Cloud Computing Service : Appendix C provides an example of how the comparison guide….
SLAs should identify agreements regarding access to provider performance logs and reports, and performance and status reporting that will be provided.
The SLA may describe how (eg, tools applied) the provider will manage overall service delivery for vendors.
For example, the SLA may indicate the application of ITIL standards/processes.
Include definitions of fees and aspects of service that are within the scope of the SLA. Performance monitoring is an essential step in avoiding disagreements about who is responsible for performance failures.iv Be able to account for assets in the cloud, get performance feedback for cloud-deployed assets.
How automated is this, how much does the sponsor do vice the provider. “An effective SLA should include an unambiguous description of terminology and a concise definition of all the services provided.
Clarity is paramount–you need to understand what the reports generated say.
A very common problem with SLAs is a lack of agreement on the terminology and service definitions.
More often than not, SLAs comprise of arcane service definitions and/or merely list the services bought and paid for, with no guarantees for quality of service.” v Parera, D., April 21, 2008, “Put SOA to the Test,” FCW.com. Torode, C., August 6, 2009, “Beware These Risks of Cloud Computing, from no SLAs to Vendor Lock,” CIO News. Dimension Data, November 2009, “Is Your SLA Your Weakest Link?” p. 7, http://www.dimensiondata.com/ Lists/Downloadable%20Content/ IsYourSLAYourWeakestLinkOpinionPiece_ 129088975412137750.pdf. addressed appropriately within cloud computing SLAs.
Figure 2-1 identifies whether primary SLA elements, as reflected in the SLA Comparison Guide, support technical or relationship management aspects of cloud performance agreements.
By applying the guide as a comparison when reviewing available SLAs, the Government organization is better able to gauge the relative degree of comprehensiveness and rigor applied by candidate providers in their SLAs.
Because the guide incorporates a synthesized assessment across a relatively broad spectrum of actual SLAs (including best practices and lessons learned), a Government organization is able to focus more attention on those particular aspects of a procurement that are of priority concern.
Appendix C provides an example of how the comparison guide can support Government organization in making decisions regarding the selection of a cloud computing service provider. include software development, email, collaboration and social media software, content management, and Web portal environments.” 12 Based on the current cloud computing procurement environment, the approach to negotiating SLAs is a departure from how the Federal Government is accustomed to managing contracted IT service/ capability performance.
Vendors are, for the most part, defining SLA structure, elements, and performance levels.
As such, Government agencies must include consideration of vendor-offered SLAs in making cloud computing procurement decisions. “service-level agreements span across the cloud and are offered by service providers as a service based agreement rather than a customer based agreement.” 13 According to F.
Ohlhorst in Assessing Cloud Providers, “one of the first steps for choosing cloud service providers is to evaluate the level of service offered and the guarantees behind that service.” 14 Ohlhorst further recommends that SLAs be scrutinized under three lenses: data protection, continuity, and costs.
Cloud computing brings about a different measure for service performance as described below:15 The “pay-as-you-go” nature of cloud computing breaks the link between component and service performance: typically, organizations pay for capacity or throughput, rather than specific components.
Plus, the highly dynamic nature of the computing 3.0 Conclusions and Recommendations Writing for GCN, Rutrell Yasin recently stated, “Agency officials cannot afford to ignore the movement to the cloud, especially because the Obama Administration has mandated that agencies look for greater efficiencies using cloud computing.
As a result, agencies should start to develop a cloud strategy and identify candidates for pilot projects, experts say.
Tasks that are well suited for the cloud Cloud SLA Considerations for the Government Consumer 7 infrastructure that exists in the cloud makes traditional [configuration management database] CMDB (or simple list) based systems management virtually impossible to implement.
All the traditional server and network reporting that shows 99.999 up-time will become secondary and probably irrelevant for future service-level management and reporting.
What this means is that synthetic transaction monitoring—that is, generating, monitoring, and reporting on simulated service requests—will be of paramount importance.16 SLAs from cloud computing service providers must emphasize service reliability rather than component reliability.
Momentum for applying SLAs as a codification of a “meeting of the minds” between consumers and providers considerably increased with the advent of Performance-Based Acquisition (PBA), for which a key tenet is focusing on desired outcomes rather than the specifics of how those outcomes are achieved.
In reviewing SLAs to support decisions regarding cloud offerings, Government organizations should pay more attention to whether ultimate goals will be achieved, and carefully weigh how important it is that specific approaches (eg, application of specific software) are applied to achieve those goals. 8 Cloud Computing Appendix A—Guide for Comparing Cloud Computing SLAs Table A-1.
SLA Context/Overview Why Should the Government Value this Element and What Key Questions Should be Answered? Context/overview is an important historical record of the nature of support and obligations.
Not all Government staff who may need to touch the SLA will be intimately familiar with the relationship of key performance obligations and overall service/ capability commitments Consumers need to know who is specifically obligated to respond to complaints/ issues, including names, positions, and organizations.
This SLA element should clarify whom the consumer can contact ASAP should something go awry.
This SLA element should provide insights into the scope of agreement coverage.
It should provide a high-level summary of the service/capability offering.
This SLA element can provide insights into excused performance failures/degradation.
Scope descriptions are critically important to determine whether future proposed SLA changes involve a scope change.
Government consumers should be able to discern from the SLA whether it is addressing the overall cloud experience or whether it is focusing on particular instances of cloud engagement.
Government consumers should be interested in which other Governments, organizations, and individuals are customers for this particular vendor’s offering as described in the SLA.
Consumers also should be interested if regulatory compliance plays a key role in service/capability delivery. SLA Element SLA Context/ Overview Desired Features and Potential “Gotchas” The SLA should identify the provider, the consumer, contact information, SLA purpose, and SLA background.
Overall, SLAs should be simple, familiar, and easy to understand.vi
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