Now, what are the SLAs offered by some cloud providers?
Before the cloud, service level agreements were part of the telecommunications and internet service provider world. Now that computing power and storage is being offered in the cloud, SLAs have been extended to cloud resources by providers such as Amazon and Microsoft Azure.
The Microsoft Windows Azure SLA includes 99.95% uptime for Computing Connectivity and 99.9% uptime for Database availability, Storage availability, and Service availability. Financial penalties are made in the form of credits which are based on the percentage of downtime. More details available on Microsofts website.
Amazon breaks its SLA into storage and compute. The S3 (storage) SLA includes 99.9% uptime during a monthly billing cycle. The service credit percentage is either 10% or 25%, depending on the percentage of uptime. The EC2 (compute) SLA includes 99.95% availability during a service YEAR. The service credit in this case is 10%. More details available on Amazons website.
Cloud applications ride on top of the cloud providers, although in some cases, a single company serves as both the cloud provider and the application provider. In many cases, specifics of the financial penalties are difficult to find, so we have provided only a few examples.
Salesforce does not provide a SLA and has been criticized for not doing so. Applicor provides SLA tracking via their website and a financial guarantee, but the terms of the financial guarantee are not immediately available. Side note: many Aplicor SLA features seem more representative of an internet provider than a software provider.NetSuite provides 99.5% uptime per month and returns the monthly subscription fee if they fail to comply. This recent outage means a lot of customers may get a free month. Acumatica provides 99.5% uptime per month and returns the monthly subscription fee if they fail to comply. Acumaticas application runs on top of Windows Azure, so their SLA encompasses the Windows Azure SLA plus the application level SLA for their ERP software.
The recent outage at NetSuite reported by CRN includes a quote from Steve Jones, CEO of Explore Consulting (a NetSuite advocate), occasional minor outages are just part of the reality of cloud computing today.