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Surprising Science

The New Market in Computer Capacity

New online exchanges aim to turn computer capacity into a globally traded commodity. Already there's a new crop of startup companies called "cloud brokerages."

What’s the Latest Development?

Imagine buying time on a computer in Ireland or Indiana the same way you’d bid for an antique on eBay. That’s how a new crop of startup companies called “cloud brokerages” plans to change the way companies buy and sell computing capacity. New online exchanges would turn computer time into a globally traded commodity.

What’s the Big Idea?

Instead of buying computers, companies can now run websites or software by leasing time at data centers run by vendors like Amazon or Microsoft. The idea behind cloud brokerages is to take the efficiency of cloud computing a step further by creating a global marketplace where computing capacity can be bought and sold at auction.

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