Q: What is UCX?
A: UCX is an on-demand spot exchange created to trade the cloud. UCX brings buyers and sellers of the cloud to a centralized price discovery marketplace.
Q: Why UCX?
A: UCX allows an organization to trade and hedge their IT expenditures as they would with any other commodity, no different than electricity or fuel. With hundreds of billions being spent on IT budgets year over year, risk management for IT expenditures is quickly becoming the number one priority for every balance sheet.
Q: How can UCX help my organization?
A: UCX provides you the ability to manage risk for your IT budget. Your organization will be able to understand the compute resources your applications are consuming, how those results compare against the market, bridge the language barrier gap between IT and finance, and provide a venue to buy/sell/trade cloud resources.
Q: How does this work when I can’t tell the difference from one vendor to the other?
A: UCX leverages the Workload Allocation Cube (the “WAC”) which is a single standard unit of measure that provides an apples-to-apples comparison across all IT infrastructures.
Q: What is the relationship between UCX and CME Group?
A: UCX and CME Group have a working strategic relationship where CME is assisting in the development and ongoing growth of UCX. CME also owns the exclusive rights for UCX futures and options products.
Q: Isn’t 6fusion the developer of the WAC? What’s their role in the exchange?
A: Yes, 6fusion is the developer of the WAC and provides the meter to measure your IT infrastructure consumption (just like an electricity meter on the side of your home). UCX owns the exclusive rights to create financial products from 6fusion’s IP.
Q: What do you mean by “infrastructure consumption”?
A: The current allocation model for IT infrastructure is an antiquated one and ends up wasting resources (compute resources perish just like fresh food, if you don’t eat/consume them you are effectively wasting money!). UCX has adopted a consumption model which we consider the next evolution in the product life cycle of how cloud resources are bought and sold. In an allocation model, whether you use 10% or 100% of a particular ‘instance’ you always pay 100%. In a consumption based model you pay for what you use, so if you only use 10%, pay for the 10%.
Q: Who is using UCX?
A: There are over a dozen participants already transacting on UCX. UCX launched in general availability in September. There are active offers on the exchange from several different providers. Let them compete for your business.
Q: What kinds of contracts does UCX offer?
A: Two types; Pay-as-you-Consume (PayC) and Fixed-Forward. A PayC consists of an initiation trade where buyer and seller contract a price, a consumption trade which is settled at the end of the month for how many WACs the buyer consumed, and a continuation trade which is an extension of the consumption trade if both parties do not cancel at the end of the contract term. A Fixed-Forward contract is designed for buyers that understand exactly what they are utilizing over a period of time and can lock in a set quantity and price (historically at a lower price than a PayC).
Q: How long are contracts for?
A: Contracts on the exchange are offered for 1-month, 3-months, 6-months, and annually.
Q: How do I know your vendors are secure?
A: Security is our number one priority. UCX is following the guidelines put forth by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and their Security Trust Assurance Registry (STAR). Each vendor is required to submit a self-assessment during the membership process. Each vendor is then audited by Plante Moran whom will review SOC reports as well as verify the financials and certify locations of the providers. This will allow vendors to gain a CSA certification. No cloud service providers will be able to offer compute on the exchange unless they have a CSA certification.
Q: What is the difference between the transaction and processing fees?
A: Transaction fees are charged by the exchange to both the buyer and seller for execution of a contract. Processing fees are charged by the exchange to both the buyer and the seller to transfer the dollar value of the executed trade from the buyer and seller.
Q: I want to see information such as service levels and support processes up front. Where is this information made available?
A: Service levels and support processes can be found in the UCX Contract Specifications & Service Level Agreement document, available on the UCX website.
Q: I have a unique configuration/compliance requirement, is UCX capable of handling these kinds of requests?
A: Absolutely, call us, send us a message, or submit a ‘request for proposal’ form found on our website. We will find you the best offer from one of our providers and arrange an Over-the-Counter trade (OTC).
Q: Is the intention to have CPU intensive workloads or storage intensive workloads? If so will there be different WAC pricing?
A: Yes and yes. Anticipated launch of CPU and storage intensive WACs are in the first half of 2016.
Q: What are the implications of trading hours, does it mean the liquid platform is not available?
A: OTC trades initiated outside of the official trading hours can be called in and will be registered on the day that the trade was executed but will not be posted until the next trading day.
Q: What constitutes delivery?
A: Delivery is the actual supplying of and consumption of kWACs from a seller to a buyer under the terms of the executed contract. The consumption will be measured for each and every hour during the contract term of the delivery day, month, quarter or year.
Q: I assume all data must be removed before the end of the contract term?
A: At the end of an executed contract term, the contract must be terminated by the buyer and the buyer must notify UCX of termination no later than the last business day of the contract term. If the contract is terminated it is the responsibility of the buyer to remove/transfer all data from the machine instances. Buyer is not allowed to remove/transfer machine instances. For more information please visit the contract specifications on the UCX website.
Q: Will the self-assessment level 1 for supplier security standards be increased to level 2 certification?
A: Plante Moran will be conducting third party audits for exchange suppliers. Plante Moran will review existing SOC reports and will also perform security reviews with those organizations not having a SOC and will verify the financial stability of the service providers and certify locations of the providers. No service providers will be able to offer compute resources on the exchange unless they have a level 2 certification (beginning January 1, 2016).
Q: How do I know that my IP and data is protected?
A: UCX and its 3rd party auditors vette all suppliers before they can ever sell on the exchange. UCX does not grant either the buyer or seller any rights, implied or otherwise to the other’s content or any of the other’s intellectual property and data.
Q: What kind of discount can a member expect to see?
A: Members are charged $0.05 per kWAC and non-members are charged $0.10 per kWAC.
Q: How can my organization start metering?
A: It is a simple download. Here are the steps:
- Visit http://www.6fusion.com/ucx/
- Complete the form and select “get started”
- An account for the 6fusion meter will be provisioned for you
- Your console log-in credentials will be emailed to you shortly
Q: I am a cloud service provider, how can UCX help my organization?
A: UCX provides a complementary platform to sell your services, lower your cost of acquisition, enhance yield management, provide market transparency, hedge out excess capacity, forecast future resource needs, and offer multiple contract types (i.e. HIPPA, Fintech, etc)
Q: How does this work for a cloud service provider?
A: Measure your usage with a standardized unit (WAC) and understand your costs, forecast, then have the ability to trade.
Q: How does UCX anticipate handling Moore’s Law?
A: As applications and innovation require more compute power and if the production of that compute power in theory becomes less expensive, the size of the WAC contract will be adjusted accordingly. The WAC contract is a dynamic contract subject to the potential rebalancing of the contract with advanced notice to the existing contract participants on a quarterly basis. In the event of a rebalance, UCX would change the size of the tick value accordingly.