This is a series of posts appearing weekly that highlights the unique experiences, questions and successes individuals have their first year in the cloud. Posts are based on clients and non-clients alike. To submit your question or story, tweet @Bluelock.
Learning is a major expectation when venturing to the cloud and you should expect to learn a lot your first year. But what expectations should you provide your own end-users so they aren’t learning along with you, but rather have a continued good experience with your product or tool?
This week’s question tackles a very important aspect about keeping your end-user happy:
“What should cloud customers who are providing an SLA to their own end-users know?”
According to Bluelock CTO Pat O’Day, this comes up a lot with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, but also with normal private IT departments.
Customers with high uptime requirements should choose a cloud provider that offers a four-nine (99.99%) or five-nine (99.999%) service-level agreement. Most customers understand that there will be maintenance and there may be hiccups, so it’s not possible for a guarantee to be 100%, but the promise does provide peace of mind because the uptime number says a lot about how the environment was architected.
“The challenge,” O’Day cautions, “is when you are also trying to meet a service level agreement back to your customers on top of the cloud SLA.”
For example if your customers need a five-nine SLA from you and you’re getting a five-nine SLA from your cloud provider then there’s no room for you to figure things out if your cloud provider has a problem. If the provider is down for an hour and it takes you three hours to fix your application due to the outage, you’re already outside of your promised SLA.
O’Day encourages users to think about a “net service level agreement”.
“Take the risk you have and the promise you have with your cloud provider, but also factor in all the challenges you may encounter with your application,” O’Day explains. “The net of that is the true service level you can give back to your end users.”
That’s something that’s often overlooked, but very important to consider for the best possible user experience. Bluelock always encourages it's customers to thoroughly understand their cloud SLA when adding it on top of their own.
Are you just beginning your cloud journey? Contact Bluelock to find out how its holistic, stratified cloud philosophy can help you right-size your first year cloud needs.
Interested in other first year tips and tricks? Here are some recent first year success blogs.