Put Your 9-to-5 on Cloud 9 with Five Nines Service Level Agreements

4 minute read

The quality of service a business delivers is a vital indicator of its overall value to clients. Assessing service quality involves considering various aspects such as user-friendliness, accessibility, security, reliability, etc., all of which contribute to consumer satisfaction. Among these factors, consumers often prioritize a service with five nines availability. There are numerous standards for measuring service or system availability, the most common being its percentage uptime. 

Availability, expressed as a percentage of time a system is fully operational, is often described in terms of nines. For instance, five nines uptime means a system is operational 99.999% of the time. 

If a system operates 100 hours per week, its availability would be 100/168 = 60%. 

InterFAX has one of the highest uptimes in the industry. We conservatively commit to a three-and-a-half nines (99.95%) service level agreement (SLA) equating to fewer than 5 hours of downtime each YEAR. However, we typically operate at four nines (99.99%), which is less than an hour of service outages per year. 

Most competing cloud fax providers run a two nines SLA which comes out to 3 days, 14 hours, and 56 minutes of annual downtime.  

The Critical Importance of Five Nines Availability in Cloud Services 

With the shift from private networks to cloud services, companies increasingly demand five nines availability from service providers. As organizations incorporate more critical applications and services, ensuring these services are highly available and minimizing downtime is vital. When resources are unavailable, employees, customers, and supply chain partners lose access to necessary information or services. 

Although the ideal is 100% availability, achieving every-minute, everyday uptime is unrealistic due to maintenance, upgrades, and unforeseen events. A five nines service-level agreement (SLA) is a close benchmark, allowing for only 5 minutes and 15 seconds of downtime annually. 

Other availability benchmarks include: 

  • Four nines (99.99%) – 52 minutes and 36 seconds of downtime 
  • Three and a half nines (99.95%) – 4 hours and 20 minutes of downtime 
  • Three nines (99.90%) – 8 hours and 46 minutes of downtime 

Maintaining five nines availability demands significant investment and ongoing maintenance, including network configuration, monitoring, troubleshooting, and adherence to best practices to ensure system components remain functional. Downtime can cost companies millions of dollars per hour. 

But achieving five nines availability is beneficial regardless of your organization’s business. 

The Benefits of Achieving Five Nines Availability Across Industries

five nines cloud fax benefits



For healthcare organizations reliant on cloud services, maintaining a constant uptime is a matter of life or death. Patients’ lives are at risk every second a hospital’s system is down. Additionally, it leaves patients and providers vulnerable to cyber threats on HIPAA-protected data. 

Financial Services 

When an organization in the financial sector experiences an outage, regulatory bodies may impose penalties for failing to meet service availability requirements, especially if downtime leads to non-compliance with financial regulations. An inability to access critical data, applications, and systems halts trading, transactions, and other financial activities. Disruptions often expose vulnerabilities, making the system more susceptible to cyberattacks. Compromised backup and recovery processes can lead to data loss or corruption, further exacerbating operational challenges. 


When organizations face system blackouts in the hospitality market, it can result in immediate revenue losses from missed bookings and an inability to process payments. Manual workarounds to manage operations during downtime can increase labor costs and reduce overall efficiency. However, the most significant impact may be on the business’s reputation. Guests who experience issues with services reliant on cloud infrastructure, such as in-room entertainment systems, Wi-Fi access, and automated amenities, are quick to leave a negative review. Additionally, loyal members may have difficulty accessing or redeeming loyalty points. 

Achieving five nines availability offers several benefits regardless of your industry: 

  • Increased Uptime: InterFAX’s reliable service reduces the risk of extended outages, which can severely impact operations. 
  • Happier Customers: In today’s digital era, customers expect constant availability. Online businesses risk losing customers to competitors if services are unavailable. 
  • Business Continuity: High availability ensures that day-to-day operations can proceed with minimal interruption. 
  • Competitiveness: Companies maintaining high availability levels gain an edge over those experiencing frequent or prolonged outages. Users are quick to seek alternatives if they encounter unsatisfactory experiences. 
  • Revenue Generation: System availability directly affects revenue through customer satisfaction and retention. Consistent access enhances engagement and sales, while downtime leads to customer frustration and revenue loss. 

Wrap Up 

Different industries depend on reliable and accessible consumer access systems. Thorough analysis is crucial before deciding on an appropriate availability level for a service or system. Availability is a critical factor in decision-making due to its significant impact on systems and organizations. Recognizing its importance is essential. 

Want to learn more? Get details on cloud fax for healthcare 

See how we prioritize safety with strict security protocols. 

Ready to increase your availability? Reach out to talk to an expert. 

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