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Cloud Service Level Agreements: Customer Concerns and Provider Promises

  • April 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 15 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

n this SPIE, we revisit SLAs, examining new cloud user data illustrating what customers are seeking in cloud SLAs; the qualities that make an industry-leading SLA; and how some leading providers have updated their SLA terms over the last year to reflect their commitment to both their service, and to their customers. We review the SLA terms of some top cloud providers, and offer recommendations for all vendors seeking to strengthen their SLAs in line with customer desires.


Introduction


The year 2013 was fraught with cloud infrastructure outages from major providers such as Verizon
Terremark, Google, Microsoft, and AWS, prompting enterprise customers to revisit their public
infrastructure service level agreements (SLA). In early 2013, Stratecast studied what comprises an
ideal SLA, as well as what service levels customers expect from public infrastructure providers.
In that study, we explored realistic assessments of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) availability, credit
levels to compensate for outages, and the idea of simplicity and greater transparency in service level
agreements.

In the interim, Frost & Sullivan survey data has shed new light on what SLA components are most
important in assessing a cloud provider’s service. In a word, service availability is the single most
important factor. Though customers cite different metrics and rules that impact service availability,
business users surveyed mentioned factors that impact overall availability as being most critical when
evaluating SLAs for public cloud IaaS.

Positively, providers are better aligning their SLAs terms in the last year to better reflect expected
service uptime, to ensure that outages measurements are minimal, and that credits are fairly easy to
obtain upon verification of the outage by the provider.

In this SPIE, we revisit SLAs, examining new cloud user data illustrating what customers are seeking
in cloud SLAs; the qualities that make an industry-leading SLA; and how some leading providers
have updated their SLA terms over the last year to reflect their commitment to both their service,
and to their customers. We review the SLA terms of some top cloud providers, and offer
recommendations for all vendors seeking to strengthen their SLAs in line with customer desires.

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