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Service Level Agreements. Who cares?

· · Posted in Editorial
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More and more people seem to be ever so concerned about the Service Level Agreement.

Okay. Actually it’s more like companies, and the people responsible for picking services.

If you don’t know, a service level agreement is basically a statement by a company providing a service that their service will be available and usable a certain amount of time. As an example from the CVSDude website:

99.9% Uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA). While all CVSDude servers typically maintaing >99.9% uptime (on a monthly basis), Premium Service customers are entitled to Service Credits if we drop below 99.9% uptime in a given month. Practically, this means that servers under SLA receive top priority 24-hour monitoring and dedicated standby staff in case of outage.

What the heck does that mean? Well basically, in any given month, if the service is not available for more than about 43 minutes, paying customers are entitled to, as they say, service credits, in other words, they’ll pay for the downtime.

Who cares? If the service is not available enough of the time, the fact that they are refunding you (with money that can only be used for that service) doesn’t really matter. The service isn’t available. Especially in the case of cloud version control, if the service is down, it affects workflow. If you pay for cloud subversion hosting, and it’s down, you can’t commit; you can’t work.

If you paid X dollars per month for subversion hosting, and every day at 3:30 it goes down for 10 minutes, does it really matter if you don’t have to pay for all the time the service was down? Are you really going to stay with the provider?

Regardless of whether or not a service provider has an SLA, it is always in their best interest to provide maximum uptime and excellent customer service.

I don’t care about SLA’s. Do you?


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