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What does the SLA actually cover in simple terms?

Exact metrics of a service level are different among providers. Additionally they are different for individual services acquired by the end customer. The SLA commonly defines the responsibilities of the service in regards to availability and performance. Some of the performance metrics include:

  • Agreed service availability.
  • Agreed service performance metrics.
  • Agreed support availability.
  • Agreed support performance metrics.

Clearly defining the service levels expected of the service provider helps both parties eliminate the grey areas often involved in the provision of services. The SLA defines the level of service expected. Within a service level agreement, it’s possible to include financial incentives for exceeding goals and penalties for failing to meet a certain level of service. Typically, telecommunication services are set with penalties for the provider in the event that they are outside the SLA agreed metrics.

An SLA is required on a per service basis

Whether you are using a service provider for your broadband, private IP network, managed firewall, help desk support or cloud computing platform, each service provided by the third party is an independent service. It means that each service would actually require its own SLA with its own terms of service plus metrics negotiated on a case by case basis.

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