SLAsAs an independent storage provider of used EMCrefurbished NetApp and more, we encounter customers with huge data storage needs. Oftentimes, a quick upgrade using EMC drives or a EMC CX4 system will do the trick. But in today’s age of information technology, storage companies exist not only to store data, but to utilize this data for informational purposes. These can include services such as those offered by Google Docs and Microsoft’s Cloud. 

When a company contracts with a client, both parties acknowledge a service level agreement (SLA). SLAs have the purpose of ensuring that clients are able to understand the quality and type of services that will be provided at the discussed price. However, not all information technology users understand what he or she should be looking for when contracting with a storage company. There are six essential areas that an SLA between storage companies and their clientele should cover.

1. Performance: One of the essential areas that an SLA should cover is performance. Storage companies typically measure by either bytes per minutes, or application specific metrics. For example, an accounting system will dictate metrics based on the amount of transactions that may be stored hourly. Performance is not limited to the storage hardware or software itself, but can also include its ability to work through inhibitors such as protocol or interconnect issues, or application software problems. 

2. Protection: Another area that an SLA between a client and a storage company should cover is protection, which is aligned with the specific hardware or software. This protection should guarantee the protection of information stored with the storage company’s hardware or software. This should include protection against viruses and hackers, and backup of the data, among other things.

3. Availability: SLA should also discuss the availability of storage hardware/software. When a storage company must upgrade their system, it will sometimes require downtime. The SLA should outline the potential amount of downtime in a 24-hour period, however, on superior systems there should be zero downtime. 

4. Capacity: When an SLA is contracted, it should also be discussed how much storage will be allotted to the client and its members. Storage hardware/software companies offer services to many different clients. To prevent their system from overloading, they must have adequate storage for all of their client’s data. The SLA should clearly state the amount of data that the companies should expect for a specific amount of months.

5. Allocation Efficiency: A good storage system will be able to store work of different clients efficiently, and handle a high amount of work at once. A strong system can handle the many different clients’ workloads while streaming.

6. Utilization Efficiency: The final area that an SLA should address is utilization efficiency. Utilization efficiency measures how well the storage system can assign value to the data in different categories. By assigning data to the proper categories, it can be used to its maximum potential.

To conclude, make sure you receive the services you're paying for. Reliant can help you assess your SLAs and provide simple SLAs to cover your hardware. Contact us