Five Things To Look For In A Cloud Service Level Agreement

Cloud Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract that defines the relationship between a cloud service provider and their customer. It guarantees a certain level of service provided to you, the customer. 

An SLA ensures you get the best cloud service by outlining the criteria for availability, reliability, and responsiveness to applications and systems. It even describes how the provider will be penalized if the service levels do not meet the agreement.

If you’re planning to engage a cloud service provider for your business, then:

Look For These Five Things In A Cloud SLA

1. Availability Of The Service

Any cloud service provider that doesn’t offer a good up-time (availability) is of no use to your business. So, ensure that at least 99% availability is promised to you in the agreement.

Furthermore, it should have a detailed plan on how the provider will counter that 1% downtime, including alerts and updates on service repairs and maintenance.

Note: SLAs differ from one cloud service-providing company to another. For example, AWS SLA(s) will vary from Google Cloud SLA(s).

2. Availability Regions

The geographic or physical locations of the cloud data centers are referred to as availability regions. It’s essential to look for what regions the cloud provider is available. These locations must be mentioned in the SLA, so you can get your cloud services with almost no delays or issues. 

Major cloud providers, like AWS, Google & Azure, cover these areas:

  • North America
  • Southeast Asia
  • East Asia
  • China
  • Europe

Google is yet to reach the South Africa region but the other two cloud providers are already providing their services there. 

3. Data Ownership & Security

It’s crucial to establish data ownership and understand how your data is protected from cyber or internal threats on the cloud. The cloud service level agreement should include details on the data governance, privacy, security protocols, encryption, or decryption for its protection. Make sure the SLA discusses all the points mentioned above.

4. Backup & Disaster Data Recovery

According to statistics, data breaches have increased from a few hundred cases to well over a thousand over the last decade and a half. That’s why you should look for ways your cloud provider will not only secure your data but how it will recover any data lost in the process. 

Amazon offers a range of backup and recovery services. AWS Backup is a fully managed service for making a backup of data available all across AWS services in the cloud. 

Google and Azure offer their own backup services that are cost effective, easy to use and secure.

5. Exit Strategy

Suppose the SLA doesn’t provide precise details on disaster data recovery. In that case, you should look for a cloud provider that does. 

At such a point, having an exit strategy included in the SLA is also essential as transitioning from one cloud-providing company to another is always critical.

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