“Service Level Agreements - What are we really trying to achieve”

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“Service Level Agreements - What are we really trying to
achieve”
Alan Clark
Telchemy
SLA is a commonly used but sometimes misunderstood term. There may be
expectations of service quality that lead to an implicit rather than explicit SLA
agreement. In practice, the customers for a service are more interested in having a
reliable service that meets their needs than in avoiding payment for unreliable
service, therefore the emphasis for service providers may need to be on "managing"
rather than "monitoring" SLAs. Service providers may prefer SLAs expressed in
terms of network parameters that can be measured easily and consistently whereas
the customers for a service may prefer SLAs that measure the impact of service
quality on user perceived application performance. This paper reviews the basic
goals of SLA agreements, assesses the extent to which current approaches to SLA
management meet these requirements and provides a gap analysis.
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