HPs Cloud Object SLA: 99.95% uptime or your money back

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

The cloud uptime debate rumbles on with Hewlett Packard promising their Cloud Object storage service will have at least 99.95% availability, with customers receiving service credits if it’s down.

The credits, as one would expect, increase the longer the cloud is down.

Customers who experience between 99.95% and 99.9% uptime get 5% of their bill credited; anything above 99.5% gets one tenth credited; while 99.0% gets one fifth of their bill back and if the Object Cloud is down more than 1% of the time, users get 30% of their bill credited.

Hewlett Packard discussed the variation to their service level agreement (SLA) as part of an overall announcement that their Cloud Object Storage and Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) was moving to general availability.

Gavin Pratt, senior cloud product manager, said that HP “continuously monitor[s] for downtime”.

“We are deeply committed to delivering customers the best possible service, support and experience inside the HP cloud,” he said, adding: “Today is an important milestone in our journey towards delivering an open-source based, scalable, secure enterprise-grade public cloud that offers compelling and innovative applications and services”.

Two months earlier, Hewlett Packard had brought their cloud services out of private beta to a roaring fanfare, with partners including storage company TwinStrata.

The Massachusetts-based cloud provider’s enthusiasm doesn’t appear to have dampened. TwinStrata CEO Nicos Vekiarides said that HP’s cloud service “has consistently delivered and exceeded the high levels of service required by production systems today”.

HP has made an important focus out of their commitment to open cloud.

Speaking at the Red Hat Summit conference, enterprise cloud vice president Steve Dietch said that “every enterprise – if they have a sound, pragmatic strategy – will move to hybrid cloud delivery”.

Cloud uptime and availability has been in the news frequently of late, thanks in no small part to Amazon’s outage difficulties with their EC2 cloud due to storms in Virginia at the end of last month.

Companies haven’t been short of voicing their disapproval, with dating site WhatsYourPrice.com dumping Amazon’s cloud because “a user may lose the chance to meet his or her soul mate forever” – as well as insisting that 100% availability needed to be a vital part of any SLA.

This therefore appears to be a deliberate strategy from HP – focus on the “industry-leading” SLA relating to uptime, and further differentiate from Amazon.

But will the promise of service credits if the public cloud fails be enough to entice users in?

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