CIOs have little idea what constitutes the failure of a cloud provider SLA

Almost two thirds of chief intelligence officers have no idea what comprises the failure of a cloud service provider’s service level agreement [SLA] according to a new piece of research.

Vanson Bourne, the organisation the carried out the research, found that 65 per cent of respondents were uncertain as to what a failure or violation of the SLA is and a massive 97 per cent of IT leaders admitted that cloud SLAs are hard to make sense of.

“The fine print of an SLA is often the best indicator of how, and how often, the provider expects their service to fail,” said Andy Lancaster, director of Cloud Services at Dimension Data, according to Cloud Pro. “This is particularly common with three popular cloud providers, which require multiple availability zones to be in use for an outage to be considered an SLA violation. There is much more to a provider’s cloud SLA than simply an uptime percentage guarantee and it’s important that businesses look to those that can help them run through the detail with a fine toothed comb on their behalf. The truth really is in the detail.”

Related: Drawing up the right cloud contract with your supplier

The research went on to state that 69 per cent of CIOs think the most important measure of a cloud service provider’s SLA is a 99.9 per cent guarantee for minimum server uptime [8.7 hours of downtime per year]. In addition, 59 per cent expect a 99.9 per cent guarantee for minimum network availability.

When it comes to purchasing different types of infrastructure, 76 per cent admitted the organisation had bought private or public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS], 49 per cent have a public cloud software-as-a-service [SaaS] or platform-as-a-service [PaaS], and 25 per cent have a hybrid cloud IaaS.

Over half of those questioned [53 per cent] stated that the company they work for is running internal web apps in the cloud, 48 per cent using it for client facing web apps and 39 per cent have deployed an enterprise app in the cloud.

Lancaster added that firms most consider SLAs when looking for the right partner thus making ensuring the right fit for the business involved.