Is Uptime the Wrong Metric for Cloud Service-Level Agreements?

February 28, 2012 No Comments

Summary: Zapthink’s Jason Bloomberg argues that cloud, in its various contexts, requires a new breed of SLAs.

Service level agreements, or SLAs, are the glue that holds cloud computing engagements together. SLAs were pretty straightforward in the days of traditional data center computing: guarantee me this much uptime from your system or application.

With cloud, things aren’t so straightforward. Zapthink’s Jason Bloomberg recently described the challenge with establishing SLAs for cloud services. First of all, since there are private, public and hybrid clouds, there are, accordingly, three contexts for cloud SLAs. For software vendors, SLAs are embodied in end-user license agreements (EULAs) that focus more on restrictions on the end users. Managed hosting providers will talk about uptime (such as 99.9%), with prices adjusted for each “9.” Then there are SLAs for internal services provided by IT, which differ all over the place, depending on capabilities and hardware used, and tend to be expressed as service credits.

Read More of Joe McKendrick’s Blog Post on ZDNet

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