How are cloud contracts like soybean futures? Both are tradeable commodities

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Soon, you’ll be able to buy and sell contracts for cloud computing resources as easily as you can trade contracts for soybeans and feeder cattle.

Later this year, the CME Group, a leading exchange of options and futures, will launch a spot exchange for servers that people can rent for short periods of time. The exchange will use standards for cloud infrastructure that 6fusion devised, enabling the trading of infrastructure from many cloud providers, according to a press release 6fusion issued today.

Trading cloud contracts on a major exchange could further legitimize the public cloud. And that evolution could continue when more than one major exchange rolls public cloud credits into their offerings next to precious metal, livestock, and grains.

Last year Deutsche Boerse, which runs the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, committed to launching a cloud spot market of its own in the first quarter of 2014. That launch has not been announced yet.

It’s unclear to what extent the biggest public-cloud providers, like Amazon Web Services, would actively support these spot markets. Amazon offers a wide range of cloud services, some of which other vendors don’t carry.

But 6fusion talks about its ability to make apples-to-apples comparisons with its Workload Allocation Cube, or WAC. That way, buyers can figure out what exactly they’ll need should they want to run workloads on cloud resources.

Cloud commentators like to describe the cloud as a commodity that companies can buy in vast supplies and at low costs because of stiff competition. In just a few months’ time, that commodity will have common platforms, just like more generally accepted commodities.

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CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, ... read more »

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