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Building the Marketplace

Previously on the ComputeNext blog:

“in response to Simon Wardley’s blog post on ‘Rackspace going ALL – IN with OpenStack’ which explores whether or not Rackspace wants to ‘build OpenStack into the reference model for a huge ecosystem (i.e. bigger than AWS)’ and ‘manoeuvre to become the exchange/marketplace/assurance body for that ecosystem.’”

We discussed what it means to be “all-in” and that for a marketplace to emerge and promote choice and open clouds, it must be run by an independent entity.

Today we expand on our own learning and experience as we lead the drive towards a federated cloud ecosystem.

Simon Wardley mentions in his blog “Rackspace going ALL-IN with OpenStack” a few models which would be important to keep in mind to build this ecosystem for open clouds, these include:

  • Focus on growing the ecosystem rapidly
  • Build a certification and ratings agency (e.g. a Moody’s model) to ensure compliance of members offerings to OpenStack (essential for switching)
  • Build a marketplace for a market of OpenStack providers (e.g. a uSwitch model)
  • Build a computing exchange (e.g. where the real money will be)

These are excellent foundations in developing an open cloud ecosystem, and we’d like to mention how each is currently being realized in our own marketplace in a series of posts. Let’s start with a high level overview of our marketplace, why we’ve built it and where it stands today.

“Build a marketplace for a market of OpenStack providers”

…but why stop there?

We are strong supporters of the OpenStack community, but the truth is – we like our eggs and would never put them in one basket. In order to offer the most choice available, our marketplace doesn’t just federate across the OpenStack platform, but also CloudStack, vCloud, and onapp. Additionally we have built connectors to cloud service providers like GoGrid, CloudSigma, OpSource, and Softlayer.

In building this marketplace our goal is to enable cloud consumers to search for and discover cloud service providers. It’s a fact that each workload is different, with varying technical and business needs. For this reason we are building choice, to enable consumers to discover and utilize the cloud services which best match their specific requirements.

Some consumers unique requirements we’ve seen:

  • Needs resources instantaneously
  • Requires low error rates in provisioning
  • Seeking very low latency, multi-cloud to shave ms off page load times
  • Truly global footprint (HA, DR and/or lower exposure to cascading failures)
  • Truly global footprint (disaster recovery or lower exposure to cascading failures)

The diversity of providers and data is required to satisfy cloud consumers needs. Currently, ComputeNext has 10 providers at 17 geographic locations in the Marketplace, with many more providers and locations in the pipeline.

Why trust us?

One of our core tenets is transparency. In order to become the Expedia of cloud services, we can’t just offer choice – but data as well. By exposing all the attributes of a cloud provider and their resources it’s possible to benchmark, compare & contrast, sort based on price, and more.

Trust is an important element of a marketplace. It takes a long time for a marketplace and its operator to gain trust from its consumers. Consumers have to be able to trust that the operator will not manipulate the market for their own benefit. Our transparency will help build that trust. Our best interests are your success, so we offer not only choice but data as well – in order to make effective decisions.


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