When Microsoft (MSFT) said they were leaning towards a tiered Service Level Agreement (SLA) — where customers who pay more money get higher guarantees of uptime– people wondered: Does that mean Microsoft will sacrifice performance for its low-paying customers to ensure uptime for its higher-paying ones?
Not exactly. In an interview, Microsoft Azure exec Steven Martin explains that yes, there will different levels of customer support offered on Azure. But everyone gets the same uptime guarantees, what you pay for is “redundancy,” in the form of extra instances and extra data replication.
In other words: It’s a tiered SLA.
You would be correct to assume that our offer to customers ultimately would reflect some amount of option on their side to determine how much additional capacity or backup or redundancy they want based on what the app was. And over time that will evolve to include things like geo-distribution as well…
So we investigate things like the numbers of instances that we have live of an application — should that be three, five, seven, twelve? — depending on what the customer wants as well as the extent to which we’re replicating data — 2 times, 4 times, 8 times, 12.