It's hosting, dammit: Fed up with fake cloud providers

Increasingly, CIOs can discern between mere hosting providers and true cloud services, but the cloudwashing persists

According to a CIO survey by hosting provider ElasticHosts, "83 percent of companies are frustrated with having to cut through marketing hype to find out which solutions are genuine cloud offerings and which are merely conventional hosting services with the word 'cloud' added to the title." Good ol' cloud-washing in action!

Two-thirds of the survey's respondents had been offered "cloud" services that are fixed-term, 40 percent had been offered services that weren't elastic or scalable, and 32 percent were offered services that weren't even self-service. (Keep in mind that a provider did this survey, so selfish interests are in play.)

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Still, it's hardly a secret that most of the services that bear the "cloud computing" label are warmed-over hosting technologies that do not provide the core attributes of cloud computing, including self- and auto-provisioning, elasticity, and even pay-per-use. The good news is that customers can tell the difference, but they resent having to dig down to find out if the vendor is trying to fool them.

Although this survey highlights what we already know, it's time that we call them out on their lies and start the shaming. Not only are they wasting would-be buyers' time, but some of these fake cloud services will make it into cloud projects, only to fall on their face, eat up funds, and delay the migration to true cloud platforms.

What can you do about this problem? Call BS on the BS. If a vendor promotes something as a cloud solution though it's not, tell the guilty party to stop misleading you -- you have better ways to spend your day.

Truth be told, most of those presentations are given by salespeople who don't know a cloud from a hole in the ground; they actually believe they're selling is a cloud. Used cars, appliances, PCs, cloud services -- the sales process is all the same, right?

This article, "It's hosting, dammit: Fed up with fake cloud providers," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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