Meeting IT’s server SLA obligations

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Server uptime
Server uptime percentage
Servers
SLA
SLA agreements
Uptime percentages
Most large IT organizations provide Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with there end-users. I never hear of a IT organization that fails to meet that obligation so my question is why? Is the obligation so low that it can't be not met or is IT management that good that it is responsible for meeting it.

A 99.999 uptime percentage means that in a 30 day month of 43,200 minutes every server could be down for 43 minutes and still meet that obligation. Are IT organizations setting their obligation too low?

I know that the vendors talk about uptime percentages of 99.9999 or 99.99999 but I don't see those percentages in Service Level Agreements. What percentage does your IT organization use?

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  • Sunsetrider
    There's a saying in business - if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. The secret is to measure meaningful activities. A long, long time ago, we had an arrangement with a computer manufacturer that guaranteed a very high up-time percentage which was maintained. Unfortunately, our resonse time was very lousy. We should have measured response time (how quickly the network/computer could reply to customers' queries). When we changed the metrics, we were able to identify short-comings, identify solutions and apply them. The availability can be 99.999999%, but if response is slow (such as 4+ minutes to boot-up network computers) it is not acceptable. Up-time is important, but response time should also be included in the mix. Define useful metrics, not just something that can easily be displayed, and really doesn't show much.
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