Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

Summary: How much cloud downtime are you willing to put up with and still expect to have to pay the bill for the service?


How much cloud downtime are you willing to put up with and still expect to have to pay the bill for the service?

The Register has been talking to Microsoft about its new Office 365 service and discovered that even after an 1.5 day outage over a period of a month, Microsoft would expect you to pay 50% of the agreed monthly payment.

Here's the deal:

Under the service level agreement, customers receive 25 per cent off their monthly payment if uptime falls below 99.9 per cent to 99 per cent, half of the sum back if it falls below 99 per cent and a complete refund for anything under 95 per cent.

These figures allow for the cloud service to be down for up to 1.5 days per month (or 18 days a year) and you still end up picking up 50% of the bill for hosting.

Compare this to Google, which not only offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, but which also counts downtime as part of planned maintenance as part of this service level agreement.

Which leads to the obvious question - how much cloud downtime would be acceptable for you if you have to pick up a bill for 50% of the total agreed amount?

[poll id="646"]

Downtime is an unfortunate fact of life for the cloud as it is for anything else in tech, but when you choose a service you need to factor in the cost of cloud downtime to your organization and see how this matches against what the company expects you to pay following a downtime episode.

What are your thoughts about the move to the cloud?

Topics: Outage, Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

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  • RE: Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

    AKH, <br><br>I don't see why MS's offering is worse than google's:<br><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a><br><br>Which google only offer you 3 days credit vs. Microsoft offer 25% off if SL drop below to 99 to 95.<br><br>Google even put a cap on it as stated in "Maximum Service", if Google SL dropped belowed 95% they only offer 15 days credit vs. Microsoft's complete refund.
  • And

    OK, Are you trying to cast aspersions on Microsoft by comparing it to Google? You really cannot compare it to Google as

    a) Google does not offer Lync and other enterprise applications to begin with.

    b) Not everything that Google has uses the same SLA. There is no SLA for Google App Engine for example. It can be down all month.

    c) The remuneration is different. Microsoft offers money back, Google only offers extending the contract out. How does rewarding Google's poor performance by staying with them as a customer even longer benefit you, the consumer?

    d) Google downtime is not calculated the same way. It does not matter if you are down. It only counts if a significant percentage of other Google customers are down as well. You can suffer a complete outage as long as it does not affect other customers greatly.

    e) Google downtime is not calculated the same way, part ii. Anything measured in less than few CONTINUOUS minutes is not downtime. Google can be down multiple times per day at 9 minutes per downtime and still meet their SLA.

    f) negotiate your own SLA. If these terms are unacceptable to you, negotiate with your cloud provider. You would be surprised what Microsoft would be willing to do to meet its customers unique business requirements.

    So......I guess getting reimbursed for an outage actually looks kind of good when compared against its competitors and its competitors products.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

      @facebook@... Also to add insult to injures:

      Customer Must Request Service Credit. In order to receive any of the Service Credits described above, Customer must notify Google within thirty days from the time Customer becomes eligible to receive a Service Credit. Failure to comply with this requirement will forfeit Customer's right to receive a Service Credit.
  • RE: Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

    Both seem quite generous when compared to cable, phone or even electricity. While all of these experience outages (especially cable!), I've never gotten a penny from the companies providing those services to compensate for downtime.
  • RE: Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

    Seeing these ludicrous, clearly biased and misleading "tech articles" AKH continues to write and zdnet continues to publish makes me wonder just who pays AKH more- google or zdnet? Why isn't there some way to 'rate' these articles? Either way I've come to know what to expect from AKH, and it isn't fairness, objectivity or accuracy as would be expected of any competent journalist!
  • RE: Office 365: 1.5 days outage per month means you still pay half price

    So, let me get this straight: let's say that my company just lost $2M in revenue due to a 1.5 day outage You really think I am going to argue whether I get 10, 25, or 50% of my cloud fees back? Well, I guess it could pay for the coffee for the meeting with the lawyers to discuss the pending bankruptcy (and/or my termination).

    SLA's, credits, and refunds in the Cloud Computing world are pretty much a joke. What is really important is that the providers establish a track record of extremely high levels of service, incredibly fast responsiveness when something does break, and a totally open and exhaustive level of communications with their users during and after the incident. This is where MOST cloud providers have completely failed in the last two years. I've seen vendors.....making significant changes to systems at 11 AM on a Monday morning...and without a backout or recovery plan. ELEVEN+ HOURS between communications postings to the status blog site. Bragging about your 100% availability with your shiney new Tier 4 data center, then accidentally showing a diagram during an outage Root Cause YouTube video that plainly shows multiple single points of failure within the facility (must have been Tier 4 on some new 1-10 scale). And my favorite....after a major multi-site outage, saying that the clients are responsible for architecting around such failures. I am sure that, just like the warnings on cigarette packs, and right after selling a client on the value of paying more to run in multiple availability zones, the cloud contract warns clients that they will be vulnerable to a multi-availability-zone failure and the vendor is NOT responsible for further recovery alternatives.

    Cloud computing might be great for consumers, many small businesses, an even selective non-critical functions in larger companies. Important stuff (for which you would really want availability/performance guarantees and refunds/credits./etc., will stay in-house or at Tier 1 outsourcers (who understand enterprise class environments) for some time to come. Those who listen to the hype and venture across the line do so at their own peril. CEO's don't call Google or MS when the cloud is down, they call the CIO.
    Ken Cameron