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Leong does note that AWS has voluntarily refunded customers impacted by major downtime events even when the SLA did not require it.
Not all IaaS cloud SLAs are as bad as AWS and HP, she concludes. "The norm in the IaaS competition is actually strong SLAs with decent givebacks, that don't require you to run in multiple data centers," she writes. Dimension Data, for example, has a per-VM SLA with 100% uptime. That compares to a 99.95% uptime guarantee from AWS and HP, which only kicks in after at least five minutes of an outage. AWS and HP also have caps of how much of a percent of a customer's bill can be refunded during a downtime, whereas Dimension Data will refund up to 100%.
HP did not immediately provide a comment in response to Leong's claims.
Read more about cloud computing in Network World's Cloud Computing section.