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100 percent uptime may not be 100 percent accurate: Databarracks

No cloud service provider (CSP) can ever claim to offer 100 percent uptime. Those that do are simply employing marketing tactics that are unhelpful to the industry, says Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks.

The latest figures from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) show that cloud adoption is higher than ever, with 69 percent of UK organizations now adopting at least one cloud based service. As adoption rises, organizations taking their first steps into cloud services need assurances from CSPs that their business can remain operational in the event of an outage.

Groucutt claims that CSPs are responding to increased demand by advertising 100 percent uptime, in the hope of gaining competitive advantage. In reality, he says, these claims are simply damaging the industry:

“Despite what many CSPs promise, SLAs at 100 percent are simply not achievable. Organizations look for assurances from prospective CSPs, guaranteeing them the highest levels of uptime possible. Naturally, prospective customers will be drawn to providers offering the highest SLAs and, on paper, 100 percent is unbeatable.

Groucutt continued:

“This year we’ve seen a number of examples of CSPs offering 100 percent SLAs and then, rather publicly, experiencing outages. This is highly damaging to the industry’s reputation, and contributes to a lack of trust in these already intangible cloud services. To ensure against this we need to set realistic targets for uptime.

“Ultimately, customers want honesty. Every organization, at some point, will experience downtime. Regardless of how small this might be, it needs to be accounted for. Organizations need to work out realistic SLAs that they are confident they can deliver on.

“100 percent uptime usually translates as 99.99 percent or 99.9999 percent. The difference may seem minimal, but it could be the difference between 52 minutes of downtime per year against five minutes. If it’s marketed at 100 percent; the customer would be non-the-wiser.”


•Date: 22nd October 2013 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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