CSPs – Communication Service Providers – that claim they can offer 100pc uptime on their servers and hosting systems, are making promises they cannot keep, says Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, the cloud data centre specialist.
In fact, he adds, making such claims is arguably dishonest and unhelpful to the data centre and cloud computing industry.
Groucutt, whose firm provider secure cloud-based data centre services, argues that firms that make the bold claim of 100pc uptime are simply employing marketing tactics.
Citing figures from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), he says, that cloud adoption is now higher than ever, with 69pc of UK organisations now adopting at least one cloud based service.
As adoption levels rise, he says, organisations taking their first steps into cloud computing services really need assurances from their CSPs that their business can remain operational in the event of an outage.
Groucutt claims that CSPs are really responding to increased demand by advertising 100pc, in the hope of gaining a competitive advantage. In reality, he says, these claims are simply damaging the industry.
100pc SLAs = not achievable
“Despite what many CSPs promise, service level agreements at 100pc are simply not achievable. Organisations 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 service level agreements and – on paper – 100pc is unbeatable,” he says.
According to Groucutt, so far this year we have seen a number of examples of CSPs offering 100pc service level agreements and then rather publicly, experiencing outages.
This is, he says, 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,” he says, adding that – ultimately – customers want honesty.
“Every organisation, at some point, will experience downtime. Regardless of how small this might be, it needs to be accounted for. Organisations need to to work out realistic service level agreements that they are confident they can deliver on,” he adds.
The Databarracks managing director concludes that 100pc uptime usually equates to 99.99 to 99.999pc uptime, which means the difference between and if it is marketed as 100pc uptime, then the customer would be none-the-wiser.