Installing an Electronic Service Level Agreement in the Client's System
Original Publication Date: 2002-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a system for using an electronic form of a service-level agreement (SLA) in which the SLA is installed in the application owner's system as well as the service provider's system. A business (client or application owner) may obtain its computing services from a service provider that provides system platforms, operations, middleware, and perhaps application code for use of that business. Examples of services that the service provider may provide are general computing systems services for the use of that business and web site hosting services. An SLA between the application owner and the service provider documents the services to be provided by the service provider and various terms and conditions. The SLA is in the form of a textual paper document. Included in the SLA are agreements on various details of the service. Such details include hours of operation, guaranteed level of service such as the promised throughput of the hosted systems, communications response time, worst case down time per unit of elapsed time (e.g. seconds of down time per week), and other aspects that may be called quality of service. Also included are the responsibilities of and limitations on the application owner. An example is the maximum permitted load on the service provider's systems. Information in the SLA is used as the basis for provisioning the service provider to provide the promised service. An electronic service-level agreement (eSLA) is a machine-readable form of an SLA. The eSLA is expressed in a notation, such as XML, which enables the eSLA to be parsed by an installation tool and used to automatically generate the necessary configuration information and operational parameters to support the application owner. See for a discussion of the information in an eSLA and how it can be used by the service provider.