The latest downtime stats from website tracking company CloudHarmony have positioned Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the most reliable public cloud vendors in terms of IaaS in 2014.

At the other end of the scale, fellow powerhouse Microsoft languished near the bottom of the pack, with 99.9354% availabilty. This less-than-perfect uptime statistic is a result of some unfortunate technical issues experienced on the Azure platform in past 12 months, with the cloudy services notching up 39.77 hours worth of outage time over the course of 92 separate instances. In contrast, AWS experienced a mere 23 outages, and 2.69 hours offline.

Whilst it’s an unfortunate result for Microsoft, these are still relatively low figures, and as a collective, cloud providers appear to be getting better across the board – which is excellent news for the maturing sector as a whole.

And hard statistics aside, as RedMonk consultant Donnie Berkholz explains to NetworkWorld, the fact that Microsoft hasn’t kept up with AWS in terms of availability doesn’t appear to have had too much of an impact on its overall popularity (as of yet, anyway). Or more succinctly, as Berkholz puts it, “The question [then] isn’t which provider is best — but what is the limit of what customers find acceptable?”

In other IaaS news, Verizon (VZ) has already put the RedMonk theory to the test in 2015, managing beat Microsoft’s 2014 total with 40 hours of scheduled downtime over the weekend. They also managed to unleash a torrent of righteous indignation from their users base in the process, with analysts rushing forward to condemn the decision as “excessive” and “insanely stupid”. Still, Verizon promises that the only way is up from here, as thanks to the upgrades it performed, all maintenance can happen well away from customers. Whether the customer base thanks them for this in the long-run however is certainly anyone’s guess.


2014: A Positive Year in Cloudy Downtime

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