February 14, 2011
I’ve long said that Cloud Computing will see us enter a paradigm where computing is considered a utility – much like water and electricity. If you accept this contention, then there is one reasonably glaring lack in he ecosystem,especially for large utilities who sell their service at an incremental rate. That is the ability to quit excess capacity. Utility models are, after all, a boon to consumer who are able to buy and consume service as they require it, but the flip side of all his for the utilities themselves is that they end up investing billions of dollars in large scale infrastructure which may go unused.
So how to solve this conundrum? With a spot market that works as a clearing house for all that unused computing resource. This is where SpotCloud comes in – SpotCloud was set up as a clearing house to simplify the transaction between multiple parties in order to clear excess computing – their proposition offers benefits to both parties;
Consumers are able to find resource from multiple providers, select the type and price that suites their needs all from one place. They can also acquire resource from multiple parties via one billing arrangement
Utilities are able to quit excess resource without having to worry about marketing or selling. Utilities can use SpotCloud’s own packaging tools to list their service.
Bear in mind this is a low cost marketplace – as such it’s not for consumers wishing to define the service they receive to the nth degree – there are no SLAs, no support and no guarantees and buyers must have a credit balance in order to consume (much like a prepaid mobile phone).
The great thing about this initiative is that anyone with a spare 500GB of storage, 20 cores, decent connectivity and the ability to spin up Linux and Windows based VMs can play here – and this includes private data centers with excess capacity. Sellers also remain opaque – ie consumers on the platform have no knowledge of which individual provider they’re consuming from – this ensures that utilities don’t cannibalize their own existing sales. SpotCloud supports both the Enomaly (the parent company behind SpotCloud) ECP IaaS and VMware. The bonus by using ECP is that Enomaly offers this for free – so for situations where a traditional data center has excess capacity, they can simply bolt on Enomaly and start selling to the spot market – with no setup cost.
Interestingly SpotCloud can also be used as a platform for the private interchange of capacity between multiple infrastructure providers – I’d envisage situation where large corporates set up their own exchanges to quit (and acquire) excess capacity.
SpotCloud has a variable commission model, however they guarantee that sellers will receive at least 70% of each transaction through the platform.
A cloud clearing house has been tried before, notably by Zimory. However the marketplace is much more mature now and with virtualization being far more common than even a few years ago, SpotCloud has a better chancing of gaining traction. SpotCloud is claiming that it has 10,000 physical servers on the platform – from providers across the globe.