In the modern world of business IT, the cloud is king – that’s just a fact. According to a recent survey, 95% of all businesses are using either public or private cloud hosting services – and the vast majority of businesses are contracting with at least 6 different cloud computing providers.
This makes sense, of course. Cloud computing is inexpensive, reliable, and available even to SMEs (Small-To-Midsized-Enterprises), who often could not afford expensive, on-site IT infrastructure.
However, not all cloud hosting Vancouver companies are the same. As the cloud becomes more and more important to critical business operations, robust Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are essential for any business with a cloud hosting partner.
What Is A Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
Essentially, an SLA is a legally-binding document that defines performance standards, uptime, and customer support standards between a cloud provider and a business.
In this document, things such as expected network uptime, Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), data throughput, and server/software performance are defined in plain language.
The requirements both for the hosting provider and the customer are also defined – as are the next steps that can be taken if either party fails to uphold their end of the contract.
An SLA is the single most important document you’ll sign when choosing a new cloud hosting partner. So here’s what you should look for before signing a new cloud hosting SLA.
What You Should Be Looking For In A Cloud Hosting SLA
Cloud hosting SLAs are complicated documents – but there are some simple things that you can look for to ensure you’re signing an SLA from a reputable company.
● System Uptime – This is the single most important guarantee you can get on your SLA. Any reputable cloud hosting company should offer system uptime of 99.9% or higher, and have clear guarantees for compensation in case they fail to uphold the system uptime standards outlined in the SLA.
● Clear Support And Response Time Guidelines – Your SLA should include guarantees both for the level of customer support, and response times from support staff. Try to choose a cloud hosting provider that offers 24/7 customer support, and has a clear policy for fast, reliable response times.
● Detailed Definitions For Data Ownership And Management – Any SLA you sign should include details about data ownership. You must make it clear that your company still owns any data hosted by a third party.
Your SLA should include language that makes your data ownership clear – as well as detailed next steps for retrieval of proprietary data in case you must break the service contract.
● Clearly-Defined System Security – An SLA should always include a set of security standards that are clearly defined, and testable by you, or a third party.
Your SLA should also allow you to take appropriate security precautions if desired – such as using a third-party auditing service to ensure your data is properly protected.
● Steps That Can Be Take In Case Of Non-Compliance Or Disputes – If your cloud hosting provider fails to uphold their SLA, there must be proper, legal steps that your company can take to exit the contract, or obtain compensation from the company.
A clear strategy for resolving conflicts should be defined – as should a clear exit strategy that can be implemented in case the terms of the contract are breached.
Any reputable cloud hosting company in Canada should be willing to create an SLA with these terms – and if you find that your potential partner is unwilling to create a comprehensive SLA for any reason, walk away. You should never enter a contract with a cloud hosting provider without an SLA – the risks are simply too great.
Follow These Tips – Choose A Great Cloud Hosting Partner In Canada!
An SLA is a multifunctional legal document. It protects both you and your cloud hosting partner, and ensures that your business relationship is mutually beneficial.
For this reason, you should only do business with reputable companies that offer robust SLAs. And if you follow these tips and understand the basics behind SLAs, you’re sure to find success when searching for a cloud hosting partner in Canada!