Business SLA Management
Safeguarding the visibility and popularity of your website should be a top priority for any digital enterprise. Establishing a smooth and fully-operational IT infrastructure is a multi-step process. The needs of the business must be continually monitored and managed in order to ensure all critical issues and fixes are attended to within a timely manner. While there are many different methods in which this goal is accomplished, the use of website monitoring solutions is among the most popular and effective.
When it comes to determining which processes to monitor and manage, many network administrators find themselves at a loss. Because the modern website features dynamic content and embedded content, effective monitoring the most critical processes can become lost in the crowd. While determining the ideal processes to monitor and manage is based upon your unique website infrastructure, the following processes are considered essential when it comes to safeguarding the visibility and reputation of your digital enterprise.
The notion of monitoring the availability and uptime of a website is nothing new. In fact, there are many free monitoring solutions designed to PING your website to determine whether or not it is available. This is one situation where web application testing might be useful, especially in an enterprise situation (and there are tools out there that are free too). However, many of these free services lack the monitoring scope that’s needed in order to sustain continuous availability.
When monitoring the availability of your enterprise, it’s imperative that you place monitoring metrics regarding:
- Overall Availability (website uptime)
- Per-Page Loading Times (response times for each page; not just the website)
- Web Server Response Times (the duration it takes for your server to complete a request)
The majority of modern websites, whether private blogs or sprawling eCommerce verticals, utilize a database to execute specific tasks. In fact, the involvement of a database is essential in order to complete many common tasks and business processes. Because of this, it’s imperative that your monitoring solution effectively monitor the availability, performance and completed requests. By narrowing your monitoring capabilities to your database, you’re able to safeguard the performance and interactivity between the enterprise and your visitors/customers.
Without an effective email client, it’s impossible to remain in-contact with your customers. For many digital enterprises, an unreliable email server result in disaster. When selecting a website monitoring solution, choose one that utilizes various techniques and features to monitor the availability, response times and success-rate of outbound and inbound emails.
Real-Time Monitoring Reports
While nightly or weekly reports are essential to monitor the overall performance and functionality of your website, it’s imperative that your solution provides real-time monitoring alerts. The goal of this monitoring method is to catch errors and issues as soon as they happen. By doing so, you may implement a fix or correction that prevents a host of visitors from experiencing the same error.
Perhaps one of the biggest misunderstands surrounding Service Level Agreements, or SLAs, is that this is far from a simplistic document. While it’s true that these documents are designed to define the performance of your service based upon a set of pre-determined parameters, its included clauses are designed to clearly cover all provisions, obligations, reporting methodologies, rewards and punishments for not meeting these designated metrics.
There is a host of elements that work together to cultivate a well-rounded Service Level Agreemen; however, the following three steps are considered the essential foundation of any carefully constructed SLA.
Establish Your Service Parameters
Perhaps the most important step when it comes to cultivating a thorough Service Level Agreement is the establishment of your server parameters. Before going forward with the creation process, it’s essential to create the performance parameters for your service. While you must meet industry-standard performance metrics, delve deeper into how your business will meet and/or exceed these metrics. It’s only when this is successfully accomplished you can move on to the next steps.
Disaster Recovery Pland and Prevention Methods
Unexpected disasters are an unfortunate reality for all businesses. When it comes to the digital services you render, a Service Level Agreement must clearly define how your business plans to handle a disaster, should one occur. Along with details how servers are backed up and how sensitive information is archived for protection, it’s essential to detail the exact methods your business uses to protect and prevent a disaster of any size. Along with this information, make sure your SLA outlines the steps that are to be taken should a disaster affect their data or server performance. Remember, only outline a method of disaster recovery and prevention that your business can adhere to. False statements regarding disaster recovery could result in legal action should a disaster occur and steps found on the SLA aren’t followed.
Provider and Customer Obligations
This is one of the most personalized sections within a Service Level Agreement, as it specifically refers to your specific service or product. That being noted, your business must establish a set of parameters when it comes to the various obligations of both the provider (your business) and the customer/client. For example, a customer obligation may be to provide necessary documentation to support the creation of their product. A provider’s obligation may be to deliver a product or service within a specified time frame. Regardless, this is one of the most important sections to fill out in great detail. The more room you leave for interpretation within this section, the greater your likelihood of an unpleasant customer encounter. Leave no rock unturned, as they say.