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Interview with Barry Bahrami from Commercial Network Services

December 21, 2018 by

Barry Bahrami - CEO of Commercial Network Services VPSCommercial Network Services (CNS) is one of the oldest and most dedicated VPS providers when it comes to offering services specialized on trading platform hosting. In this field, traders’ trust in the company’s competence is usually built on its reputation. Getting to know the people and ideas behind your VPS hosting provider is another way to assess its level of expertise. That is why I have asked Barry Bahrami, the founder and CEO of Commercial Network Services, to answer some questions for this blog’s readers. Mr. Bahrami kindly accepted my offer to interview him about CNS and the industry of providing VPS for traders.

Why did you decide to specialize in providing VPS services for traders? How big is the share of clients with a trader VPS plan among your customers nowadays?

Around 10 years ago we started receiving new clients who were FX traders coming to us for our strong uptime. As that client base grew we shifted our focus to better accommodate them. For example, our maintenance window went from Wednesday night to Saturday night. Support response went from an hour to mere minutes. And that brought more traders, which lead to more specialized services, x-connects and apps, etc… Today, algorithmic traders make up 90%+ of our client base.

Which datacenters – European or US – are more popular among traders nowadays when there are not so many US Forex brokers left?

Our NY datacenter is still the most popular. Most brokers are hosted in the NY/NJ region, even if they are not a “US” broker. Their equipment is still there and so that’s where we are. Our UK datacenter comes in a strong second.

Our Los Angeles datacenter still has a lot of legacy customers, which we may move to NY in 2019 and then close the LA DC. That is likely to precede opening a new datacenter in Asia second half of 2019.

How can a trader make sure that the VPS he uses is secure from hackers and from malicious actors inside the hosting company? There is no doubt that traders care a lot for their account balance safety and also worry about protection of their intellectual property – expert advisors, indicators, trade history, and so on.

Excellent question and one I wish more traders would think about. First, install two-factor authentication! In all the years we have offered 2FA, I have yet to see a 2FA protected VM hacked. It blows my mind we are still the only provider to offer it, let alone include it free.

Most hacked VM’s start in two places, the subscribers PC is hacked and that compromises the VM login and also installing compromised software in the VM, opening a back door for hackers to login. But even a hacker with a stolen password can’t get past 2FA. Install it!

I’ve never heard of an established hosting company stealing intellectual property from a subscriber’s server. And that’s not just FX hosting either. Any company that facilitates this type of behavior simply won’t be in business for long.

Here at CNS, we setup a special user “CNS” in each VM with a very strong unique password. This account is only used when the subscriber requests support and also by our automated systems to check on the health of the VM. We may also use the account to check the VM if we suspect abuse or something bad going on requiring urgent attention. Subscribers are free to disable the account, but that also means our staff will be very limited in how they can help you when you need it the most.

Do you have any data on the popularity of trading software used by your customers?

MetaTrader is still #1. Followed by Ninja Trader and others.

How often does your support service have to deal questions about trading rather than about technical problems?

While we will answer the trading questions not specific to a trading pair or situation, we do not offer trading advice. We encourage subscribers to submit those questions to the broker and/or their EA publisher, etc.

Do you see much competition in MetaQuotes Virtual Hosting or similar alternatives to traditional VPS hosting for traders?

When I first heard about it, I was a bit concerned but as it turns out MetaQuotes Virtual Hosting is not really competition. It’s very limited in what you can do and the latency is often ridiculous. We see a lot of new customers switching to CNS from the MetaQuotes service.

Do you plan to introduce any interesting trading related services to your VPS customers in the near future?

Current CNS subscribers are always the first to get sneak peeks.

We also have a new feature coming to our bundling brokers in the very near future that will help make it more automatic.

Stay tuned.

Did the GDPR had any significant effect on how you do business with the European Forex traders? Did you have to make any major changes to your software in order to comply with the regulation?

Not really. Our databases are already encrypted and not on the public Internet. Our privacy policy already spells out how we handle data. We did have to make minor changes to our email broadcasting system.

What is your view on the net neutrality principle and how it affects hosting VPS for traders?

I have been a strong advocate for Net Neutrality since day #1, simply because of the bad behavior of US ISP’s. In fact, it was this company that filed the first Net Neutrality complaint against a US broadband provider under the Obama Net Neutrality rules.

In the end, Net Neutrality will only affect how traders experience their remote platform. It won’t affect how their platform communicates with the broker since we have direct connections to most of them anyway. That being said, the nature of the remote desktop is such that even on a GateKeeper ISP, they are unlikely to notice any meaningful difference.

How do you weigh the chances of the tightening retail financial regulation around the world coming to the trading VPS space? Is it something we might witness in the near future?

I don’t see how. VPS hosting is still hosting. Traders tend to have a lot of ingenuity too. Give them a burdening regulation and they will find a way to make it work anyway.

What’s the one most useful advice you could give to a trader looking into an opportunity of starting to use a VPS?

These days many brokers will pay for your CNS VPS. So why should you pay for it? Use a reputable broker that is a member of our VPS Bundling program. Start with a demo account until you are comfortable with the nature of the remote desktop environment. And keep our emergency telephone and SMS contact information stored in your phone, just in case. And above all else, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our staff is there to help you.

If you liked this interview with the CEO of Commercial Network Services or if you have some comments or any ideas for the future interviews, please post them in the commentaries or via our website’s contact form.

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