Google offers "premier" support for App Enginejust don't call on weekends

Google logoGoogle is targeting its App Engine platform-as-a-service cloud to business customers with a new $500-per-month plan that includes premier support and a 99.95 percent uptime service-level agreement. But customers may only contact Google after attempting to fix errors themselves, and downtime only counts against the SLA if there is more than a ten percent error rate and five consecutive minutes of degraded service.

When choosing a platform for your most critical business applications or standardizing on one across your organization, we recognize that uptime guarantees, easy management and support are just as important as product features, Group Product Manager Jessie Jiang announced in the Google Enterprise Blog. So today, we are launching Google App Engine Premier Accounts. For $500 per month, youll receive premier support, a 99.95% uptime service level agreement and the ability to create unlimited number of apps on your premier account domain.

There are additional fees for resource usage. And customers may want to read Googles definitions of support and downtime before deciding whether a premier account is worth it.

Downtime means more than a ten percent Error Rate for any Eligible Application, a draft of the Google App Engine proposed SLA terms reads. Eligible Application means an Application that has been created using the High Replication Datastore setting. Downtime Period means, for an Application, a period of five consecutive minutes of Downtime. Intermittent Downtime for a period of less than five minutes will not be counted towards any Downtime Periods.

If downtime falls below 99.95 percent for a month, Google customers can obtain credits toward future monthly bills.

Microsofts Windows Azure service-level agreement also uses the five-minute interval to define downtime, and offers a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, less than Googles. But Microsoft does offer 24/7 phone support for Azure.

Google now offers 24/7 phone support for Google Apps, the business suite of Gmail, Docs, and Calendar. But App Engine isnt getting the same treatment. Googles support guidelines for the App Engine premier accounts say that support hours of operation are limited to weekdays and non-holidays, and from midnight to 6pm Pacific time. Any Requests received outside of the Hours of Operation will be logged and processed at the beginning of the next Business Day, Google says. Top priority requests are responded to within four hours, and lower-priority requests are responded to in one business day.

Customers are discouraged from calling Google support unless they have tried to fix the problems themselves. Prior to making a request to Google, Customer will use reasonable efforts to fix any error, bug, malfunction or network connectivity defect without escalation to Google, the guidelines say. Thereafter, Customer may submit a written request for technical support through the GES [Google Enterprise Support] site.

Still, Google has made several improvements to its services for developers wishing to build and host applications on Google infrastructure. Google recently announced the introduction of Cloud SQL, a relational database service for App Engine, and the movement of the developer-focused Google Cloud Storage and Prediction API from Google Labs to broader availability.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: cloud computing, Google

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