March 13th 2018 we kicked off a new event, "The Serverless Capital Markets Firm on AWS." Based on our work with Fintech, large banks, hedge funds and other ecosystem players, regardless of size, each of us sees the value in serverless technologies.
What is serverless? We were fortunate to have Chris Munns, Lead Developer Advocate at Amazon Web Services present. Chris first delivered a presentation on AWS Serverless offerings. And later in the afternoon, Chris was kind enough to demo the AWS Serverless Application Repository.
Tom Mullahy followed with a fifteen minute talk about his experience working for a hedge fund and his journey to the cloud.
I prepared a number of presentations for the event because you never really know what will resonate with a particular group on any particular day. One of the things I love about live in person events is the focus, energy, and diaglogue. In the course of a talk where I break down some of the opportunities, we went deep into big data topics. As Chris noted earlier in the day, data processing remains one of the most intensive use cases for serverless technology. Who would have thought? I introduce managed services such as AWS Glue, Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, Amazon Athena, and technology such as Amazon Redshift Spectrum, and talk about some of the most effective cost and performance strategies we find in the field.
One use case I discuss is how we applied serverless to the very common and critical use case of retrieving market data from third parties. For any firm in the financial services space, ingesting and publishing data remain two core activities. I describe how we designed a solution that applies Amazon Cloudwatch Events, AWS Step Functions, AWS Lambda, and Amazon S3 to automate such data processing. Further, we look at a hypothetical hedge fund data lake, where the market data set has grown to Petabyte scale and I discuss how in the AWS Data Lake model one of the least understood, but most powerful ways to save money is to select the most suitable data store for particular applications. While this often means storing data in different data stores, the performance and cost benefits are tremendous. Firms will save money migrating to storage such as S3, but firms will change their competitive standing in the market place to the extent they identify and choose the most suitable data store for a given use case.
Next, I demonstrated a project where Bronze Drum's team worked with Dan Raju at Tradier to create an Alexa skill that places a simple equity trade as well as retrieves customer account data. You can see it for yourself. I've run that demo so many times I shouldn't really look surprised when it works. But as you'll see in the video, I can't hide my delight. Bringing the voice interface to something like financial trading just makes me smile. Each time I do the demo I realize again how the world we live in is going to be very different in just a few years. Change is accelerating. Serverless is the technology that enables firms to keep up.
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