Points To Be Considered for SharePoint SLAs

By CIOReview | Monday, August 8, 2016

A Glimpse

Organizations in need of applications such as ‘SharePoint’ have to approach the proprietor company to implement it in their own organization with a governance document. Under such circumstances, both the companies agree to a set of terms and regulations prescribed under governance document which eventually forms a ‘Service Level Agreement (SLA)’. SLA then acts as a shared contract between users and system administrators to gain services required by organizations. The SLA defines requirements for servers, application uptime, and consequences for not meeting those requirements.

Various departments and sections within an organization are able to share and collaborate data from sources seamlessly using SharePoint SLAs. Organizations are able to access personal documents, online data, and also to connect with colleagues under SLA environment under enterprise governance. Consistent evaluation of performances by IT staff, data storage department, and IT administrators helps to examine efficiency of SLA implementation.

SLA as a Sharing Tool

Organizations strive to achieve the maximum efficiency by delivering exact solution at right time. To achieve that level, organizations need to work collaboratively with management to attain higher efficiency. Such high level efficiency is achieved with proper hardware, software, and training provided by management to meet requirements specified under SLA.

If any organization is entering into SLA for first time, they initially need to tune themselves according to latest server requirements. Entering into agreement without adequate preparation may burden organizations with downtime and they may even have to spend hours on configuration of servers. To avoid such a situation, organizations can prepare themselves with technology and technical environments required by SLAs months earlier before entering into an agreement.

CIOs can make provisions to train IT staff to understand the cause of problems and ensure elimination of such scenarios in future, once comprehensive information is derived from causes of downtime and previous logs of servers.

Objectives of SharePoint SLAs

The role of SLA does not end with agreeing to a set of rules, instead it also serves certain objectives. SLAs are prepared by considering every possible scenario where and what problems a user may face while working with it. It also takes care of worst cases by which a user may even lose data. Here are some of the main objectives which are favorable during a recovery plan:

Recovery of time: ‘Recovery Time Objective (RTO)’ looks out for the failure of a site, applications, or servers and calculates maximum acceptable downtime under such circumstances. It measures productivity in every aspect of time such as second, minute, hour, or day which is then compared with uptime specified within SLA.

Files Recovery: ‘Recovery Point Objective (RPO)’ allows files to be recovered which are stored as backup to continue with normal process during system or network failure. It also takes into account previous information stored within the system while recovering files. RPO is retroactive and can start recovery within seconds or a day depending upon the previous logs saved and current failure time.    

What Provisions SLA Should Offer? 

It is necessary to understand what causes and what does not cause a breach of SLAs prescribed under governance policy. For every organization it is imperative to understand the know-how of working under SLAs to avoid discrepancies with partners in future. To perform any task under SLA, it is necessary to check for availability of servers to complete it seamlessly. Downtime matters whenever there is a system or network failure within an organization as it ultimately effects performance of SLA users and of an organization too. In such situation, it is imperative to be prepared well in advance by going through previous logs from server. SLAs should highlight provisions for such situations under SharePoint governance documents in order to retain enterprise data. Organizations also need to carry out regular maintenance of the server to avoid any issues in future. 

SLA should also be flexible enough to accommodate any further developments in server by updating systems or servers in a timely manner. Otherwise, there are chances that any change made within the server environment could trigger breach under governance document. It should also include management’s time-to-time consents or approved downtime considerations under certain circumstances. Governance document also acts as a guide to rescue from certain situations where SLA falls short to pull out from a penalty situation.   

SharePoint SLA mainly focuses on easing an organization’s processes by reducing downtime to maintain their performance. It covers every need of an organization by allowing them to share resources within and outside the organization and it can bring out transformative changes in an organization’s workflow.