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What to consider when negotiating a hybrid cloud SLA

Gina Murphy, Executive Vice President, TriCore Solutions | Nov. 27, 2014
There is nothing standard about hybrid deployments, so you need more than the usual one-size-fits-all SLA.

Availability and Performance

Availability can mean differently things depending on the services offered. For IaaS, availability is usually defined in terms of infrastructure, such as cloud servers and storage. For PaaS, availability may be defined in terms of functionality and access to the platform, and for SaaS providers, availability will be defined in terms of application and data availability. Ensure that guarantees and definitions are clearly outlined in the SLA.

  • What happens when a portion of the hybrid cloud becomes unavailable due to an outage or a natural disaster? Disaster recovery should play a major role in the SLA and it should be able to be tailored to the customer's RTO and RPO requirements.
  • Whether the problem occurs in the private cloud or the public cloud, the SLA should spell out a coordinated and more importantly a transparent process so that both parties work together to resolve the problem at hand.
  • Organizations need to understand the complexity compliance and its impact on availability. For some regulations such as PCI, operating system patch schedules may be necessary and the frequency of these updates may differ from the provider's default. Update schedules should be clearly defined in the SLA.

The whole point of a hybrid cloud is to design and customize cloud capabilities to address your organization's unique needs. You need a service provider willing and able to customize the service level agreement to meet those needs so that your organization can takes advantage of the flexibility, scalability, cost reductions, and resiliency that cloud computing offers. Transparency builds trust and having the ability to respond to a crisis as a team is the goal of any SLA including.


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