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Cloud SLA Workshop

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Constructing High-Quality Cloud Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

August 6, 2014
National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA


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:

  • Explain the concepts behind SLAs
  • Describe current work on standardizing the building blocks of SLAs (concepts, terms, definitions and contexts)
  • Discuss Services in terms of Performance, Management & Security
  • Show the relationship of cloud service metrics and SLAs


Presentations


Breakout Sessions

Report outs from the Cloud SLA Workshop Breakout groups, video



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.