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3 Things to Consider in Your Service Level Agreement

Mark Bauer 07/28/2020

Legal jargon often takes up far too much time when it comes to full comprehension of a situation and, candidly, dampens the amount of fun that can be had when progressing through a deal. Fortunately, this jargon is there for a reason, and it’s absolutely imperative that you understand its entirety before embarking on any legally binding journey.

That brings us to one of the most important documents in the data center world: the service level agreement. In the simplest of terms, a service level agreement is going to provide you, as the client, with a description of all services, processes, and precautions given to you as a client of a data center facility. A lot goes into this document’s creation and agreeability, so let’s go through a few important points you should consider:

Your Facility’s Environment

Unforeseeable events unfold in all walks of life and data centers around the world do their absolute best to buttress their facilities to keep your data safe. Unfortunately, even the best defenses have minor weaknesses, and you should be well educated on this realm of possibilities. This could range from colossal natural disasters to simply knowing that the weather is hotter than normal 70% of the year. No matter how big or small the potential condition, it’s best you know what could be coming your way.

With that, being familiar with the precautions and processes for your current facility on the East Coast may not prepare you for what you might encounter environmentally on the West Coast. The facility your looking at will undoubtedly have a master plan for its environment, however, it’s imperative that you as the client understand this framework in order to fully comprehend what may or may not happen in case of emergency.

24/7 Availability and Overall Support

If you’re going to trust a facility with your digital lifeline, you need to be able to sleep every night knowing that your data is alive and well 24/7. As said above, all facilities will have a myriad of safety and security precautions in place to ensure this, and all should be understood before entrusting your data to the facility. An outstanding facility will also clearly state their uptime statistics and explain how and why certain outages may appear.

There may also come a time when something isn’t working exactly as it should be, and another item of extreme importance is the process and timeframe of technical support during these issues. This scenario should also be spelled out in the service level agreement and understood clearly, as a minor issue can easily turn into something egregious in a very short time.

Failure to uphold the contract

What happens if, or when, a facility fails to uphold the service level agreement? These situations are all fairly unique, however, you, as the client, will most likely be in for remittances that compensate your losses. Although this sounds a bit redundant, it’s absolutely best that you understand the situation in which you would qualify for remittance in your service level agreement’s renumeration policy.

When this scenario is met, most likely by some sort of downtime at the facility, there’s a multitude of risks and potential losses that could be occurring digitally within your company. It’s best to understand these risks in regard to the amount of remittance you may be receiving in that situation.

With that, at the end of the day it’s best you understand all this “legal jargon” before entering a legally binding contract. If you feel that you could use some direction anything in your service level agreement, be sure to reach out.

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