“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.