Head of IT Operation
I studied in Kazakhstan and was lucky enough to get myself a trainee position in New York with a local telecommunications company, which was an extremely valuable experience that has helped me a great deal in my professional career. Before I joined the AIX, I was in charge of upgrading and supporting the egov.kz website, which I think we’ve all used at one time or another.
My first job at the AIX was as a technical support consultant. I joined the team because I was really excited by the prospect of working with Nasdaq and its trading platform, and also because I admire the American management style and how they implement new technology and projects. The deal-maker, I suppose, was that the project was finance-related, which is the area I’d always wanted to get involved in.
I think that the most important decision AIX senior management has ever taken was to transition the exchange to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud system. Historically, exchanges and other financial institutions have always tended to be quite conservative with two or three linked data centres across different locations. This sort of approach made moving data centres in the event of an emergency to a new location a long and expensive process, often slowing down or sometimes even bringing operations to a complete halt, and creating huge financial and reputation issues. This is why exchanges across the world have been keen to transition to cloud systems and operate in so-called hybrid mode. I think that AIX is currently, if not the only one, then probably one of only a few exchanges across the world fully operating using cloud technology, and that includes the Nasdaq trading engine. That makes us pioneers in our field. You can read about us on the Nasdaq and AWS sites.
Now that we have cloud server capacity, we can collapse it and move it to another location, whether it be New York, Paris or Shanghai, within half an hour, without impacting exchange operations at all. Cloud technology also allows you to change provider easily as well as location. For example, Google, Microsoft and others all offer the same services as AWS.
As a start-up, we are still developing and growing, and forever looking for new capacity, which if we were to buy it, like we used to, we’d have to spend so much time looking for contractors, analysing commercial proposals, signing contracts and so on. In the time it takes to complete that process, the project might no longer be valid. Cloud technology allows us to complete the process in a matter of minutes: if we need to create a project – we bring the server up, if need to close it – we close the server down. Cloud technology also allows us to save money and streamline processes. And another thing, AWS cloud technology not only covers virtual services, but also promotes high security standards, which are a key requirement of any exchange.
I enjoy the friendly and relaxed atmosphere at the AIX, and that we all treat each other as equals. I don’t think you’d ever see the chairman of the board walking into your office to say hello and ask how things are going in a normal Kazakhstan company. In AIX, it’s par for the course.