Cloud computing platform player Enomaly on Monday launched what it is calling a clearinghouse and marketplace for unused cloud computing capacity called SpotCloud that could save cloud buyers a massive chunk of change and let cloud providers unload unused capacity to increase revenue.
While the concept is somewhat abstract, Toronto-based Enomaly founder and CTO Reuven Cohen called SpotCloud a "cloud of clouds" and compared it to Hotwire.com and Priceline.com, the well-known online travel sites that sell unused hotel rooms and airline tickets at a deep discount based on dates and locations without letting the consumer select a specific hotel chain or airline.
Also like Hotwire and Priceline, SpotCloud meters, tracks and bills capacity buyers and pays the capacity sellers directly, Cohen said.
SpotCloud will be in beta for the first month or so. At its launch, cloud providers will include offerings from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland and the Isle of Man. Cohen said he'd like to see providers in each country offering capacity on SpotCloud.
Cohen said as cloud computing became more popular, regional public cloud providers adopted a "build it and they will come" attitude, yet most clouds have a utilization rate of just 5 percent to 15 percent. "The result is you get these idle clouds with all of this unused capacity," Cohen said.
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With SpotCloud, Enomaly hopes to sell off the left over cloud capacity at a dramatic discount, putting money in the pockets of the providers while giving consumers access to a cheap, yet anonymous, cloud.
For cloud buyers, Cohen said, SpotCloud can offer up to 60 percent savings on cloud capacity. The online SpotCloud marketplace gives potential buyers access to a global network of cloud infrastructure providers based on location, cost and quality. Providers can be selected based on price and location.
Cohen said that SpotCloud is best suited for testing environments. As the exact cloud provider is unknown to the buyer, there are no SLAs.
For cloud providers, SpotCloud lets them sell off their unused capacity that would otherwise go unsold to increase utilization and give revenue a boost. Providers can define prices for their excess capacity and adjust the pricing model based on time and utilization.
"It's better to sell capacity than not … it's better to sell something than nothing," Cohen said.