Beginners Guide to Cloud Marketplaces


There are quite a few cloud marketplace options available to the public today, and it can be difficult for someone who’s new to cloud computing or even someone who wants to switch from one cloud marketplace to another. In this article, we’ll go over what a cloud marketplace is and how it works in order for you to get up-to-speed on your options and then put them into context.

What are cloud marketplaces?

A cloud marketplace is a website or service where you can buy and sell resources hosted on the internet. The resources that you buy/sell are known as “cloud services”. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular marketplaces for selling computing power. AWS allows you to set up your own computing power on Amazon’s servers (known as an EC2 instance) and then you can sell it to others in the marketplace. Once someone buys compute power from you, they are charged for using that service until they no longer need it, at which point they cancel the service, and you become the new buyer.

How do cloud marketplaces work?

On the most basic level, cloud marketplaces work by allowing you to input how much of a resource you have available for sale at what price. For example, if you have two Intel i5 processors available for sale on AWS for $100 each, you would input that information on their marketplace website. When another user is looking to buy an instance, they will see your two available resources and the price you are selling them at. For businesses using AWS, it’s beneficial to sell some of their computing power in that electronic currency (EC2 instances) because it can offset the cost of running that business. They essentially pay for what they use when they need it.

What is the benefit of using a cloud marketplace?

The first and foremost benefit is that it allows you to easily scale resources up or down as needed. This is especially useful for those who have a variable demand for computing power but don’t want to shell out a huge upfront cost for an entire server farm. The second advantage of using a cloud marketplace is that since you are using these resources for temporary periods of time, you can benefit from the economies of scale (more people bidding for resources drives down the price).

Types of marketplaces available to use

There are many different cloud marketplaces available today, each with its own pros and cons. Below is a list of some popular ones to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Marketplace features: pay as you go, free tier available for certain services, reserved EC2 instances offer large discounts

Microsoft Azure Marketplace features: pay monthly or yearly rates, tiered pricing for better performance, reliability, and price. You can even get Azure certification easily which increases your skill set.

Google Cloud – Marketplace features: pay monthly rates with no up-front costs

DigitalOcean – Marketplace features: pay hourly rates for computing power (droplets)

Rackspace – Marketplace features: pay monthly rates for computing power (servers)


With so many marketplaces out there, it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. Once you’ve done your research and know what you want your needs to be met, we encourage you to take a look at each option and see if any of them stand out as a good fit.

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