CME Group is a step closer to launching a marketplace to enable trading of cloud resources, after entering into a definitive agreement with infrastructure metering firm 6fusion.

Having announced that it was exploring the development of a cloud spot exchange last July, CME, a global derivatives marketplace, is now planning a beta trial of the service with 6fusion later this year.

The market for infrastructure as a service (Iaas) resource will rely on 6fusion's Workload Allocation Cube to create a standard unit of measurement of compute and storage resources, allowing buyers to compare prices across a number of vendors. It follows similar attempts to create an exchange for cloud resources such as a partnership between Deutsche Borse and Zimory, and Enomaly's SpotCloud,

According to 6fusion head of product strategy, Rob Bissett, the CME exchange will help enterprise customers deal with the growing number of suppliers in the market, and should lead to further price drops in an increasingly commoditised market.

"You can already go out and find a bunch of vendors and come up with their list pricing, but what is fundamentally different about our marketplace is that it allows for apples to apples comparisons as it is based on a standardised unit of measurement," said Bissett.

He was unable to say whether the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure will be available from launch, but claims to have engaged with a "number of lead suppliers".

"Short term I don't anticipate the market will start with everybody involved. Some of the lessons learnt from firms like Enamoly and SpotCloud show that an excess of supply simply leads to a race to the bottom of pricing, which we don't want to do," he said.

"We will work with a small number of visionary suppliers, and we anticipate that, as we create trade volume, the other suppliers will move to participate."

The exchange will be targeted at use by larger mid-market and enterprise customers, with cloud brokers tying the service into their back-end to supply to smaller firms. This is because smaller customers are less likely to have the expertise required to deal with the commodity purchasing of cloud resources. "I almost see the perquisite as having IT financial manager," Bissett explained.

More details on suppliers involved will be announced nearer to launch of the beta, along with the name of the third party which will run the spot exchange.

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