Using the best supporting service to support a company’s efficiency and continuity in a day-to-day framework is a necessary goal for many companies around the world. One of such services is cloud SLA (service-level agreement), commonly used by service vendors and their respective clients. According to its definition, SLA is the level of service that a service vendor provides to its own service when dealing with customers and clients. Other than the level of service, SLA also discusses potential penalties and remedies in cases where the level of service is not being fulfilled by the vendors. 

By initiating an SLA, there are certain levels of reliability, availability, and responsiveness in the cloud service management that should be fulfilled. In the context of cloud service technology, SLA refers to certain standards in the management of the cloud service and the corresponding data center. To achieve the desired standards of cloud service management, cloud SLA can be a solution for both the cloud service provider and the client in this matter. Through the SLA, a contract between both parties will outline certain responsibilities and contributions limit to ensure the smoothness of their cooperation.

From here, we can slowly understand the importance of cloud SLA. As companies and enterprises are steadily digitalizing themselves to increasing their workforce, they require the services of external providers to support their work. Since these external providers are not the permanent part of the enterprises’ partners, a contract is necessary to ensure their cooperation. In this regard, cloud SLA possesses the same level of power as a contract – and by fulfilling the responsibilities; a healthy professional relationship can be built between the providers and the enterprises.

Within the cloud SLA, the cloud service provider and the company can discuss the proportions of their cloud service management task. For instance, the provider can manage the storage and the networking part of the cloud technology while the company can take over the management of the applications and data assortment. By splitting the responsibilities into different parts, companies can choose to manage certain parts of the cloud technology that they deem as the most vital parts of their workflow. At the same time, the companies can entrust their cloud service providers to ensure the system keeps running without any particular disruption.

In maintaining a proper implementation of an SLA, several standards should be set. The common standards consist of:

  • Security

Security breaches and disruption can severely hamper the efficiency of the company’s workflow, so there needs to be a security standard such as data encryption and similar measures.

  • Availability

Both the cloud service provider and the client enterprise should agree on certain levels of availability to ensure the service keeps on running during day and night.

  • Data location

The data storage location can be crucial in supporting the overall workflow. Within the SLA, there needs to be an agreement about storing the data in the most reachable location.

  • Cloud service performance

Reliable cloud service should perform in a timely manner to achieve maximum results. In this regard, the service’s response time should be speedy enough to prevent disruptions to the workflow.

  • Disaster recovery expectation

As a part of the risk management process, cloud SLA must cover the disaster recovery expectation to predict which parts of the server that can be salvaged and the best response to handle the disaster.

  • Data access

Data access should be made efficient to immediately provide clients with readable data sets without sacrificing the security of the data.

Although there are other standards within an SLA, these aspects are some of the most crucial aspects of a cloud SLA. By agreeing upon a cloud SLA, companies can protect their data security while maintaining an effective workflow for their interests. At the same time, cloud service providers can prove their service levels and commitment to fulfilling the clients’ cloud service requests. By maintaining a healthy level of professional cooperation, cloud SLA can become an essential instrument to ensure that the interests of both parties are fulfilled.

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Published date :

29 January 2021