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Do Brief Outages Count? Google's SLA Says No

Is an outage of less than 10 minutes still an outage? The Google Apps service level agreement (SLA) doesn't count outages of less than 10 minutes.

Is an outage of less than 10 minutes still an outage? Not according to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for Google Apps, which includes a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. Pingdom read the fine print in the SLA and found the following definition:

“Downtime Period” means, for a domain, a period of ten consecutive minutes of Downtime. Intermittent Downtime for a period of less than ten minutes will not be counted towards any Downtime Periods."

This loophole has been used to posit unlikely worst-case scenarios in which Google could have repeated short outages and still honor its SLA guarantees (which in turn has prompted discussion over at TechCrunch). The larger issue is whether Google is defining outages in a way that waters down the uptime guarantee, serving to provide additional protection to the provider rather than the customer.

How does your SLA define an outage?

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