SpotCloud, a cloud capacity clearinghouse through which cloud providers sell unused capacity to buyers at a deep discount, is preparing for its public launch, opening the doors to more buyers and extending beyond the limited beta.
At the same time, SpotCloud is signing on providers at a rapid clip, amassing a global army of cloud players looking to sell unused cloud capacity.
SpotCloud founder Reuven Cohen, who also founded cloud platform vendor Enomaly, said that SpotCloud is changing the cloud computing business. At a time when cloud computing is becoming commoditized, SpotCloud is offering a way for buyers to get capacity on the cheap while providers still make some dough off of unused capacity.
SpotCloud is also opening its doors as cloud providers become a dime a dozen and look for ways to differentiate themselves. "It went from new, different and cool to 'so what, that's just hosting,'" Cohen said.
Since SpotCloud launched in November, the cloud capacity clearinghouse has signed several hundreds of providers on to sell their excess capacity on the SpotCloud market. And Cohen said he expects that number to grow as the private beta ends and the SpotCloud market opens to more buyers.
"In February we open the flood gates on the buy side," he said.
Cohen added that SpotCloud has found a niche, helping cloud providers offload excess cloud capacity that wouldn't get sold. "Capacity planning is very difficult even in the best of times," he said, adding that man providers over-estimate the need for capacity and have an over-abundance.
In SpotCloud's three months, Cohen said a few interesting trends have emerged. A number of the capacity sellers are traditional data centers, not public cloud providers. And SpotCloud has brought aboard sellers from across the globe, with the U.S., Australia and the U.K. leading the charge.
"It seems that where there are saturated markets, there's downward pressure on the pricing," he said, adding that SpotCloud just brought on its first provider in Africa, the last continent to join the fold. "It's pretty easy to sell people: We'll buy something from you that you're having trouble selling."
Buyers are currently using SpotCloud capacity for performance testing to determine on an application will perform and how it will perform from a specific part of the world. Buyers are also leveraging the marked-down capacity for content and application delivery on the edge.
Moving into 2011, Cohen said he hopes SpotCloud keeps its momentum, but there is still a lot of uncertainty how the market will develop.
"There are a lot of unknowns at this point," he said, adding there has to be enough cloud capacity buyer demand and enough supply from the providers for SpotCloud to existing harmoniously.