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What is a cloud? Not many end users have a clue

While the companies supplying "cloud" services should know what they are selling, it is quite clear that most customers really don't have a clue what it means, or even if it's fluffy.
Posted by administrator.
Published 22:49, Mon 27 Jan 2014.
Viewed 86 times.
The "Cloud" is a well used word these days, and not always in relation to the weather. But what do most people think it is?

Ask the majority of web hosting clients what a cloud is, and most of them just assume it is the Internet as a whole. This is probably not helped by marketing usually showing a picture of your computer, and then the "cloud".

So how can you define what a cloud is in internet terms, after all it is possibly the most abused IT word there is at present. Of course any definition that describes everything, can not be a definition at all.

The rise of cloud computing certainly feels unstoppable, with recent figures from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) indicating that over two thirds (69 per cent) of UK firms now use cloud services for at least one application area.

Web hosts re-branding existing products under the cloud title is a continuing problem and it further confuses the customer, and could possibly devalue a true cloud service.
What is cloud hosting?
What is cloud hosting?

Cloud computing is really defined as;

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Source: US National Institute of Standards and Technology

While cloud comes in many forms, there's no doubt that many vendors are guilty of confusing customers by stretching the definition beyond breaking point.
Many are worried that these practices are not only confusing clients, but also depriving them of huge potential cost savings and productivity gains by putting them off of cloud services all together.

According to a survey Six Degrees commissioned last year, 45 per cent of UK IT decision makers saw cloud washing by marketing departments at technology brands as an increasing problem. Some 83 per cent felt that cloud service providers could do more to demystify the cloud.

Another common complaint from customers is that it was not clear where they would be hosted, and while companies are now more knowledgeable that they should host near their business centre. Many companies felt it was not clear and have often ended up with hosting outside of the EU when they thought they were signing up with a UK company.
This could become a real issue with potential EU regulations on the horizon which will require EU companies to host their data within the EU.


Comments on this
  • at last - an article that tells the truth about 'cloud'

    10:26, Tue 8 Apr 2014
  • I agree with you completely that cloud services are here to stay for a long time. Recently, I have started using hostpinger.com for monitoring my applications. They are providing cloud host, local host and hardware host monitoring solutions. I signed up for free and got 50 tests absolutely free.

    10:28, Wed 14 May 2014
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