Service Level Agreements in the Cloud

Yesterday I posted a comment on SAI regarding Oracle’s use of a single tenant SaaS delivery model for CRM on demand.

I can understand why some customers want to be hosted on their own physical hardware.  However, I think this is actually a really bad idea from a service reliability perspective.

Think about it: if has a service issue which affects a large number of customers, they are going to respond as quickly as possible and give the situation the highest sense of urgency.  Whereas in a single-tenant scenario like the one proposed by Oracle, if you have an issue that is isolated to your single-tenant infrastructure, there  will be much less urgency in resolving your issue.  After all, you are just a single customer.

I can’t take credit for this idea as I had heard it several years ago from the guys at Keynote Systems.  Those guys have a whole business around SLA monitoring so I give it a great deal of weight.  It made alot of sense then and I think it really does now in this cloudy world.

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  1. Anshu Sharma has a pretty interesting/entertaining analogy for single vs. multi- tenancy benefits for the customer. I’m not sure I agree with it 100%, but it is interesting:

    “Airplanes carry a lot of people. When they go down or even have a small scare, they make front page news. This, over the years, has made aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and airlines that run them prioritize safety and trust over every other bell and whistle feature.

    Motorcycles are different. One goes down, a person dies. But it doesn’t make frontpage news.

    So what’s safer? Which mode of transport is actually safer for you?”

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