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Cloud computing takes away much of the need to plan future IT demands from the consumer, and puts it in the hands of the provider. Consumers don't need to give advance notice to start or terminate virtual machines, and can do so in real time to reflect changing business objectives. It is the task of the cloud IaaS provider to optimize the use of their infrastructure, and ensure there are enough resources available. Achieving optimum server utilization in the data centre is particularly challenging - advance notification can help the provider to schedule workloads more efficiently, but this is at odds with one of the key benefits of cloud computing. In this paper, the authors propose a pricing method that combines options contracts with on-demand purchasing.
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