If cloud is the next oil, then how do you trade it?

John Cowan 6Fusion James MitchellStrategic Blue Structure:Europe 2013

Cloud infrastructure is quickly becoming the next hot commodity, and a number of companies have started to quite literally trade it as such. Strategic Blue Founder and CEO James Mitchell told the audience of GigaOM’s Structure: Europe conference in London Wednesday that his company used to trade oil and coal.

In 2009, it started to trade cloud infrastructure, and Mitchell was the first to admit that this hasn’t always been easy. One problem: Oil and other commodities are traded based on common units, but cloud providers offer a lot of slightly varying services running on different platforms. “That is frankly a big mess,” Mitchell said.

The other problem: Not every vendor wants third parties to start trading their compute instances. However, 6Fusion Co-Founder and CEO John Cowan argued that this is less problematic over time, as new providers emerge. “You don’t need to have AWS bless an open market,” he said.

Regardless of these issues, cloud commodity trading is starting to become big business: The entire public cloud commodity market is already bigger than the U.K. electricity market, Mitchell said.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:


A transcription of the video follows on the next page

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