Google’s announcement emphasizes is the difference in the architecture on which each solution is based. Google offers a true multi-tenant, scalable, grid architecture that was purpose-built for the cloud. This cloud architecture means that Google does not require any planned downtime and does not provide for any downtime in their SLA. On the other hand, Exchange Online is essentially hosted Exchange in a Microsoft datacenter. Microsoft’s “cloud” is built on the same code base that customers can run in their own datacenter and requires regularly scheduled downtime for updates, patches and hotfixes. This hosted architecture is retrofit for the cloud and it requires organizations to choose one primary data center for their system, typically based off of the organization’s corporate “ship to” address. Having to make this decision can cause performance to suffer in offices that are particularly far from the designated data center.
In an ever-growing global economy, organizations need to make informed decisions about which service providers can best meet their needs. In order for CEO’s to make such decisions, they must first understand which provider is best positioned to handle rapid growth and to make a viable uptime commitment. With this in mind, comparing Microsoft and Google side-by-side begs the question: Which service provider is best positioned to meet these needs — one that was born in the older, client-server architecture who is just now retro-fitting to the cloud and obscuring uptime statistics or one that was born in the cloud on a truly global infrastructure and is completely transparent about its availability?