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Service Level Agreements With Cloud Computing; Google Ups The Ante

An interesting post from Google today talks about how they measure up time for GMail and how they are oodles better (both in performance and cost) that three main competitors (Groupwise, Lotus and Microsoft Exchange):
Compared to the costs of Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus or Novell GroupWise —
including software licensing, server expenses and the labor associated with
deploying, maintaining and upgrading them on a regular basis — Google Apps
leaves companies with much more time and money to focus on their real business.

All quite interesting but then again I have worked for a software vendor and always remember the line given to me by their head of sales:
You are always number one - just make sure you the size the pool to make that so!

Granted, Google is playing in a very big pool but they chose the attributes used to describe that pool.

Annnywho, it's not that part of the post that interested me, it was this:
Today, we're announcing that we will extend the 99.9 percent service level agreement we offer Premier Edition customers on Gmail to Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Talk. We have been delivering high levels of reliability across all these products, so it makes sense to extend our guarantees to them.

Aha, now this is starting to address some of the issues corporates* have with using the cloud - "Who do we get to shout at when it stops working?" What are the SLA's for other cloud providers?

* corporates - never sure whether to call them "organisations", "enterprises", "companies" ... you know who I mean