Google Apps Tweaks Cloud SLAs
Google Apps is taking a hardline stance against cloud downtime, as evidenced by new tweaks to their service level agreements (SLAs) that eliminates maintenance windows from allowed outages and counts intermittent downtime. In plain English: Google is now saying that if your Google Apps for Business deployment is inaccessible for any reason, you’re due some reimbursement.
The official Google Enterprise blog entry that lays out the new SLA policy also lends some perspective on the announcement. First off, Google is claiming to be the first major cloud provider that’s counting scheduled maintenance towards their SLA.
But Google is also claiming that their uptime is nothing to sneeze at as it stands. For instance, Gmail had 99.984% availability in 2010, which averages out to seven minutes of downtime a month — total. Since that’s the accrual of seconds over a month, Google claims that very few organizations even noticed any downtime at all.
If true, it places Google Apps in a solid place to make good on these enhanced SLAs, especially since they launched many new features without taking the system down at all. And it also means that when they say that Google Gmail can back up Microsoft Exchange more reliably than a Microsoft partner, they may not be blowing smoke.