How to Bid on Computing Power

Auction palette's biding on more computer memory and power

Image credit: Technology Review

By Cindy Waxer

Imagine buying time on a computer in Ireland or Indiana the same way you’d bid for an antique on eBay. That’s how a new crop of startup companies called “cloud brokerages” plan to change the way companies buy and sell computing capacity.

Cloud computing has already made accessing computer power more efficient. Instead of buying computers, companies can now run websites or software by leasing time at data centers run by vendors like Amazon or Microsoft. The idea behind cloud brokerages is to take the efficiency of cloud computing a step further by creating a global marketplace where computing capacity can be bought and sold at auction.

Such markets offer steeply discounted rates, and they may also offer financial benefits to companies running cloud data centers, some of which are flush with excess capacity. “The more utilized you are as a [cloud services] provider … the faster return on investment you’ll realize on your hardware,” says Reuven Cohen, founder of Enomaly, a Toronto-based firm that last February launched SpotCloud, cloud computing’s first online spot market.


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