SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Brokering Cloud Computing as a Commodity

Although the concept may have been fairly well thought out, it was way too early

I seem to keep coming back to the same question when discussing Cloud Computing. Can cloud computing be treated as a commodity that could be brokered and or exchanged? Recently a few have attempted to do this, notably a German firm called Zimory.

To give you a little background, before the development of the Enomaly ECP platform. I had the grand idea to create what I described as "Distributed Exchange (DX)" (circa 2004 - I've put the site online temporarily for demo purposes). This was actually one of the original motivations for the creation of the original ECP platform (aka Enomalism) The idea of DX was to create a platform and marketplace which would allow companies to buy and sell excess computing capacity similar to that of a commodities /exchange marketplace. Think Google Adwords & Adsense for compute capacity.

I actually put quite a bit of thought into the whole concept. Generally the concept was to use a commodity-based approach to manage computational resources for consumers in a peer-to-peer style computing grid. In turn buyers and sellers would have access to an electronic trading environment where they could bid for unused compute cycles from a Google Adwords style web interface. Consumers could bid on computing power while Computing Capacity providers offer cost-effective computational capacity on demand, thus creating a competitive computing marketplace.

Although the concept may have been fairly well thought out, it was way too early. For one thing, there was no demand for the service, and the second problem was compute capacity wasn't and still isn't an actual commodity which can be supplied without qualitative differentiation across the greater cloud computing market. Basically there is no basis for an apples to apples comparison.

Wikipedia describes a commodity

as "a product that is the same no matter who produces it, such as petroleum, notebook paper, or milk. In other words, copper is copper. The price of copper is universal, and fluctuates daily based on global supply and demand. Stereos, on the other hand, have many levels of quality. And, the better a stereo is [perceived to be], the more it will cost."

Another major limiting factor for treating cloud capacity as a commodity is that there are no standards for cloud capacity and therefore there is no effective way for users to compare it among cloud providers. With out this standardization there is no way to determine optimal cloud capacity requirements for particular application demands and thus determine the optimal price & costing. In order to overcome this, I believe a Standardized Cloud Performance Measurement and Rating System (SCPM) will need to be created which would form a basis of measurement through an aggregate performance benchmark.

As an example a cloud provider may want to use some aggregate performance metrics as a basis of comparing themselves to other providers. For example, Cloud A (High End) has 1,000 servers and fibre channel, Provider B (Commodity) has 50,000 servers but uses direct attached storage. Both are useful but for different reasons. If I want performance I pick Cloud A, if I want massive scale I pick Cloud B. Think of it like the food guide on back of your cereal box. This may provide the basis for determine the value and therefore a cost for the cloud capacity.

This has been one of the motivations behind the creation of an open standard for cloud computing capacity called the Universal Compute Unit (UcU) and it's inverse Universal Compute Cycle (UCC). An open standard unit of measurement (with benchmarking tools) which would allow providers, enablers and consumers to be able to easily, quickly and efficiently access auditable compute capacity with the knowledge that 1 UcU is the same regardless of the cloud provider. (See my previous posts on the subject)

I also believe that the creation of cloud exchanges & brokerage services has less to do with the technology and more to do with the concept of trust and accountability. If I'm going to buy a certain amount of regional cloud capacity ahead of time for my Christmas rush. I want to rest assured that the capacity will be actually available with an agreed upon quality and service level. I also need to be assured that the exchange is financially stable / adequately capitalized and will remain in business for the foreseeable future.

I've never been a particularly big fan of regulation, but given the potential for fraud some oversight may be required to assure a fair and balanced playing field. If we truly want to enable a cloud computing exchange / marketplace another option might be to build upon existing exchange platforms with a proven history. A platform with an existing level of trust, governance and compliance.

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

Latest Stories
Moroccanoil®, the global leader in oil-infused beauty, is thrilled to announce the NEW Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, a collection of dual-benefit hair masks that deposit pure pigments while providing the treatment benefits of a deep conditioning mask. The collection consists of seven curated shades for commitment-free, beautifully-colored hair that looks and feels healthy.
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
We all love the many benefits of natural plant oils, used as a deap treatment before shampooing, at home or at the beach, but is there an all-in-one solution for everyday intensive nutrition and modern styling?I am passionate about the benefits of natural extracts with tried-and-tested results, which I have used to develop my own brand (lemon for its acid ph, wheat germ for its fortifying action…). I wanted a product which combined caring and styling effects, and which could be used after shampo...
The precious oil is extracted from the seeds of prickly pear cactus plant. After taking out the seeds from the fruits, they are adequately dried and then cold pressed to obtain the oil. Indeed, the prickly seed oil is quite expensive. Well, that is understandable when you consider the fact that the seeds are really tiny and each seed contain only about 5% of oil in it at most, plus the seeds are usually handpicked from the fruits. This means it will take tons of these seeds to produce just one b...
Steaz, the nation's top-selling organic and fair trade green-tea-based beverage company, announces its 2017 "Mind. Body. Soul." tour, which will bring authentic experiences inspired by the brand's signature Mind. Body. Soul. tagline to life across the country. The tour will inform, educate, inspire and entertain through events, digital activations and partner-curated experiences developed to support the three pillars of complete health and wellness.
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...