Sun and Archipelago Team to Build the World’s First Compute Exchange

By WS&T Staff, Wall Street and Technology
03 February 2005

Sun Microsystems is planning to build the world’s first online compute exchange together with Archipelago, which operates the first all-electronic stock exchange. Sun made the joint announcement during its quarterly Network Computing ’05 launch today in Santa Clara, Calif., and Chicago.

The companies plan to introduce a new electronic-trading environment that will allow customers to bid on CPU usage cycles. CPU stands for central processing unit and refers to the main processor in a computer chip. The compute exchange will be based on the new Sun Grid offering and Archipelago’s electronic matching technology.

Companies across the globe will have the opportunity to dynamically bid for open compute cycles, which will give them the flexibility to plan for the purchase and use of compute power. Sun says this is a new paradigm in computing because companies can access an unlimited number of CPUs on demand.

In the release, Steve Rubinow, chief technology officer of the Archipelago Exchange, states: “The technological underpinnings of the Archipelago Exchange could be customized to trade nearly anything, and as the demand for computing power increases, we see great potential in building an exchange for trading CPU usage cycles.”

The compute exchange announcement falls on the back of Sun announcing new utility offerings. They include the Sun Grid compute utility — a $1 per CPU per hour pay-per-use offering — and the Sun Grid storage utility, a $1 per gigabyte per month offering.