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The Importance of Service Level Agreements when migrating to the cloud

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Migration is always a big concern for IT departments, and even more so when it concerns upgrading your existing on-premises environment to the cloud. In order to keep productivity high, you need to make migrations entirely transparent from an end-user experience perspective.


Technical key drivers for moving to the cloud include:


  •        Lowering TCO and capital expenditure
  •        Optimising storage based upon need
  •        Increasing scalability and flexibility
  •        Improving resource management


However, moving to the cloud also raises important challenges, like service outages and performance degradation. While service disruption is inevitable in the cloud as it is on- premises, it's best not to be blind when it occurs and to have solid Service Level Agreement (SLA’s) politics in place with your cloud-service provider.


Basically, SLAs are intended to ensure that the provider understands what it is required to deliver, the customer knows what to expect, and both can measure actual service performance against the SLA.


There are several questions you need to ask when developing the right SLA, including:


  •        Have you defined what services are critical to your business lines?
  •        Are you capable of measuring the quality of these services?
  •        Are metrics in place to justify and manage the costs associated with delivering these services to your organisation?


Cloud SLAs are becoming increasingly complex. For instance, data can be hosted almost anywhere and is subject to different regulations, depending on the host country. Services can also be affected by activity completely beyond the provider's control.


Real-time monitoring, intelligent updates and flexibility in design means SLA management is no longer about simply showing whether a service met expectations or not; it's about giving IT managers the ability to ensure that services will proactively meet the requirements of the SLA.


Improving the Quality of Services and Justifying IT Costs


You should be able to have insight into what’s going on from a user perspective because, in the end, you as an IT department are responsible for getting users to adopt a new email environment.





Customers may have multiple sites across a country, a continent, or even the world. Moving to the cloud often means you have to select one cloud datacenter, even if your offices are spread around the globe.


  •  How do you control, anticipate and fix performance problems for users working in a distributed environment?
  •  How do you know if the user experience of the cloud in New York is the same as for the ones in Brazil or Singapore?


The only way to measure performance properly is from the user perspective, using the cloud infrastructure from multiple sites in order to anticipate, detect, diagnose and fix all the latency problems, which are bound to happen.


Any migration works more or less the same way. You need to know what you have, what you want to migrate, do the migration, and proactively fix problems, which happen without any impact on the end users.


Some key points you would like to take care off:


  • Prepare for your migration by understanding your current environment
  • Anticipate performance issues in the cloud and across multiple sites
  • Monitor user impact during the migration
  • Analyse the performance of the new environment


Would like to learn more about how Go-IT can help you with your migration process and ensure its success? 


Contact us for a free assessment from one of our specialists.