Pricing the cloud: an adaptive brokerage for cloud computing

Philip Clamp, John P Cartlidge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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Using a multi-agent social simulation model to predict the behavior of cloud computing markets, Rogers & Cliff (R&C) demonstrated the existence of a profitable cloud brokerage capable of benefitting cloud providers and cloud consumers alike. Functionally similar to financial market brokers, the cloud broker matches provider supply with consumer demand. This is achieved through options, a type of derivatives contract that enables consumers to purchase the option, but not the obligation, of later purchasing the underlying asset—a cloud computing virtual machine instance—for an agreed fixed price. This model benefits all parties: experiencing more predictable demand, cloud providers can better optimize their workflow to minimize costs; cloud users access cheaper rates offered by brokers; and cloud brokers generate profit from charging fees. Here, we replicate and extend the simulation model of R&C using CReST—an opensource, discrete event, cloud data center simulation modeling platform developed at the University of Bristol. Sensitivity analysis reveals fragility in R&C's model. We address this by introducing a novel method of autonomous adaptive thresholding (AAT) that enables brokers to adapt to market conditions without requiring a priori domain knowledge. Simulation results demonstrate AAT's robustness, outperforming the fixed brokerage model of R&C under a variety of market conditions. We believe this could have practical significance in the real-world market for cloud computing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Conference on Advances in System Simulation (SIMUL-2013)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781612083087
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2013
EventSIMUL-2013 - Hotel Novotel Venezia Mestre Castelana, Via Ceccherini 21, 30174 Venezia Mestre, Venice, Italy, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Oct 201331 Oct 2013


CountryUnited Kingdom
CityVenice, Italy


  • Simulation and Modeling
  • Cloud brokerage
  • Agent based models

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