A cloud computing SLA, or service level agreement, can vary widely in its terms and services. Here’s an idea of what to look for, BEFORE signing on the dotted line.
Contracts can be confusing and arduous to sift through– and a cloud computing SLA is no exception. But that doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to ignorance!
An SLA for cloud computing should include several terms, though they can be difficult to define. However, there is a growing consensus in the industry that many aspects of service should be delineated as specifically as possible.
You may have noticed that companies are attempting to define and guarantee their statistical “uptime” in the cloud computing SLA’s they offer. This usually shows up as a percentage amount of say 99%. In this case, its important to note that there can be a very noticeable difference between an uptime of 99% vs 99.99%!
That’s essentially 1 hour down out of 100, vs 1 hour down out of 10,000.
So you can see how valuable it will be for your company to have this formally and specifically addressed in your contract, as opposed to having loosely defined service terms, or worse– none at all.
This is also true when it comes to clauses on security. You’ll want to look for what guarantees and liabilities are defined in regards to your data. After all, cloud computing requires that you relinquish some control of it to your provider, so you’ll want to know exactly how they intend to protect it.
Finally, an SLA for cloud computing might also include terms for ongoing service and infrastructure maintenance (IaaS). You’ll want to be sure these are addressed in your contract, so in the event of a major technical problem you’re not left alone out in the cloud…
Some of the world’s most prominent companies have recently come under fire regarding their cloud computing SLA’s. This criticism begs the question– if large tech companies are failing to create an efficacious cloud computing SLA, how can any individual be sure their SLA is comprehensive and fair for both parties?
Well, there is additional information out there about the cloud computing SLA and most of them are very academic, technical writings. However, you might find these helpful if you’re involved with high-level IT, or if you’re starting a cloud computing business.