What is an SLA?
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) sets out the obligations of your hosting provider in providing the service that you, as the customer, are paying for. It should detail what availability is to be provided, and importantly, what the penalties are if your hosting provider does not meet the SLA.
At its core, an SLA should provide an assurance to you as the customer that the service you are paying for will be availabile when you need it.
Evaluating an SLA
When choosing a hosting provider, consider what your tolerance of outages ("downtime") are and ensure your host is able to supply a service meeting your needs. Typically, this is expressed as a percentage like "99%" or "99.99%" - the higher the percentage, the less downtime is permitted - usually with a price to match.
Be wary of providers who simply state on their site "SLA: 99.9%" without specifying what is covered and what is not, and be particularly wary if a provider does not detail the penalty for non-compliance.
You may encounter some providers who treat an SLA as a goal rather than a requirement, with no penalties in place. In this case the SLA is meaningless - if in doubt, ask the provider for more details.
Mammoth VPS SLA
At Mammoth, we know the availability of your site is important to you. Its important to us too, since we host a number of our own websites on our VPS infrastructure. In creating our SLA, we wanted to guaranty a level of service that is suitable for most customers and will provide an assurance that your site's availability is important.
What is covered?
We guarantee that our datacentre network and virtual server environment will be availabile 99.9% of the time in a given month, excluding scheduled maintenance.
What is not covered?
What are the penalties?
99.9% means the maximum allowed downtime per month is 43 minutes.
If the availability of our datacenter network or virtual server environment is below 99.9% in a given month, we will credit your account with 5% of your monthly fee for each additional 30 minutes of downtime, up to 100% of your monthly fee for the affect VPS.
To provide an example: if our datacentre network or virtual server environment is unavailable for 120 minutes in the month, that is 77 minutes over our SLA. As that is two additional 30 minute periods, you would be entitled to a credit of 10%.
To receive an SLA credit, customers must contact support within 30 days.