specialize in international bond markets while frequently delving into precious metals and currencies.  Last year they made 11% on their money.

Their current computer systems are almost entirely Windows and Microsoft based.  They have 10Mbps Ethernet LANs in both the Paris and London offices.  All cabling is category 5 quality.  Their operations are relatively small, with a total of 7 people in the London office and 5 people in the Paris office.  All of these people have their own workstations on the network, though they have two extra workstations at each location for added flexibility.  Each location also has two high quality printers on their LAN.  Each location has a database server that is running SQL Server.  They treat the server as a purely internal web server and use ASPs through their browsers to interact with their databases.  At present, these servers do not have the capability to act as a web server on the internet.  Currently, they do not have any switches. 

Each location has the equivalent of an ISDN line that connects them to the Reuters real-time market data feeds.   Each location has a small SOHO router that brings in the real-time data and allows connections to the internet.  They barely make use of the internet.  As soon as they connected to the Reuters data in this fashion they noticed much of their computing slowed down.  Almost all of their computing is either 

  • on each computer 
  • on the LAN to make use of the database server
  • getting real-time data feeds
  • printing, particularly for monthly reports for investors

Currently, in order to transfer data between locations they must transfer it on CD.  Burning the CDs and over-nighting them to the other location isn't that expensive, they would just like to have more real time information that is shared between locations in order to keep track of things like open positions, closed positions and cash.

The remaining major computing issues can be summarized as

  • Reports are monthly to all investors 
  • Back office operations are all done in conjunction with the database server
  • Front office operations are largely done with reference to the real time data feeds and some historical data from the database server
  • Information storage and backup is currently done with writeable CDs on the network.  This process is largely automated.

The Future.  Archaelus sees their firm moving towards greater integration between sites to make sure they can always do things for the entire firm like make margin calls, not open contradictory positions, know their cash position, know their open positions and so on.

They have also decided to open an office in the New York City region in order to take more advantage of that area's expertise and markets.  They have been frustrated with the computer development capabilities they have found in France and England and want to contract with someone to oversee their computer operations and keep them primarily in NYC.  They intend on having just a four person shop in the NYC area with some extra computer equipment for development purposes.

They want to be able to give their investors monthly reports via the internet and open greater possibilities for interaction.

The Existing Network.  The daytime utilizations on the London SOHO router average around 0.83.   The daytime utilizations on the Paris SOHO router average around 0.79.  Unfortunately, each of these routers seems to crash for an hour or two about once every three days when in use.  The down times are what the traders consider to be the most debilitating to their operations.