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March 4, 2009

Service provider forecasts capacity trading in the cloud

Cloud hypervisor searches out spare resource trades

By CBR Staff Writer

Utility based services provider iTricity BV, a company that sells infrastructure on demand to enterprise IT shops, ISVs and systems integrators, is planning to deliver a cloud hypervisor by the end of the year that will search out free compute capacity on an open network so that it could be traded with users who are in a need of more resource.

According to the CEO of the Dutch company, this sort of capacity trading is already possible among iTricity customers, but it is not yet being managed with an automated process. “We ask the customer if we can buy back the capacity and we define the buy-back price, case by case” Robert Rosier of iTricity told us.

He explained that the idea is to build a resource network of multiple capacity cells over multiple data centres, and to add trading capabilities to the iTricity self service provisioning and payment web portal through which the vendor’s customers currently manage the capacity provisioned to them. 

iTricity customers would then be free to wheel and deal among themselves, with one account selling any unused computing capacity to others who need it.

He said the hypervisor, which should go live by Q4 of this year, could find unused capacity on public cloud computing facilities and would be able to reach into another cloud computing networks from other vendors.

Rosier said there were lots of scenarios where an organisation is in need of extra compute power and needs it quickly, without having to think about designing or redesigning a new infrastructure, and some were being drawn to the cloud as an alternative sourcing model. 

iTricity customers are billed for usage on top of a fixed monthly standing charge, which he also claimed makes it more affordable.

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The company is collaborating with IBM on this and other cloud developments, around the areas of SAN/NAS provisioning, virtual private network virtualisation and multi tier provisioning.

It has become a pioneer of cloud computing hosting centres and currently has 2,500 servers in five data centres with more than 200Tb of data set up as a ‘capacity on demand’ offering to multiple customers. 

iTricity has provided hosting services to customers in The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany since 2005 and claims accounts across a variety of industries including sport, government, financial, automotive and health.

 

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