Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Cloud Computing best practice: Use your Cloud SLA to get what you really need


Do not — I say again, do not give your Cloud service-level agreement (SLA) short shrift. Your Cloud SLA is how you make sure you get what you want and pay only for what you get.

It’s not uncommon, however, to find yourself with an assortment of Cloud SLAs — one for each service your business subscribes to. Happily, the right Cloud SLA will enable you to bundle all your Cloud services into a single monthly OpEx payment.

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Details, details: A look at the hybrid Cloud SLA

Hybrid Cloud Computing

Reading a service-level agreement (SLA) may be as exciting as watching paint dry — but when it comes to creating a hybrid that fits your organization and truly meets its needs, bringing your full attention to your SLA can make all the difference.

So here’s my version of Hybrid Cloud101:

Expect to customize your hybrid cloud SLA. The whole point of a private cloud is to design and customize cloud capabilities to address your unique needs, and you need a Cloud services provider willing and able to do that in ways that precisely reflect your business requirements so you can achieve the flexibility, scalability, cost reductions, efficiencies, redundancy, and disaster recovery protections you need — without overspending on overcapacity.

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Essential SLA Elements #5: Protecting your data from the goblins

A service-level agreement works best when it’s the result of a collaborative effort between you and a service provider you can trust. This kind of trusted collaboration will uncover the most cost-effective ways your provider’s IT capabilities can be put to work for your business.

Part of that trust involves the fifth and last Essential SLA Element on my list: Procedures for the safe and prompt return of your data upon service termination.

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Essential SLA Elements #3 and #4: Monitoring, enforcement, and change mechanisms

A good service-level agreement looks simple — but that’s because it’s been conscientiously negotiated to meet the buyer’s needs. Of the five essential SLA elements that every managed and cloud services customer should focus on, I’ve described two — specifying service functionality and describing the infrastructure and standards to be maintained by the provider.

Essential SLA Elements #3 concerns SLA changes. Your SLA should include a mechanism by which you can regularly tune it in response to changing business conditions or new technologies. You’ll benefit from building in a formal review of your SLA (at least annually) in order to use experience and new information to revise it.

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Essential SLA Element #1: Why specifying each service to be provided is critical

I see five essential elements that you absolutely need to pay attention to in your managed and cloud services SLAs. I’ll review each of them in my blog, starting with: Specifying each service to be provided.

This may seem obvious, and, in fact, it is. Yet too many service-level agreements are surprising vague about what exactly you’re buying.

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Your SLA: Forgotten secret to getting the most from your cloud provider

To get the most out of your managed or cloud service, you need to invest the time in negotiating a good service-level agreement.

The SLA is a key part of the contract between you and your provider, since it describes the levels of service being provided and the metrics used to ensure your provider delivers full value. And the right SLA with the right service provider can mitigate cloud risks and help your business flourish.

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