What are expectations for SaaS uptime?

Cloud-hosted applications have a 99% uptime

One of the most important elements of a successful software-as-a-service (SaaS) product is its uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time the SaaS system is available and allows users to access their accounts or utilize certain services or features. The amount of downtime experienced by a SaaS product can vary based on a variety of factors and should be considered when selecting a service provider.

The expected uptime for an SaaS product varies depending on the specific service agreement between the provider and customer. Most reputable SaaS service providers strive for 100% uptime, meaning that customers can expect near 100% availability throughout their operating hours. However, most commercial grade agreements allow for some downtime, typically ranging from 99.9% to 99.99%.

Uptime percentages are calculated using Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which define uptime as either “normal” or “total” availability periods per month or year. Normal availability means any scheduled routines, such as basic maintenance activities, are excluded from calculations since they are designed to provide uninterrupted access otherwise guaranteed by the SLA terms; while total availability includes all downtime regardless of cause in order to give an accurate measure of what customers can expect when using an online service provider’s applications and platforms.

When determining an expected uptime percentage for a website or other online product SaaS companies must consider their infrastructure setup: how data centers are located around the world, number and types of partner connections available in different regions, etc.; as well as other contingencies beyond their control that could affect performance such as natural disasters or power failures at third party services used by the company in providing their services. It is also important to understand that depending on existing conditions not taken under consideration prior to signing any SLAs with customers—even if these conditions may significantly affect operations—some level of downtimes could occur due to unforeseen circumstances outside one’s control regardless of even having set up your infrastructure correctly..

To learn more about calculating uptimes and setting expectations with SLAs it is recommended that you ask your SaaS provider detailed questions regarding how they guarantee customer satisfaction through such agreements as well as what additional measures they take to ensure your applications remain reliable throughout varying levels or demand and usage times without experiencing unanticipated downtimes..

If a service provider is offering 99 percent uptime, to clarify that’s only 2 nines of uptime. It’s really telling its customers that, on average, they’ll experience just over 7 hours of downtime in any given month. Is that enough? It depends; it might be good enough for workloads that aren’t critical to enterprise survival, but it’s woefully lacking for critical workloads.

But what exactly does Microsoft’s “99.9-plus” percent uptime statement mean — 99.9001 or 99.999? There’s a huge difference. Let’s do some quick math:

For many SaaS businesses, 99.9% uptime is quite good, but the more critical your SaaS product, the better uptime that will be expected.