What are the Different Levels and Components of SLA (Service Level Agreement) in Cloud Computing?

To thrive in today’s environment, one must be prepared for the unexpected, as there are constantly new, unforeseen problems. Networks, security, storage, processing power, database/software availability, and even legislative or regulatory modifications can pose challenges. The only way to systematically overcome these obstacles is to establish a solid foundation of rules and boundaries and plan for anomalies from the outset. As cloud clients, we work in a multi-geography, multi-network, and multi-system environment. It only makes sense to agree on the desired service level for your customers and measure the results. It only makes perfect sense to concur on the desired level of service for your consumers and then determine the exact outcomes.

Businesses rely on computing systems to remain sustainable. An SLA (Service Level Agreement) is essential when dealing with cloud computing, just as it is for any IT project that has a plan with well-defined deliverables. That brings us to think of many questions:

  • What is SLA?
  • Why is SLA important?
  • What are the different levels and components of SLA in cloud computing?

Read this article to know all about SLA.

What is Service Level Management (SLM)?

SLM is accountable for maintenance that all of its systems and management processes, operational level agreements, and foundation contracts are adequate for the agreed-upon service level targets. SLM analyses and delivers on service levels and leads customer reviews regularly.

What is SLA?

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a contract deal between a service provider and its clients that specifies the services that the provider will deliver and the service standards that the provider is intended to fulfill.

Why are SLAs important?

SLAs are important due to the following factors:

  • Protects both parties

When internal IT introduces a new application, they collaborate closely with end-users to ensure that everything works properly. They monitor application success through emails and phone calls, and if there is an issue, they approach the vendor to resolve it.

  • Guarantees service level goals

The cloud provider accepts the customer’s SLOs and can demonstrate that they meet them. If there is an issue, there is a well-defined response and resolution method. This method also safeguards the provider. If a client saves money by accepting a 48-hour data retrieval window for some of their apps, the supplier is perfectly justified if it takes 47 hours.

How do you Design SLA Structures?

In Service Level Management, you may arrange your SLAs in several ways. Here are a few crucial aspects to consider to do so:

  • Will the SLA structure allows for flexibility in the levels of service provided to different customers?
  • Will the SLA structure needs a lot of duplication of effort?
  • Who are the stakeholders who will sign the SLAs?

SLAs is structured in three ways:

  • Service-based,
  • Customer-based,
  • Multi-level or hierarchical.

Many different factors must be examined when determining which SLA structure is best for a business.

Levels of SLA

Earlier, a client and the service consumer signed all Service Level Agreements in cloud computing. With the advent of major utility-like cloud computing service providers, most Service Level Agreements are regulated until a customer becomes a frequent user of cloud services. These act as the fundamentals of cloud computing. Service Level Agreements are also defined at many levels, as listed below:

  • Corporate Level

All of the general issues of the company are addressed, and they are consistent throughout the organization. For example, with a company security SLA, every employee must generate passwords of 6 characters and reset them every twenty days—or every individual must have an admittance card with an embedded photo ID.

  • Customer Level

Those concerns that are distinctive to a customer can be addressed. One or more departments within the company have higher safety specifications. Because of its crucial position and management of financial resources, the finance department, for example, requires more stringent safety standards.

  • Service Level

Users can address all issues pertaining to a particular service. Contracting IT support services for everyone who uses a specific IP telephone provider, for example, applies to all clients that deal with the same service. Using a multi-level framework for a large firm eliminates duplication of work while allowing for clients and service flexibility. As a result, corporate-level SLAs apply to the entire company, customer-level SLAs apply to the department, and so on.

Service Level Agreements include the following parameters:

  • The service’s accessibility (uptime)
  • Latency, also known as response time
  • The dependability of service components
  • Accountability of each party
  • Warranties

In any instance, if a cloud service provider fails to achieve the stipulated minimums, the provider must pay the penalty to the cloud service consumer following the agreement. So, Service Level Agreements are similar to insurance policies, where the firm must pay according to the terms of the agreement if a mishap occurs.

Microsoft releases Service Level Agreements associated with Windows Azure Platform systems, demonstrating industry standards for cloud service vendors. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are in place for each component. Two important Service Level Agreements (SLA) are detailed below:

  • Windows Azure SLA –

SLAs for computing and storage differ in Windows Azure. When a customer deploys two or more role instances in different fault and upgrade domains, there is a certainty that the customer internet-facing roles will have external connectivity of at least 99.95 percent of the time. Furthermore, all the customer role instances are analyzed, and there is a 99.9 percent guarantee of recognition when a role instance process does not behead and commences appropriately.

  • SQL Azure SLA –

SQL Azure clients will have access to the database and SQL Azure’s internet gateway. Within a month, SQL Azure will manage a “Monthly Availability” of 99.9 percent. Availability can vary from month to month. For a specific tenant database, the proportion is the percentage of the time the database was available to customers the entire time in a month. In a 30-day monthly cycle, time is measured in minute increments. Availability is always compensated for the whole month. If the SQL Azure gateway denies the customer’s efforts to connect to a database, a period is reported as unavailable.

Components of SLA

There are six components of SLA:

  • Agreement Overview

The agreement comprises information such as the persons involved, the effective/expiry date, and a broad declaration on the specific SLA’s extra elements.

  • Goals and Objectives

The part addresses aims and objectives. The goal of the agreement and the possibility to reach a mutual agreement are detailed.

  • Stakeholders

The parties to the agreement are mentioned in this section. As an example, consider an IT service provider and an IT customer.

  • Periodic Review

A periodic review should be mentioned to specify the effective/expiry date and the parameters governing review timeframes of a certain SLA.

  • Service Agreement

The service agreement, which includes several critical components for which the service provider accepts responsibility, is the most important portion of a service level agreement.

Fundamentals of Cloud Computing in SLA

Cloud computing companies provide standard service level agreements (SLAs). Clients will give their key performance indicators (KPI), and the provider and customers will determine associated service level targets (SLO). When an agreed-upon activity fails, automated policies enforce actions to fulfill the SLOs and generate alerts and reports. IT departments should go through them with their legal counsel. If the SLAs are satisfactory as they are, sign them, and you are finished.

Companies at any point of cloud adoption will almost certainly wish to integrate specific criteria into their SLAs, as the vendor SLA will support the provider. Be cautious of generic assertions in the standard SLA, such as stating the cloud’s maximum number of client computing resources but failing to clarify how many resources have been allocated. Although not every cloud computing service will agree to your specifications, most clients may reach good-faith agreements with providers. The quality of service is determined by knowing what you require and how they will offer it.


Hopefully, you may have understood why SLA is the fundamental of Cloud Computing services that serve both the consumer and the provider’s interests. Getting a cloud engineering certification from Great Learning could help you in the long run. It will save both parties money and increase satisfaction for the parties directly engaged and among end-users.

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