The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program's member agencies coordinate their NITRD research activities and plans by Program Component Areas (PCAs) or program focus areas. For each PCA, agency representatives meet in an Interagency Working Group (IWG) to exchange information and collaborate on research plans and activities such as testbeds, workshops, and cooperative solicitations.
As part of procuring cloud services from a cloud provider, a cloud customer must decide exactly what types of services are needed, a way to ensure that these services are genuinely provided and accountable, and also a contract mechanism to state the level of performance and other characteristics which pertain to the cloud services. The NIST Cloud Computing Standards & Technology Roadmap (NIST SP 500-292) identified a specific Requirement for: Technical specifications to enable development of consistent, high-quality Service-Level Agreements. To fully understand the scope of contracts and service level agreements in cloud computing, it is necessary to examine the definitions of each1:
Service agreement: A legal document specifying the rules of the legal contract between the cloud user and the cloud provider. (NIST SP 800-146)
Service-level agreement: A document stating the technical performance promises made by the cloud provider, how disputes are to be discovered and handled, and any remedies for performance failures. (NIST SP 800-146)
This workshop will explore avenues to assist cloud customer and provider in the procurement of cloud services by determining methods for constructing high-quality SLAs.
Specifically, the workshop (and breakout sessions) will:
1The service agreement - alternately known as master service agreement (MSA), terms of service (ToS), terms and conditions (T & C), is the higher order document in agreements between parties and the service-level agreement (SLA) is subservient. This is an important distinction because the SLA acronym is frequently, and incorrectly, used to reference the contractual relationship as a whole – a role that an SLA alone is incapable of performing.