Essential Guide

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Breaking down what's in your cloud SLA

Preparing to sign a cloud SLA can be daunting, but understanding it piece by piece can give you peace of mind.


A cloud SLA is not a document to gloss over. It is a binding contract between your chosen cloud provider and your company that outlines responsibilities on both sides. So before you grab your pen and give the service-level agreement (SLA) your John Hancock, learn how to sift through it, piece by piece.

Cloud SLAs contain details in several areas, including cloud governance, security specifications, compliance, and performance and uptime statistics. When shopping for the best cloud provider for your company, be sure to compare and contrast the specifications for each of these areas among your top options.

In the planning phase of a cloud migration, determine what the most important areas are for your company. Do you want to ensure your data stays in the United States? Do you need 99% uptime guarantees? Be sure they're all detailed in your cloud SLA.

The first step for understanding a cloud SLA is to get a feel for all of its pieces. This Essential Guide looks into three crucial areas and gives an overall picture of SLA analysis.

1SLA evaluation-

How to evaluate a cloud SLA

Before entering into any binding contract, know what you're getting into. A cloud service-level agreement may seem like a long, tedious document, but if you don't comprehend it now, you'll be sorry later. As you begin to plan a cloud migration, take a look at SLAs from leading providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft, and see which best fits your needs. Cloud providers may be willing to make adjustments for your business, so always ask. Once the SLA is signed, however, your job isn't over; you have to enforce the guidelines you both agreed to.


Ten commandments of understanding a cloud SLA

Thou shall not misinterpret a cloud SLA. Knowing how to weed through the details can enhance your understanding of the agreement. Continue Reading


Grill cloud storage providers before you sign an SLA

Grilling cloud storage providers before you sign an SLA can keep you out of the fire and ensure that your data is safe and secure. Continue Reading


Don't be had; know your SLA terms up front

Watch out for scary SLA terms before you sign to avoid cloud service nightmares. A careful eye can be the difference between a good and bad SLA. Continue Reading


Do your homework before you sign a cloud SLA

Cloud computing is risky, but doing your homework before signing a cloud SLA can keep you out of detention and get you the best terms possible. Continue Reading


Pack the essentials for your trip with internal SLAs

Look for the bare necessities of an internal SLA to ensure the best quality of service and uptime. Continue Reading


Cloud SLA horror stories and the lessons they teach

Knowing what to do in the event of an SLA violation can save you headaches. Experts provide SLA insight and analysis to help you avoid problems. Continue Reading


How to enforce your cloud SLA

Keeping your cloud provider in check by managing your SLA can ensure the best terms for your company and keep you as happy as the day you signed. Continue Reading

2Cloud governance, compliance-

Cloud governance, compliance major SLA concerns

In the wake of the Patriot Act and the more recent NSA scandal, companies, particularly highly regulated ones, are concerned about losing control of their mission-critical data. Cloud governance will be outlined in your SLA with a cloud provider, so make sure the specifications meet your needs. Some companies, such as AWS, will have data centers located outside of the United States and others may not meet the strict compliance regulations your industry requires. It's essential to read the fine print.


Calming your cloud compliance concerns

If you are avoiding cloud services due to concerns about storing data in a public cloud, understanding cloud compliance can calm your nerves. Continue Reading


Getting a better cloud contract is all about the questions

What's stopping you from having a strong SLA for cloud services? Not asking the right questions can set you up for disaster with cloud compliance. Continue Reading


How to protect your data with a compliant cloud strategy

Keeping your data safe is up to you when working with cloud providers. Here are 12 ways to keep your cloud strategy compliant and best protect your data. Continue Reading


Cure cloud compliance woes with compensating controls

Coming up with a good cloud compliance strategy is no picnic. Understanding cloud compliance complexities and these four compensating controls can help. Continue Reading


What to ask to avoid a cloud data security disaster

Data security in the cloud can give anyone nightmares. For sleep's sake, here are ten questions to ask to ensure your data stays safe and secure. Continue Reading


Keep your governance methods alive after cloud migration

A cloud migration could spell death for your governance methods, but it doesn't have to. Simplify the move with three tips to keep governance methods alive. Continue Reading


PCI DSS cloud guidelines may cause anxiety for computing adopters

If cloud security gives you anxiety, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council report with PCI DSS cloud guidance may not be your Xanax. Continue Reading

3Cloud security-

Calm cloud security concerns with SLA assurance

As long as there has been cloud computing, there have been cloud security concerns. For security-conscious enterprises, be sure your cloud SLA outlines the security practices and guidelines of the provider. There are always supplemental ways to boost your cloud security, whether it's using third-party tools, security as a service or instead opting for a virtual private cloud. As with governance and compliance, some industries are required to comply with strict security guidelines.


Cloud security certification is a team effort

There's no "I" in team. So when it comes to cloud security certifications, enterprise IT and cloud providers need to work together for the best results. Continue Reading


Managing cloud risks for data security and peace of mind

Nobody likes the unknown, and migrating to cloud comes with plenty of it. Managing levels of risk makes cloud a little less stressful and more successful. Continue Reading


Virtual private clouds could be your SLA security blanket

For the best IaaS and SLA security, virtual private clouds could be like having your cake and eating it too. Continue Reading


Cloud security tools one pawn in the shadow IT game

Cloud security tools are one piece of the software puzzle to keeping shadow IT in check, but IT pros need all of the pieces to stay in control. Continue Reading


Securing cloud across borders: Are you at risk?

With paranoia spreading over security with cloud across borders, is there a way for U.S. cloud customers to better protect their data and privacy? Continue Reading


Clarifying the updated PCI DSS cloud guidelines

After the PCI's guidance for cloud computing scared cloud adopters, the report has clarified cloud risks and responsibilities. How does it affect you? Continue Reading


Cloud security questions still unanswered for FedRAMP

With the clock ticking for all cloud providers to comply with FedRAMP, the CEO of a FedRAMP 3PAO warns of limitations and unresolved issues. Continue Reading


HP exec: Watch out for hybrid cloud surprise

Ready or not, here they come. Some IT shops may be using hybrid clouds without even realizing it, according to one Hewlett-Packard exec. Continue Reading


Security as a service is a game changer for cloud security

When it comes to cloud, security is the biggest hurdle to jump. Security as a service could sway people back, even for on-premises infrastructures. Continue Reading


Is O-RAM the answer for tighter cloud data security?

MIT researchers are looking for an answer to better cloud data security, and Oblivious RAM could be just what the doctor ordered. Continue Reading


Are you in good hands with your cloud insurance?

Looking for protection from cloud outages and breaches? Cloud insurance could have you covered with growing policies for better data security. Continue Reading

4Cloud performance-

Don't be caught unaware with poor cloud performance

Cloud outages have made headlines in the last few years, even from the most famous cloud providers, such as Amazon. These outages can be costly for users and their customers, and they can kill a company's reputation. Though you can never truly completely protect yourself, put specifications in place that say who is responsible in case of disaster.


Making sure your cloud SLA meets your needs

A service-level agreement is a serious promise, so it's vital to make sure that it meets your business needs. Is your cloud SLA right for you? Continue Reading


When cloud outage disaster strikes, be prepared

Cloud outages are like horror movies but, like the protagonist, you can come out on top. Being prepared can keep the cloud outage monsters at bay. Continue Reading


Enduring cloud computing SLA failures and what follows

When a cloud computing SLA failure strikes, being prepared for the aftershocks can help limit the damage. Will your plan be enough if your SLA fails? Continue Reading


Availability vs. performance highlights the cloud SLA saga

Understanding the difference between cloud computing SLA claims around availability and performance better prepares you for the risks that follow. Continue Reading


Ensuring your storage SLA covers all the bases

Storage SLAs cover a lot and each agreement can vary. Ensuring your SLA meets your needs can avoid issues later. Does your SLA cover all the bases? Continue Reading


Damage control for cloud computing outages

Cloud has its pros and cons -- high availability being a pro and cloud outages a con. Having a plan can act as damage control when outages occur. Continue Reading

5A cloud SLA glossary-

Defining cloud SLA

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