Working on a cloud software Service Level Agreement

As more and more consumers outsource their infrastructure to cloud providers, Service Level Agreements between consumers and providers is a key topic. According to IBM a Service Level Agreement „defines how the consumer will use the services and how the provider will deliver them”.

It is essential for the consumer of cloud services to understand all the terms of the cloud’s provider and to consider the needs and objectives of his enterprise before signing an agreement.

A Service Level Agreement should contain the following aspects:

  • A list of the services the provider will deliver and a complete definition of each service.
  • Metrics to determine if the provider is delivering the service as promised and an auditing mechanism to monitor the service.
  • Responsibilities of the provider and the consumer and remedies available to both if the terms of the SLA are not met.
  • A description of how the SLA will change over time.

Before signing an agreement, the customer should thoroughly inform in regards to the types of SLA’s that exist: off-the-shelf, customized or negotiated agreements. Clients with critical data or applications are recommended to negotiate their agreements in order to meet their needs.

Customers and providers should collaborate when putting in place a cloud software Service Level Agreement so that the provider services would best fit the customer’s needs. As discussed in the article Most common problems with the adoption of SaaS and how to overcome them, problems occurred with cloud providers can be avoided with a solid Service Level Agreement. I also have some other recommendations before signing an agreement:

  • Read your cloud provider’s SLA very carefully
  • Get the technical staff involved in the process of validating SLAs against common outages scenarios
  • Have your own back-up plan to support worse case scenarios. Never leave this responsibility only for your provider.

Final tip, a Service Level Agreement should be beneficial for both the customer and the provider and the best solution for the business.

Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1221951.

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14 Responses to “Working on a cloud software Service Level Agreement”

  1. You have great tips here, gonna apply these tips you have here. Thank you

  2. Quora says:

    Do you really care about the Service Level Agreement (SLA) of your underlying cloud platform (Paas or IaaS)?…

    As a cloud professional, I recommend that the provider and the customer work together on a SLA and adapt it to the customer’s needs and objectives and to the provider’s capabilities. So, its terms will be very clear to respect and keep track of. A SL…

  3. [...] Although it may not look like a threat, lack of information regarding where the data center is stored, or what levels of security a data center has, may influence in a negative way cloud computing. I would also like to add this point as a lack of sufficient standards, because for both of these issues I see similar solutions. Although standards are established by worldwide recognized organizations, they are mentioned in the SLA (Service Level Agreement). So, in order to be informed about where your data is located and how it is managed, try to sign a detailed SLA with the provider. I also recommend you to read further on this topic in the Working on a cloud software Service Level Agreement blog article. [...]

  4. [...] to sign a detailed SLA with the provider. I also recommend you to read further on this topic in the Working on a cloud software Service Level Agreement blog [...]

  5. [...] Purchasers of outsourcing services must seriously consider risk. The results are often included in the outsourcing contract. Because many IT companies outsource their infrastructure to cloud suppliers, a Service Level Agreement is an essential topic. According to IBM, a Service Level Agreement “defines how the consumer will use the services and how the provider will deliver them”. I recommend you to read further about this topic on this article. [...]

  6. [...] Purchasers of outsourcing services must seriously consider risk. The results are often included in the outsourcing contract. Because many IT companies outsource their infrastructure to cloud suppliers, a Service Level Agreement is an essential topic. According to IBM, a Service Level Agreement “defines how the consumer will use the services and how the provider will deliver them”. I recommend you to read further about this topic on this article. [...]

  7. [...] Purchasers of outsourcing services must seriously consider risk. The results are often included in the outsourcing contract. Because many IT companies outsource their infrastructure to cloud suppliers, a Service Level Agreement is an essential topic. According to IBM, a Service Level Agreement “defines how the consumer will use the services and how the provider will deliver them”. I recommend you to read further about this topic on this article. [...]

  8. [...] Purchasers of outsourcing services must seriously consider risk. The results are often included in the outsourcing contract. Because many IT companies outsource their infrastructure to cloud suppliers, a Service Level Agreement is an essential topic. According to IBM, a Service Level Agreement “defines how the consumer will use the services and how the provider will deliver them”. I recommend you to read further about this topic on this article. [...]

  9. [...] a separate report, IT expert Rick Blaisdell said decision-makers need to establish a firm SLA if employees expect better accessibility to [...]

  10. Software outsourcing solutions have attained its peak and so are still growing fast. It has dealt with sectors that provide cost-effective software services.

  11. [...] ·         Service Level Agreements (SLAs) [...]

  12. [...] Service Level Agreements (SLAs) [...]

  13. [...] Service Level Agreements (SLAs) [...]

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