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Is your cloud SLA worth the paper it's written on?

When we recently bought a property, we had to engage the services of a solicitor in order to do the conveyancing. Part of the process involved a number of searches. A line of highly paid professionals formed at vast expense to give us their considered opinion on everything from the structural integrity of the property through to whether it was about to fall into a tin mine.

Without exception, each of the professional reports contained a similar clause; the information contained in this report is presented in good faith, but don't call us if it falls down. Their remedy was limited to a refund of their professional fees - not much comfort if you've lost a property.

Limitation of liability seems to be the name of the game in technology too. Based on the length and complexity of their license agreements, some companies must pay lawyers more than they pay software developers. Does anyone actually read those things anyway?

Cloud vendors will wax lyrical about how their high 90s SLAs are backed up by celever redundancy and no single points of failure, but let's say it all goes wrong and they don't live up to those SLAs - where do you stand? If like with many cloud vendors, remedies are limited to a refund, the answer is on your own.

With the number of high profile data centres outages that have happened in recent history, failure is a very real possibility. Maybe one day, you will be able to get "cloud insurance". Until that day, unless they are backed by beefy remedies, cloud SLAs are best taken as a statement of intent by the vendor.


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Martin Bailey

Martin Bailey

Technology Product Director


Member since

29 Nov 2010


Hemel Hempstead

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