AWS, Google, SoftLayer score highly in ranking of most reliable cloud providers

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


Cloud benchmarking provider CloudHarmony has updated its metrics, and found AWS, Google and SoftLayer to be among the most reliable public cloud providers in 2014.

The figures, which can be found on its service status page here, saw Amazon’s S3 register 23 outages across nine regions resulting in a 2.69 hour downtime across the year, while Amazon EC2 clocked up 12 outages resulting in a just over two hour outage time.

Google’s Cloud DNS had a 100% record, while Cloud Storage suffered eight outages at an SLA of 99.9996%, App Engine suffered just one outage and Compute Engine had 66 outages for a 99.982% SLA.

The most downtime of all the cloud providers analysed fell to Aruba Cloud, whose Cloud Storage facility clocked up a whopping 407 outages across five regions, and a total of 67.85 hours down. Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Machines suffered a total of 103 outages, and 42.94 hours out, with a 365 day availability of 99.937%, while ElasticHosts and Internap AgileCLOUD also clocked up more than 30 hours down over the course of the year.

IBM’s SoftLayer had a clean bill of health, scoring 100% across Object Storage, CDN and DNS, while Rackspace nearly achieved the same, suffering 26 outages on Cloud Servers.

Whether it’s an unexpected outage, such as Microsoft’s – or planned downtime, as Verizon attempted this weekend – there is no getting away from the cold hard facts of an SLA. Yet according to a senior executive at cloud services provider Claranet, SLAs don’t give quite enough insight.

“The vast majority of SLAs don’t really get to the heart of what’s important to customers – or, at the very least, fall short of guaranteeing what customers really need and expect, beyond uptime and availability,” explained Paul Marland, director of account management.

“The industry tends to measure against technical metrics, but it’s important to remember that it’s the end user’s actual experience that counts.”

As CloudHarmony CEO Jason Read acknowledges, not every outage could be recorded. Yet while this gives a good idea of the state of play, cloud solutions require far more due diligence, from price, to how it will fit into your business.

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