IT service organizations that manage multiple service providers may wish to enter into Operational Level Agreements (OLA) that explain how some parties involved in the IT service delivery process interact with each other to maintain performance. Consider a service provider that offers 99% operating time in its ALS. Sounds good, doesn`t it? Think again. A service level of 99% operating time can suspend your service for many hours at a time – all within contractual limits. However, ALS metrics, as a general tool, can have human consequences – if a company accepts, for example, that the availability of a web-based application will pay attention to a certain level of agreement. For example, many large cloud providers promise 99.9% plus availability, but when a failure occurs, refunds are usually offered in the form of service credits, but these often represent only a percentage of the total cost of the service. If the service provider is taken over by another entity or merges with another entity, the client can expect his ALS to remain in effect, but that may not be the case. The agreement may need to be renegotiated. Don`t make assumptions; Note, however, that the new owner does not want to alienate existing customers, so they can choose to honor existing SLAs.
Remember that each party is fighting for its own interests. Users want a service that works well and providers want to justify billing for the services they offer. Take a good look at your ALS. Be vigilant. Never give up custody. It`s your business. The goal should be to fairly integrate good practices and requirements that maintain service efficiency and avoid additional costs. Cloud providers are more reluctant to modify their standard SLAs because their margins are based on providing goods services to many buyers. However, in some cases, customers are able to negotiate terms with their cloud providers. Businesses as consumers of technology and applications must at one time or another say, «Do we really need 99.999% operating time?» This is especially true when it comes to 99.99% in exchange for a relatively terrible price tag to reduce unanticipated downtime by only 31 seconds per year. For example, 99.999% is equivalent to 5 minutes 16 seconds of unplanned availability per year.
Select the measures that motivate good behavior. The first objective of any metric is to motivate the corresponding behaviors on behalf of the client and service provider. Each side of the relationship tries to optimize its actions to achieve the performance goals defined by the metrics. First, focus on the behavior you want to motivate. Then test your metrics by placing yourself instead of the other side. How would you optimize your performance? Does this optimization support the results initially desired? A blog post from CloudEndure gives some interesting insights into the type of downtime. The article is titled «5 Things They Never Told You About Downtime.» Their warning deserves our attention: «Unfortunately, it`s very easy to fall into a false sense of security when it comes to the availability of services in the cloud.» Here`s their list: And while it may sound great, every additional nine added by a vendor to their availability and availability rating means a relatively small increase in reliability, but costs are still rising. Controlling downtime is an important part of ALA management. If you can`t clarify downtime, how will you know what Uptime is? AlS should have two components: services and management.