Article note: As the saying goes, "There is no cloud, it's just someone else's computer"
If you're going to rent your computer, make sure the people you're renting it from are established, solvent, and not scum, and/or at least have a backup plan if they turn out to be.
"At least 20 web hosting providers have hastily notified customers today, Saturday, December 7, that they plan to shut down on Monday, giving their clients two days to download data from their accounts before servers are shut down and wiped clean," reports ZDNet.
And no refunds are being provided:
All the services offer cheap low-end virtual private servers [and] all the websites feature a similar page structure, share large chunks of text, use the same CAPTCHA technology, and have notified customers using the same email template. All clues point to the fact that all 20 websites are part of an affiliate scheme or a multi-brand business ran by the same entity...
As several users have pointed out, the VPS providers don't list physical addresses, don't list proper business registration information, and have no references to their ownership... A source in the web hosting industry who wanted to remain anonymous told ZDNet that what happened this weekend is often referred to as "deadpooling" -- namely, the practice of setting up a small web hosting company, providing ultra-cheap VPS servers for a few dollars a month, and then shutting down a few months later, without refunding customers.
"This is a systemic issue within the low-end market, we call it deadpooling," the source told us. "It doesn't happen often at this scale, however."
ZDNet provided this alphabetical list of the 20 companies: ArkaHosting, Bigfoot Servers, DCNHost, HostBRZ, HostedSimply, Hosting73, KudoHosting, LQHosting, MegaZoneHosting, n3Servers, ServerStrong, SnowVPS, SparkVPS, StrongHosting, SuperbVPS, SupremeVPS, TCNHosting, UMaxHosting, WelcomeHosting, X4Servers.
However, "A user who was impacted by his VPS provider's shutdown also told ZDNet that the number of VPS providers going down is most likely higher than 20, as not all customers might have shared the email notification online, with others."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.