Friday, April 29, 2011

Downtime, SLAs, compensation and other fairytales.

My brother-in-law in England has a beautiful framed photograph in his living room. It is of a small cottage with some trees just as a small sprinkling of snow has fallen on it. It's something that wouldn't look out of place on a Christmas card. But it isn't a commercially bought print. It is a photo that he took when chance put him in the right place at the right time. Plus he knows a thing or two about cameras and was able to do justice to the scene.

It is all the more poignant because he took the negatives in to a photo shop to get some more prints and the shop lost the negatives. He would have got a few pounds in compensation for that loss. He'll never see the negative again though. For youngsters, cameras used to use film, which was processed into negatives from which prints were made.

There were some places where you'd drop off the film, they'd send it off somewhere else to be processed, who'd deliver it back to the shop where you'd get the prints. Like a 'cloud' service, you never really knew where the film actually went. Keen photographers generally went somewhere which did their own development on the premises and things were less likely to go wrong. At the really cheap places, if something went wrong, you'd get a replacement film, blank of course.

This isn't about 'cloud'. It is about compensation. You don't get the photos back. Having an SLA promise you 50% off your month's hosting fee of $20 if they have excessive downtime is pretty pathetic if you've lost $1000 in business.

If you are paying for a service, whether it is power, telephone, data storage or CPUs, you are paying less than the service is worth to you. [If you are paying $50 for something you only value at $25, then your boss's nephew probably owns the supplier.] The provider has costs too, so the benefit (profit) to them in having you as a customer is less than the benefit (avoided loss) to you in having them as a supplier.

If you own it, you have to look after it.

1 comment:

Gary Myers said...

"For customers with an attached EBS volume or a running RDS database instance in the affected Availability Zone in the US East Region at the time of the disruption, regardless of whether their resources and application were impacted or not, we are going to provide a 10 day credit equal to 100% of their usage of EBS Volumes, EC2 Instances and RDS database instances that were running in the affected Availability Zone. "

See what I mean ?