Ahoy, SLA boffins!

Matthew Petach mpetach at netflight.com
Thu Jul 30 21:50:01 UTC 2009

On 7/29/09, William Herrin <herrin-nanog at dirtside.com> wrote:
>  Perhaps you miss my point: what the ISP is offering to pay me as a
>  result of a failure to deliver adequate service is so much less than
>  my loss for the same as to render the payment meaningless. I'm gonna
>  terminate the contract for nonperformance and hire someone who can get
>  the job done long before its worth my time to chase you for an
>  SLA-based service credit. And we both know it. The only way I ever
>  chase you for an SLA credit is I'm playing the blame game instead of
>  doing my job for my customers.

Actually, SLA credits are useful in cases where it's not the only path
between two sites; if, for example, you have 12 OC192 links running
across the US, but your peak traffic on them doesn't exceed 80Gb
combined, having an OC192 down for a day or two won't really hurt
you; there's no reason to cancel the circuit, the rest of your links are
carrying the traffic just fine, but since one of the links failed to meet
its SLA, you might as well push the vendor to give you the SLA
credit back; it saves you some money, you have no lost customers,
you have no other impact to your business.  It's not about playing
the "blame game", it's about giving the vendor an incentive to try
to run their system a bit more reliably.

Now, for single-homed customers depending on that one link,
I agree, an SLA is largely meaningless compared to the impact
of being down.  But there's many cases where the SLA is
meaningful, and collecting SLA credits is worth it, without
there being a corresponding massive loss in revenue
associated with the outage.


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