Photo: Twitter, mjmonty
Google has improved the reliability of Gmail enough that the company is now promising next to zero downtime for business customers.The company amended its service level agreement (SLA) for Google Apps for Business this morning in two ways:
- Every outage, no matter how short, is counted against the SLA. Previously an outage had to be at least 10 minutes long to be counted.
- There’s no provision for planned or scheduled downtime.
The lack of planned downtime is a big deal, as other big service vendors — including Microsoft — plan for a few hours of downtime every year to replace hardware or upgrade software. Google is basically saying that Gmail has enough redundancy that it will continue to run at full capacity even if the company has to make these kinds of updates.
Of course, competitors might respond that Google’s standard SLA only offers most customers more free time, rather than money back, so this isn’t much of a sacrifice. (Google does offer money-back SLAs for its large customers.)
Google claims that Gmail was down for an average of only 7 minutes per month last year, including a lot of seconds-long outages that customers wouldn’t notice.