Those of our Serio’s customers who have employed me as a consultant, or those whose accounts I handle, probably know I have a few (OK, many) hobby horses. One of them is Service Level Agreements (SLA), and in particular thinking about the SLA both widely and in terms of business need. Or put another way, there is rather more to it than setting target response and resolve times for each Incident that the Helpdesk/Service Desk handles.
In particular, it is important to consider Availability. What I mean is this:
- setting targets for the availability of key business systems
- trying to ensure that those targets are met
- reporting on what availability is actually met
At this point I should point out we have an Availability Management white paper that looks at a lot of the theory and background for you. If you are interested in the theory and more info generally on Availability Management check the white paper.
What I’m going to do in this and coming blogs is look at how Serio handles this and delivers Availability statistics.
So, you want accurate Availability statistics? First thing that you need to know is what systems or services you need statistics for (lets call them Key Services). It is often not easy to determine this, but I’ll assume you already have this information to hand. You will then need to have what the business requirement for Availability is for these Key Services, and there are a number of ways that you can express that. I've listed two examples below.
- Downtime in hours. You might say that the maximum acceptable downtime for a Key Service is ‘4 hours per month’.
- Uptime as a percentage. You might say that the target availability for a key service is 99% per month, meaning for your hours of operation the service is available 99% of the time. By the way, if that sounds good it still means around 2 hours actual loss of service per month on an 9:00 to 17:00 Mon-Fri SLA.
I’m going to continue this as a topic in coming posts.