IRTF AAA Arch Research Group


Outline of a Service Level Agreement


Version 0.1




Authors: E.W. de Bruijn

               L.H.M. Gommans





1.0  Introduction.


This document is intended as an outline for a Service Level Agreement observed from a business perspective. In the line of progress of the AAA Arch research work, this document is intended to help with the development of a SLA data model. For this we also need to decide which pieces are applicable to be kept electronically and which pieces should be kept off-line.


2.0  Service Level Agreement


A Service Level Agreement is a contract between 2 parties: One party acts as the service provider and the other party acts as the service receiver or a party that acts on behalf of a service receiver.


A Service Level Agreement typically contains at least the subjects described below:


General outline


1.             General clauses

·      Goal of the agreement

In general the goal of a SLA is to agree upon the quality and quantity of the delivered services. Also the responsibilities and warranties should be qualified and if possible quantified.

·      Parties involved

Description and naming of the legal entities and the responsible persons in that entities.

·      Duration and validity of the agreement

Contract period and clauses about validity and termination of the contract. If applicable a clause should be included about the transfer of rights and obligations to third parties.

·      Responsibilities of the parties involved

Description of responsibilities of the parties involved. I.e. the obligation to notify each other about (upcoming) changes, malfunction, etc.

·      Guarantees, warranties and dispute handling

Description of the bonus or penalty model in case of difference between the agreed and actual service delivery. Also described is how a dispute is handeled and if there is arbitration involved.

·      Maintenance of the agreement

The question here is whether the agreement is a fixed agreement and any change in the service delivered or required is unbinding the agreement or will the parties settle for a frequent evaluation and change the contract according the evaluation results.

·      Costs involved

Clauses should be defined to describe costs involved if the services or levels will change and who will be charged for what.

2.             Services and service levels

·      Service description

This paragraph describes the services that will be delivered.

·      Entities involved

If relevant entities should be described that are involved in delivering and taking of the services.

·      Service levels

The service levels have to be described in a detailed manner. Most likely prices are stated here.

Examples of service levels are: Performance, opening times, availability, fall-back capabilities, incident handling, security, change management, continuity.

3.             Specific clauses

·      Financial handling

If applicable the charging or billing procedures are described in the SLA.

·      Reporting

A reporting procedure should be described. Reporting is important to give the parties involved a good overview whether the service agreed on and the actual services delivered are inline. Reporting should avoid disputes.

·      Point of contacts

Operational points of contact should be appointed for the parties involved.

·      Activities

The mentioned responsibilities should translated in activities that need to be executed in order to fullfill the agreed services according the setting of the agreement. Also a list of rights and obligations should be includes.