Cloud Washing:

What's the biggest thing in hosting right now? The cloud, of course! Cloud hosting is what everyone wants. It's also easy to get…or is it? Many hosting companies are currently using an advertising trick called “cloud-washing” to advertise cloud services that aren't cloud-based at all. How can this happen?

Trickery: It's What Advertising Is All About

glass_cleaner Cloud WashingHow often are “diet” sodas not diet at all? Or, how many times have you seen a product labeled “organic” just to discover that a very small percentage of that product is actually organic, while the rest is purely not organic? This happens all the time in the marketing world. Marketers have one goal: to get consumers to buy a product.

So, if the current hosting trend is cloud hosting, all hosting providers have to do is add the word “cloud” to the word “hosting,” and people will thing that the company provides cloud hosting services. Sadly, this is often not the case. Consumers have to spend a good deal of time getting to the bottom of those companies that claim to offer cloud hosting, but really offer good old regular hosting.

Cloud Washing: How to Wade Through the Muck

Technically, in order for a company to make good on that cloud claim, that company has to be part of a data stricture that isn't run by humans. But, “cloud computing” is still a relatively loose term, so companies can get away with defining the term as they wish. What you want to watch out for is a company that has a number of lifetime licenses for outdated software.

The other thing to watch out for is a company that claims to be cloud-based, but has a record for major and frequent outages. Sure, the cloud can be knocked down occasionally, but these outages usually don't last long. A cloud provider should have services up and running nearly 100% of the time (or 99%).

Cloud Washing: The Long List of Offenders

Certain data companies have created a new sport out of tracking down cloud washers, and posting the names of those washers on websites. In the past, some of the biggest offenders were Oracle, Lawson Cloud Services, Storage, and various others.

One company, ‘Appirio' even invented an award called “The Washies” that gives a top honour to the biggest cloud washing offenders. For a laugh, it's worth checking out Appirio's website. What's the main problem with falling for a cloud washing company?

Cloud Washing: The Trap…and Why It Hurts

The problem is that you may think you're paying for a cloud service a reliable, dependable, and cost-effective cloud service but, really, you are simply paying for a regular old provider. Feel scammed? You should. Cloudwashers are not honest with clients, and this, dear readers, is never a good thing.

If you're wondering whether or not a site is really selling legitimate cloud washing services, let me know what that site is. I'll investigate, and let you know whether or not you're being duped. Hopefully, you're not!

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