Amazon.com has upgraded its rent-a-server service to a professional standard, guaranteeing 99.9% server up-time with compensation for excess downtime. "People thought for a while (Web Services) was just an experiment for Amazon,” said one IT manager, but with the new guarantee, “people are taking it more seriously.” The service is popular with startups that have unpredictable server needs.
The new service level agreement means Amazon may be considering a more serious move into the sector. So far, web applications are not yet big earners for the online retailer. One design company uses the service for their own backups but says it has had clients "actually say no to hosting something on Amazon because there was no SLA.”