Friday, November 5, 2010

SpotCloud Launch Overview (Week 1)

So by now you've probably heard about the SpotCloud announcement. If you missed it, after more than a year of development, we finally took the covers off our SpotCloud Capacity Clearinghouse and Marketplace for service providers. The feedback so far has been tremendous, with hundreds of registrations for the SpotCloud service including a good portion of the major "Non ECP" based cloud providers signing up. One particularly interesting stat is the ratio of buyers to sellers registering for the service at a ratio of 5:1 for buyers, indicating significant interest from the demand / buy side. A key metric for a successful marketplace.

But what I really want to tell you is some of the opportunities that have emerged in my discussions with both providers and buyers. Most of which I hadn't even considered before this weeks launch.

The first usage example is with managed service providers. With the recent downturn in the economy a lot of dedicated and managed hosting providers are seeing large amounts of customers abandoning their dedicated servers for various reasons, causing a major influx of un-used racked servers. One director of IT for a large hosting firm indicated that last week one of his long time customers had defaulted on 100+ dedicated servers. He said that they had no plans to create a "public" cloud service but thought that the ability to offer these servers through the SpotCloud marketplace would be an ideal way for his company to cover their "carrying costs" while they attempted to resell / lease these servers to other hosting customers at a much higher margin. Turns out this concept has legs, I had the very same conversation this week at the CloudExpo in Santa Clara with no less then 20 different hosting companies all telling me the same story, not interested in public cloud, very interested in private capacity offering through an opaque market. I used the analogy of renting a new or used car before selling it.

Another recurring opportunity was that of what I have started describing as a "private cloud exchange" where a group of aligned companies or organizations share capacity amongst each other through a private version of the SpotCloud marketplace. A kind of capacity consortium. One particularly good example was from a major Asian Telecom with many various divisions around the globe, each with their own data centers and no effective way to share capacity between the business units who run independently from one another. Another private exchange idea was focused with in specific industry verticals such as Finance, healthcare, entertainment and eduction. Think of a group of private clouds with specific regulatory controls sharing or selling capacity with each other.

What's next for SpotCloud? Going forward we plan to release SpotCloud integration instructions for working with Non ECP based cloud providers and suppliers. This will allow SpotCloud to support the broadest group of capacity suppliers with out having to directly use ECP. We've also had a lot of interest in doing a Free Enomaly ECP SpotCloud edition, which we hope to have available in the near future. As soon as these are ready, I'll post the links on this blog.

We are hoping to do some public announcements around actual buyers and sellers in the coming weeks, ping me if you'd like to be included in this announcement.

Do you have an interesting use case for SpotCloud? Please let me know.

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