The New Asset Class, redux July 6, 2013Posted by James Webster in : finance, virtualization, cloud , add a comment
RAAWR! And like a zombie, my blog reanimates back to life…
It would be great for competition and innovation if cloud computing was more transparently portable between providers, and the resulting fungibility would benefit consumers of cloud resources in being able to manage their operational expenditures.
Well, it appears the concept of a broader market for computation may be coming into existence. According to Reuters:
German financial markets operator Deutsche Boerse is planning to commoditize computing power with the launch early next year of the world’s first independent exchange for trading cloud computing capacity.
There has been a huge amount of evolution in the cloud market since 2009;
- More competitors to Amazon’s EC2 have arrived or become stronger: Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, Rackspace Cloud, smaller players such as Linode and Digital Ocean have become greater forces.
- The idea of the ‘private cloud’: some enterprises with sufficiently large internal compute requirements adopt principles similar to cloud computing with regards to provisioning and management of servers (thanks to virtualisation)
- Emergence of cloud computing platform standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack and Docker
So it seems like the opportunity is there for an independent exchange for idle compute capacity. The challenge will be in establishing an agreed standard unit for delivery, just as in physical energy/mineral/agricultural commodity markets. Take for example the contract specification for greasy wool futures, traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, here’s an extract:
Standard Delivery: Good topmaking merino fleece with;
- average fibre diametre of 21.0 microns,
- with measured mean staple strength of 35 n/ktx,
- mean staple length of 90mm,
- of good colour,
- with less than 1.0% vegetable matter.
The contract specification then goes on to identify a range of acceptable tolerances on the deliverable product. This is quite common across all commodity contracts, obviously there is going to be some variation in the product that is dug/drilled out of the ground, grown on a tree, shaved off the back of a sheep!
So to, will a market in compute hours need to specify a basic unit of computing that can be delivered with some specifications that can be easily measured and verified; RAM, Hard Disk space, baseline operating system; and some that cannot; CPU, I/O performance, network bandwidth and latency. For the latter, the exchange may need to take quite an active role in market surveillance in ensuring that the resources being delivered are of sufficient quality for the contract they are being delivered against.
At any rate, I personally find this idea quite interesting, especially when held up alongside Bitcoin which effectively converts energy commodities, via compute power, into a ’store of value’; albeit one that has far from universal acceptance! For more on that relationship, see Bitcoin, Energy and the Future of Money.
A .Net wrapper for the Ehcache server REST interface June 19, 2010Posted by James Webster in : software, development, dotnet , 1 comment so far
From the FEATURES section of the project README:
- An implementation of the non-generic System.Collections.IDictionary interface in AgileWallaby.Ehcache.EhcacheServerDictionary.
- An extension of the new System.Runtime.Caching.ObjectCache class, AgileWallaby.Ehcache.EhcacheServerCache that has been introduced in the .Net 4.0 platform. However I was hoping that this API would be the same as that implemented by the new AppFabric caching service (formerly known as ‘Velocity’) a la the Java platform’s JCache API however it appears they are different.
Code (no binaries at present) is currently available in this GitHub repository although it is a work-in-progress, hoping to sort out serialization of generic type parameters to/from XML & JSON and Silverlight support soon.finance , add a comment
I’ve not blogged much at all lately, and much less so about the issue of competition in Australian equity markets. However with the news that Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen has given ‘in principle’ support to Chi-X’s application for an Australian Markets License we might see some movement sooner rather than later. More from The Australian and Finextra. The AFR has a good article about this too… alas its behind a paywall.
This all first kicked off in 2007… then the GFC/credit crunch came along and adding a competition angle to markets that were in freefall was clearly off the agenda!
Now that it is ‘game on’ again, it will largely be how quickly ASIC can take on the market supervision role formerly played by the ASX that determines how soon Chi-X goes live. At least their technology is getting in place; they are adopting SMARTS‘ platform for market surveillance, a number of former colleagues of mine work there so that bit at least is in good hands!
There is also the issue of Chi-X and ASX coming to an agreement on the fee to be paid for access to ASX’s clearing & settlement network… possibly a separation of ASX Austraclear from the market side of ASX might be on the agenda in the future. Or possibly not; successive Australian governments (of both flavours) have failed to address the issue of Telstra’s conflicting roles as both wholesaler and retailer with serious break-up talk so addressing these sort of monopolistic issues is not a hot issue.
Scott Riley of the Clearing and Settlement blog also has some links on the matter.
Interestingly AXE ECN, the first proposed alternative to ASX, appears to have gone quiet.