Amazon has just announced an SLA policy for S3 that’s retroactive to October 1. Arthur Bergman on O’Reilly and others have been grumbling about Amazon’s lack of Service Level Agreement, although that doesn’t seem to have impacted the enthusiasm of a lot of startups using the services that I talked to. Nevertheless, it is evidence that they’re quite serious about encouraging others to use their Platform as a Service.
The way the SLA works is that if Amazon doesn’t meet their commitment to 99.9% up time, you’re entitled to get back up to 25% of the fee for the month, depending on the details of what actually happened. That’s a pretty normal SLA, and it guarantees that Amazon can’t make a profit on the service (I doubt their margins are much higher!) unless they can keep to their SLA’s, so they’re properly motivated.
SmugMug is happy, they use Amazon S3, although they haven’t been worried about the lack of SLA’s in the past.