Documenting the (SLA) Service Level Agreement

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February 18, 2009

The most difficult job is being a Network Administrator. The reason is simple:

  1. They have never get credit for what they do
  2. They always have a problem which does not have an easy solution
  3. Everyone complaints that the network performance is slow

Recently I was requested to document the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for our organization. The SLA is intended to provide guidance on how the network and telephony infrastructure is expected to perform, and the Network Team’s commitment to maintaining the quality and reliability of services provided to the enterprise.

The Structure of an SLA can be summarized by:

1.0 Statement Of Intent
1.1 Document Approvals
1.2 Document Review Dates
1.3 Time Conventions

2.0 About This Service
2.1 Services Covered Under This SLA
2.2 User Environment
2.2 User Support Services

3.0 About Service Availability
3.1 Scheduled Events That Impact Service Availability
3.2 Nonemergency Enhancements
3.3 Change Process
3.4 Change Management

4.0 Service Measures

5.0 Network Team Prioritizes

Network SLA cover all services under the administration of the Network Team, and includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Desktop Services
  2. LAN Services
  3. WAN Services
  4. Telephony Services
  5. Backup & Restore
  6. Security
  7. Audit

The SLA is governed by both the response time and the resolution time. Response time does not mean resolution. Response time is the time in which you will be contacted by a IT operations team member to triage/troubleshoot the issue.

Here is how we prioritize requests for support according to the following severity guidelines:

  1. Highest Severity (Response: Within 15 minutes)
    Impacts the whole business unit (Department); Employee Termination; Involuntary Employee Termination; Phone System Affected; etc.
  2. High Severity (Response: Within 1-4 hours)
    Workstation failure; etc.
  3. Normal Severity (Response: Within 2-4 hours)
    Causes partial loss of productivity for an individual user; Cannot Receive Emails; etc.
  4. Low Severity (Response: Within 24-48 hours)
    Hardware Approval; Software Upgrade; Email setup in Blackberry; A user needs administrative assistance; etc.
  5. Very Low Severity (Response: Within 1 week)
    Enhancement requests are logged as Severity 5-Very Low Priority, but are reviewed and scheduled by the Network Team Advisory Board.

For an SLA to be honored the “Technology Resource Utilization Policy” should be used to bring accountability amongst the stakeholders and the Network Team. The purpose of the SLA is to ensure that the proper elements and commitment are in place to provide optimal data processing services for the business function.

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