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SLAs: What you should ask from your cloud service provider

Amy Larsen-DeCarlo says that cloud service providers offer SLAs, but enterprises should demand concrete agreements that guarantee end-to-end service.

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What kinds of SLAs should we require from our cloud service provider?

Most cloud service providers today offer up fairly generic service level agreements based on server availability, usually in excess of 99%. Many also provide SLAs around network availability (often up to 100%) and application response time. What enterprises should ask for from their cloud providers are guarantees around end-to-end performance, availability and service reliability (mean time between failures). Isolating delivery elements from one another does not provide an accurate picture of actual service quality. What customers want -- and too few providers actually supply now -- is an SLA that attaches a concrete guarantee to end-to-end service delivery.

This was first published in April 2013

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