Vendors Call On Service Providers To End SLA Fiasco

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Auditing service level agreements could be a big opportunity for service providers

A trio of Big Data application vendors have called for an end to the “scandal” of mis-sold service level agreements (SLAs).

At Conf2013 – the customer and partner event held by data intelligence vendor Splunk in Las Vegas – three application partners showcased products that investigate disparities in service level agreements.

Unreported scandal

Vello Systems, GrandSLA and Compuware each use machine data harvested by Splunk to build a picture of the usage of components within a cloud service, such as computing power, bandwidth, storage and latency. The unanimous verdict was that the figures provided by cloud service providers are rarely a reflection of the levels of service provided.

The disparity between actual service levels and the values declared will continue as long as customers don’t have the tools to measure them, according to Stefano Spada, CEO of US based GrandSLA, who founded the company specifically to tackle this largely-unreported isssue.

“SLAs are only as good as the person measuring them – the concepts are not well defined,” said Spada.

California-based Vello Systems claimed that tools to manage today’s cloud environment are too hardware centric. “There is no information available to the client about apps,” said Ashish Shah, director of product strategy at Vello. “It shouldn’t be about networking and network devices, but the apps.”

Compuware’s director of product marketing Nagraj Seshdani refused to point the finger at cloud services providers for the “services gap”.

“There are big challenges in cloud SLAs. User experience, scalability and the costs of running services, for example. But the cloud service providers often don’t even know their data is wrong,” he said. “It’s always been difficult to find the raw data – until now.”

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