Solutions Marketing Manager Janel Ryan discusses service level agreements today. – Carl M
Much has been written in the few months about negotiating a better Service Level Agreement (SLA) with your cloud vendor. Before you follow that advise, you may want to consider a few key points.
First, If you are going to negotiate with your cloud provider, you have to be realistic about the performance you need and you have to be prepared to pay for those services. No vendor is going to take on more responsibility without charging more, no matter how hard you press.
Review the Architecture
Second, you’ll need to determine whether the vendor is capable of providing the service or performance level you are requesting. Recognize that the services offered by the provider are usually governed by the cloud’s architecture and how it is implemented. A cloud architected for inexpensive IaaS and quick provisioning may not use the most agile, efficient and self-managing software for storage, network and hypervisor.
Ask questions like, what uptime are you engineered for? What exclusions would prevent you from obtaining an SLA remedies. Do they adhere to industry standards, like ITI for service management; ISO-9001:2008 for business processes, and ISO 20000-1 for continuous improvement? Do their internal procedures adhere to COBIT standards for governance?
Consider Walking Away
Finally and most importantly, if a cloud provider does not offer the SLA commitments you want and need, you are probably talking to the wrong provider. Providers know what they do best and they know what is not in place. If you need additional services, redundancy, a geographical distributed architecture and the vendor does not offer it, it is time to walk away. Pushing a vendor out of his comfort zones adds more risk to an SLA, rather than adding more trust and confidence.
The clearer you are about your company’s needs for latency, redundancy, recovery, security and compliance, customer support, and technical support requirement, the easier it will be for you to select a cloud provider that can become a trusted partner. Ask for a copy of the SLA early in your conversation with a vendor. It could save you considerable time.
What improvements in service and support would benefit your company when it moves to a cloud?