Google is modifying the service level agreement for its Apps service in ways that will hopefully make Apps for Business more attractive to large businesses. Google realizes downtime hurts businesses, so it removed the SLA clause that allows for scheduled downtime. Moving forward, Google plans to count all downtime against a customer’s SLA.
Google is also amending the SLA to count any intermittent downtime. Previously, downtimes of less than ten minutes were not included. Now, any instance that causes downtime will be counted.
Google also boasts that in 2010, Gmail was available 99.984 percent of the time, both for business and consumer users. Put another way, Gmail experienced just seven minutes of downtime per month over the last year. That’s pretty impressive. Google further points out that the seven-minute average is the accumulation of small delays as little as a few seconds, and that some of its customers experienced no issues whatsoever.
When Google Apps began, its initial focus was on small businesses and individuals. Since its launch, Google has added additional security, reliability, and management features that larger businesses demand.