The SLA number game, no one cares when their service is down

The guys at 259 Consulting Group have an interesting post on meeting a customer’s SLA from his perspective running SaaS.


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Met your SLA? Nobody cares.

Posted by: 259 Consulting Group

A Wise Man once told me that the best I could hope for in the SaaS Infrastructure business is to not have [angry] customers.  Customers may agree to a 99.9% SLA but they’re actually upset anytime my service is unavailable.

As the Wise Man put it: “Customers only remember your last outage. Don’t expect roses and a congratulations card when you barely meet your monthly SLA.”

The author uses a “Wise Man’s advice” story to tell his story of enlightenment.

I received the Wise Man’s advice on the heels of a horrible outage for one of my new services. He was right. Forget the 100% uptime over the last six months, the only thing that mattered to my angry customers was the loss of three nines in the current month.

The Wise Man continued with his advice: “If you want to be in the service business, you need to get disciplined about mitigating service interruption.”

That was the day I really got Service Management Religion.

Service Management is a set of activities that ensures your service is available as promised. It’s not a glamorous set of activities but, after that worst outage of my career, I still can’t think of anything more important than ensuring data is never lost and my services are always available.

We define Service Management as the daily management of the following processes:

  • Capacity and Demand Management
  • SLA Management
  • Risk Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Vendor and Hardware Management
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity