Hosting companies offering '10-year-old' services as cloud

By Graeme Burton
16 Oct 2012 View Comments
Concept image of a cloud question mark

Hosting companies purporting to offer cloud services are offering the same services that they were 10 years ago, but simply marketing them as cloud instead in a bid to make money, claims Flexiant founder Tony Lucas.

"If you were to believe the marketing hype, the hosting companies in Europe have been providing cloud forever," said Lucas. "Because you look at their product set and they are the same product sets that they were selling 10 years ago, and they haven't changed. All they have done is put the word 'cloud' on them."

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He added: "It's not just about providing a siloed set of hardware, chucking a hypervisor of any description on top of it and calling it a private cloud. It's a step in the right direction, but it does not provide any of the agility or functionality that everyone is talking about."

Many hosting service providers, who should be taking the lead in cloud, instead have proved to be blinkered, said Lucas.

Lucas was speaking at the GigaOM StructureEurope 2012 conference in Amsterdam today.

"I speak to their datacentre employees, their CTOs, their CEOs and their CFOs, and they all have different opinions, but they are all rather blinkered as to the potential of cloud... They talk about all the £1m contracts over three years that they have renewing and that that is where their focus is," he said.

If they could do £1m over three years with on-demand true cloud services, they would be very happy, he said. "They are completely missing the point. They say that their customers aren't asking for these things, but that's because they are just going to Amazon instead. I tell them that you are not being asked for them because your customers know you are not offering them."

The problem, he said, is that too many companies "are too focused on the 'here and now' and not on where things are going".

In addition, they are almost literally scared of some of the features or concepts of cloud computing, such as "pay as you go" and the supposed ability of customers to be scale up and down – and pay accordingly.

But Lucas argues that the majority of companies don't necessarily want pay as you go or to flit from one provider to another, but merely need greater flexibility within a monthly contract.

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