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10 questions about downtime to ask (and discuss) with your cloud provider

by Rob Curls
Solutions Consultant, Concerto Cloud Services,
August 04 2016

If your organization has ever experienced a system outage, then you understand the real and potential impact of downtime. With the amount of workloads being placed in the cloud, it is a well-held belief that a service level guarantee, whether it be at 99.9% uptime or higher, are sufficient for your organization. Not so fast.

Service level agreements, which document the amount and type of allowed downtime for your platform, come in many shapes and sizes. It is critical for your organization to understand your service-level agreement in terms of minutes and seconds allowable downtime to help determine acceptable risk for your workload or application. And in addition, it is critical to understand the nuances of the SLAs terms.

For even the most savvy professionals, SLAs can be challenging, cryptic, even intimidating. Here are ten often-missed questions to ask your potential cloud provider before choosing a platform and an associated SLA. Remember, SLAs are part of legal contracts, so it's advisable to have a lawyer and/or technical expert assist you.

1. How do you calculate downtime?

Do not assume that you share the same definition or implications of downtime as your potential cloud service-provider. For example, Microsoft calculates downtime reimbursement based on a formula that subtracts downtime from the total user time available in a month. This formula means that a company with 100 users might have to be down for over 18 hours before receiving any type of SLA credit. A good move is to ask your potential provider to spell out a few downtime/reimbursement scenarios based on your needs.

2. How do you track uptime/usage?

Many cloud service providers and platforms, such as Microsoft and Amazon, offer real-time service availability and consumption dashboards ...

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About Rob Curls

As a Solutions Consultant for Concerto Cloud Services, my primary focus is educating customers on technologies that are available and designing solutions that will achieve their strategic objectives. With a focus on cloud solutions, my responsibilities include architecting complex workloads utilizing best of bread technology and service providers, developing and presenting in person and online presentations and demonstrations with customers and industry experts, as well as working with our team to ensure we stay on the cutting edge as a cloud service provider.

With more than 14 years of technology experience, I have a diverse background which has enabled me to work in challenging industries such as Healthcare, Professional Services, and Defense. I've consulted organizations ranging in size from small start ups to large globally dispersed organizations, and I'd love the opportunity to sit down and discuss your needs.

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