Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cloud Computing as a Commodity

I've been in Austin the last couple days for a variety of meetings. What is interesting about my various meetings over the last couple days is that the topic of cloud computing as a commodity has been repeatedly brought up. Last week at the cloud interop forum a number of people also mentioned this concept. The concept on the surface is simple, but dig a little deeper it starts to get a lot more complex.

Generally the idea of a cloud exchange would be a central financial exchange where people / companies could trade standardized cloud capacity in the form of a futures contract; that is, a contract to buy specific quantities of a compute capacity in the form of a commodity at a specified price with delivery set at a specified time in the future. The contract details what cloud asset is to be bought or sold, and how, when, where and in what quantity it is to be delivered.

I'd like to pose the question. Is the time alright for us to start to thinking about the creation of a "Cloud Exchange" and if so, what are some other challenges we need to overcome? (General Compute Unit, Capacity interchange, Bandwidth, Quality, Auditability, fraud, etc.)

Feel free to pitch in your ideas, good, bad or indifferent.

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