Retail traders bemused as VPS suitability to MetaTrader is either too expensive or has no service

Today’s dialog between traders and research by FinanceFeeds shows that retail FX trading systems are not as cheap as they appear. We look into the cost of services by hosting providers that can affect trading.

There is no question that Jeff Bezos is a highly astute global business leader.

The leaps and bounds that Amazon, the company he founded in 1993 as an online bookstore, has made in not only keeping abreast with the massive developments and shift away from printed material to online marketplaces for all and sundry, but actually leading it, is remarkable to say the least.

Some 26 years after Amazon’s inauguration as a then revolutionary online book dealership, the company now finds itself as one of the world’s largest internet providers, and in our industry, its AWS (Amazon Web Services) division the provider of hosting and facilitation for many retail FX trading providers, regulatory reporting entities and, at the ‘business end’, trading servers and VPS solutions.

Yes indeed, MetaTrader is a legacy platform which was never designed to provide traders with access to a live market place. That facility has been the brainchild of specialist software development companies such as oneZero and Gold-i which have revolutionized the means by which retail traders who need the EA compatibility of MetaTrader, or whose brokerages don’t have the resources or wherewithal to develop their own trading systems, now approach live Tier 1 liquidity at very low cost and with highly efficient execution.

At the small to medium end of the retail sector, traders are becoming increasingly demanding of the quality of their infrastructure and today, a dialog between several traders has made its way onto the public domain, that being the cost of VPS provision by what is effectively a mainstream internet service provider.

One particular trader in the Asia Pacific region stated “There seem to be two obvious free options, Amazon AWS/EC2 free tier -t2.micro running Windows server(1GB RAM,35GB disk), or DigitalOcean with a free $100 credit but you use the recovery console to upload your preferred version of Windows. So far, toying with both, I prefer the EC2 package which is much faster to set up and despite only having 1GB RAM leaves about 350MB free memory with MetaTrader 4 running(but with only about 4.5GB of disk space left).”

Another trader stated “I’m using Microsoft Azure. You can create an EduMail, the instructions on how to do this are searchable in YouTube and after that is installed you get $100 Credit. I have 2 VCPU, 8GB Ram, 128GB SDD Premium and Windows Server 2019. With ICMarkets my execution is 1,20 MS and TickMill 3,10 MS. This is a good, cheap solution and you don’t need credit card, only 15 – 30 minutes to create the EduMail.”

Whilst this is no doubt an ingenious, cost effective means of lowering latency when executing trades, AWS is still somehow the self-elected default provider when it comes to VPS solutions for financial services in the retail sector.

AWS has gone one step further. Today, FinanceFeeds spoke to a senior technologist at a regulatory reporting company in London, who explained that “Many trade reporting companies use AWS Cloud for hosting, and have to do so because of the accessibility by authorities at a time when regulatory reporting for OTC products is very much about transparency, hence the de-facto standardization of cloud hosting provision.”

The issue posed for many retail traders is that AWS, as mentioned by a trader in Australia today when approached by FinanceFeeds, is either ineffective at its free level, or very expensive at its subscription level.

This was backed up by further dialog, in which a trader in England stated “The problem with AWS is when it’s free there is literally zero customer service. Some quick Google searches will show you some awful experiences with it. If you’re looking for a free VPS, just remember – you get what you pay for.”

FinanceFeeds researched this, and found that for free, there is a very small limit on what capacity can be hosted, and once at near maximum, everything slows down which is no good when trading live spot markets. The alternative is to then subscribe to the VPS hosting system, which is $499 per month – not an inconsiderable amount for a retail trader on a budget.

Many established retail brokerages now offer free VPS solutions with trading accounts, however there are very few dedicated VPS providers in our industry, one of which, Beeks Financial Cloud, has risen from relatively innocuous beginnings just a few years ago, to being a vast company that is participating in mergers and acquisitions. Last week, FinanceFeeds reported that Beeks Financial Cloud’s revenues for the first half of the 2019 financial year heralded a gross profit increase of 43% year on year during the six months to end-December 2018 to £1.7 million.

In our report, it was made clear that the metrics are overall quite robust, with group revenues up 36% year on year to £3.5 million (H1 2018: £2.57m), on the back of continued organic growth. Annualised Committed Monthly Recurring Revenues (ACMRR) increased by 26% to £7.45 million (H1 2018: £5.93m).

That is remarkable for an ancillary support business.

In short, the dependence on MetaTrader by smaller firms, and the compromise that results when traders use it, is perhaps absolutely indicative of the need for proprietary systems.

Mind how you go…..

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