Gartner: Amazon Web Services, HP Have Worst Cloud IaaS Service Level Agreements

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Gartner: AWS, HP Have Worst Cloud IaaS SLAsGartner: AWS, HP Have Worst Cloud IaaS SLAsGartner analyst Lydia Leong sharply attacked cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as as Service) service level agreements (SLAs) as being potentially "meaningless."

She called out Amazon Web Services to have the "worst SLA of any major cloud IaaS provider" and HP as a potentially worse example.

According to Leong, the problem with the SLAs provided by these companies is not just that they are very complex, but that that they are not defined in terms of instance availability, or in terms of availability zones, but in terms of region availability.

"In the AWS case, a region is considered unavailable if you’re running instances in at least two AZs (availability zones) within that region, and in both of those AZs, your instances have no external network connectivity and you can’t launch instances in that AZ that do; this is metered in five-minute intervals," Leong said. "In the HP case, a region is considered unavailable if an instance within that region can’t respond to API or network requests, you are currently running in at least two AZs, and you cannot launch a replacement instance in any AZ within that region; the downtime clock doesn’t start ticking until there’s more than 6 minutes of unavailability."

This strategy would result in an environment that does not provide customers a reasonable giveback on cost paid for the cloud services.

"Amazon’s SLA gives enterprises heartburn," Leong wrote. "HP had the opportunity to do significantly better here, and hasn’t. To me, it’s a toss-up which SLA is worse. HP has a monthly credit period and an easier claim process, but I think that’s totally offset by HP essentially defining an outage as something impacting every AZ in a region." In an update, Leong provided some explanations provided by HP, but stated that the "nuances" in HP's SLA make the HP SLA only "slightly better than the AWS SLA."


Wolfgang GruenerWolfgang GruenerWolfgang Gruener is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. He is currently principal analyst at Ndicio Research, a market analysis firm that focuses on cloud computing and disruptive technologies, and maintains the conceivablytech.com blog. An 18-year veteran in IT journalism and market research, he previously published TG Daily and was managing editor of Tom's Hardware news, which he grew from a link collection in the early 2000s into one of the most comprehensive and trusted technology news sources.

See here for all of Wolfgang's Tom's IT Pro articles.

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