Why has cloud computing missed the hosting world?

While there are a few cloud hosting providers, adoption on this type of computing by hosting providers has been very slow. Being quite familiar with the hosting space, I can still only name a couple of providers that have introduced a thorough cloud computing concept. Lack of an eager market is certainly not the excuse. A quick search on Google’s keyword tool shows that there were approximately a million searches in the month of May for the keyword ‘cloud computing’, and roughly 250,000 searches for ‘cloud hosting’, this compares to roughly 150,000 searches for ‘dedicated servers’, which is a sizable market all by itself.

In my experience I believe that there are a couple of reasons that cloud hosting hasn’t taken off for the mass hosting market. Those reasons, to the best of my knowledge include immature technology, and large R&D barriers to entry for the hosting provider. The most web hosting providers seem to spend little R&D, and the majority of even the large hosting companies are still being run off of out of the box software, like cPanel, Plesk, as well as off the shelf billing systems.

To quickly venture in to the available cloud computing options, one must turn to virtualization giant Vmware, which is currently the leader in cloud hosting touting roughly 1,000 hosting providers. Keep in mind, these hosting providers are also providers of private clouds, so not a contributor to what I refer to as mass market cloud hosting. Even so, Vmware, while the giant, still has a number of hurdles and certainly does not offer an off the shelf product. This means that any hosting firm interested in offerin the cloud using VMware would require significant upfront licensing fees, and the build out of a front and back end system- not to mention backend billing that is significantly different from dedicated server hosting.

Our number two competitor in the field, at least in terms of cloud computing option is Citrix, with it’s Xenserver. Xenserver powers 300 cloud hosting providers, again providers of private clouds as well, so not quite contributing to the number of mass market cloud providers. Like Vmware, Citrix’s focus is on providing a more universal product, which can be used for your private clouds, for simple server consolidation, or with enough R&D, a mass market cloud product, like RackSpace Cloud has used it for.

SingleHop has recently announced it’s Cascade Cloud Product. The dedicated hosting firm has clearly shown a talented product and development team with LEAP & Tandem Reseller Program, so it will be interesting how the firm utilizes it’s existing automation and front-end systems in tackling the issue of lack of providers in the mass market space.

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