On December 13, 2019, Alibaba Cloud, one of the world's top three cloud service providers, announced its latest service-level agreement (SLA). With it, the promised availability of a single Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance increased from 99.95% to 99.975%, and the promised availability of multiple ECS instances across multiple zones increased from 99.99% to 99.995%. Both are the world's highest of their kind.
For some background information, service-level agreement, or SLA for short, is a means for a cloud computing company to represent the service quality and standards that it promises to its customers. That is, if the available service time provided by a cloud provider, in our case Alibaba Cloud, does not meet the promised standard, then the company will have to compensate the customer based on the terms of the company's SLA.
More and more enterprises are choosing to switch from conventional on-premises data centers and virtualization platforms to the cloud. One of the main reasons, among others, is that traditional IT infrastructure cannot even come close to the standards promised by modern cloud service providers like Alibaba Cloud. In fact, it's often the case that the SLA standards put forward by cloud computing companies are over five times greater than the standards you'll see at on-premises data centers, yet, at the same time, the costs of running your services on the cloud is often just a fraction of the expenditures that'll add up to maintain on-premises data centers.
The availability increase from 99.99% to 99.995% reflects Alibaba Cloud's continued and sustained efforts in ensuring an even higher stability for cloud computing services over the past decade.
Since the very first day that Alibaba Cloud was founded, the company has been investing heavily in stability. And even now, after a decade worth of exploration into several cutting-edge technologies, Alibaba Cloud has developed several networking, storage, and intelligent scheduling service solutions based on its own proprietary Apsara operating system. These services, along with many other related technologies, can provide unparalleled stability. For example, Alibaba Cloud can also ensure zero downtime for its customer services running on the cloud through the use of hot migration and a system of smart prediction for system exceptions, which use Alibaba exclusive algorithms. Together, these technologies enable Alibaba Cloud to offer ultra-high SLA standards to its customers.
In addition to higher SLA standards, Alibaba Cloud also provides an enterprise-grade cloud disaster recovery solution, which offers one-click disaster recovery for industries with high requirements like manufacturing, finance, and medicine where service recovery, data protection, and network self-recovery are of the highest priority. Alibaba Cloud's solution works hard to maximize both the stability of on-premises and off-premises services.
"Alibaba Cloud has always insisted on independent R&D. We carefully inspect and control every line of code in order to provide users with more stable and reliable services and ensure computing services that never suffer from downtime. This is our mission," said Jiang Jiangwei, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Basic Products Division.
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