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Total Uptime Guarantees? It Must Be A New Millennium!

Written By: D. Geller
Published On: January 10 2000

Event Summary

Intira provides netsourcing -- outsourcing services for IT and network infrastructures needed to support E-commerce applications. Intira has announced a comprehensive collection of SLA's and the reporting tools necessary for customers to monitor them. Intira will guarantee up to 99.95 percent uptime (4.38 hours of downtime per year) for all aspects of the customer's operation, including data centers, network, equipment and operating systems and related software. Intira says that it is able to offer these guarantees because of its advanced architecture and proactive automated monitoring. Intira does not manage or guarantee the customers application. The Intira guarantee is that downtime resulting from network or infrastructure failures will be compensated at the rate of one day's fees for one hour of downtime.

Market Impact

Other netsourcers will have no choice but to follow Intira's lead. How long it will take for them to bring their infrastructures to a point where they can offer equivalent SLA's is anyone's guess. Ours is that it will take at least a year before the majority of companies in this business have upgraded to where they can make similar offerings, although some will no doubt be willing to gamble by offering the SLA's now and upgrading later. We also predict that ASP's, some of which host on Intira, will be pressured to offer some form of SLA within the next two years.

User Recommendations

We believe that there are many outsourcing companies that are technically capable of achieving equivalent levels of service. But they may not be ready to guarantee it, and may not yet be able to provide monitoring tools that will satisfy the most hard-nosed auditors. On the other hand, Intira has put its feet quite close to the fire, and is therefore likely to work just a bit harder to maintain uptime. This makes them a firm that deserves serious consideration.

Until others follow suit, you now have the opportunity to consider the cost of downtime - which can run into millions of dollars rather quickly for high traffic E-commerce sites - and how much you are willing to pay for a guarantee. Different guarantee levels have different costs, since you may be paying for additional infrastructure such as redundant hosts. As you compare different offerings you will certainly want to make sure that Intira is on your long list.

There will in time be more vendors making similar offers, which will result in lower costs and hence more sites willing to pay for guaranteed SLA's. So the E-commerce dream of true 365/24/7 availability may finally be realized. At least, until a backhoe cuts the Internet backbone.

 
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