Google shared some changes to Google Apps service level agreement (SLA) and some new data.
- Strengthening SLA: Going forward, all downtime will be counted and applied towards the customer's SLA. We're the first major cloud provider to eliminate maintenance windows from their service level agreement.
Also amending our SLA so that any intermittent downtime is counted. Previously, a period of less than ten minutes wasn't included. We believe any instance that causes our users to experience downtime should be avoided -- period.
- In 2010, Gmail was available 99.984% of the time, for both business and consumer users, that comes to seven minutes of downtime p/m. That seven-minute average represents the accumulation of small delays of a few seconds, and most people experienced no issues at all. "We're particularly pleased with this level of reliability since it was accomplished without any planned downtime while launching 30 new features and adding tens of millions of active users.
Seven minutes of downtime compares very favorably with on-premises email, which's subject to much higher rates of interruption that hurt employee productivity. The latest research from the Radicati Group found that on-premises email averaged 3.8 hours of downtime p/m. This suggests Gmail is 32 times more reliable than the average email system, and 46 times more available than Microsoft Exchange," said Google.
Fortunately Exchange customers can still benefit from the reliability of Gmail with Google Message Continuity. Comparable data for Microsoft BPOS is unavailable, though their service notifications show 113 incidents in 2010: 74 unplanned outages, and 33 days with planned downtime.