The launch of Deutsche Börse’s Cloud Exchange trading platform will support the growth of cloud brokers acting as intermediaries for end-user customers , enabling them to save on IT budgets by offloading excess capacity.
Deutsche Börse today announced that it will launch its cloud trading platform in 2014 for infrastructure as a service (Iaas) cloud computing resources, the first international vendor-neutral marketplace of its type.
The trading venue is aimed at enabling access a platform to trade compute and storage capacity, just as commodities might be bought and sold on a traditional exchange. Buyers will be abe to procure resources directly or trade between each other, while suppliers will be able to sell down to customers.
A number of cloud provider companies are already on board as early adopters of the platform, such as CloudSigma and T-Systems, and Deutsche Börse has partnered with German firm Zimory to provide an interface between users and the trading platform. The Cloud Exchange will also set and monitor standards to ensure the running of the exchange, such as around guaranteeing purchased capacity.
According to Stefan Ried at Forrester Research, the launch of the platform is a natural evolution for the cloud Iaas market due to the commoditisation of cloud resources, shown in the continued price drops of Amazon Web Service and others.
It is not the first time that a marketplace has offered to buy and sell spare capacity. Spotcloud has offered a service like this in the past, though its offering was based on buying and selling the services of one vendor, Enomaly.
However Deutsche Börse’s Cloud Exchange is more ambitious in its aims, providing a forum to buy and sell resources from a range of different supplier sources.
Ried says that the introduction of markets to buy and sell cloud capacity will have a number of benefits. For end-user customers one of these will be ability to reduce IT expenditure by selling back unused cloud resources.
“The total spending on cloud will be brought down,” Ried told ComputerworldUK, “people will find resources or sell if they don’t need it. If they bought too much Amazon or Microsoft resources for instance they can be sold off on the exchange. This means that the corporate spending on cloud resources will be brought down with the help of the exchange.”
For example, a company might buy 50 virtual machines for a year, but no longer need that amount after nine months. This would be similar to the way that Amazon’s EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace functions, allowing companies to sell back part of their contract to another end-user, though exchange users would be able to buy and sell resources from a variety of cloud providers.
However there are a number of challenges that will have to be faced. Ensuring that supplier contracts allow the sharing of resources will be one of the main challenges that will face the Cloud Exchange, while interoperability between OpenStack or VMware stacks will need to be addressed.