by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : November 15, 2013
tion Administration s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, which houses the Enterprise Services Center. ESC pro- vides data center, information security and of ce automation support, among other shared IT services. "We don t use one [piece of] software but actually several to help maintain our SLAs," an FAA spokesman said. Why it matters SLAs become increasingly important as the federal sector pursues shared IT services. The Obama administra- tion s Federal IT Shared Services Strategy, also known as the "shared- rst" approach, promotes interagency service delivery and cites SLAs as a mechanism for tracking performance. SLAs --- and the ability to manage them --- can help agencies navigate their service-provider roles. Federal IT departments, meanwhile, are embracing a more service-oriented approach and adopting service manage- ment practices such as those described in the IT Infrastructure Library. In ITIL, a service target is set during the serv- ice management process, and the SLA solidi es the understanding between provider and supplier. SLA management tools aren t strictly for service providers. An agency might also use them to monitor their vendors. For example, a cloud service provider will provide its own SLA and the means for monitoring it, but an agency might not want to rely on the vendor s score- keeping ability. Alex Bewley, chief technology of cer at Uptime Software, a Toronto-based company that develops SLA monitoring and reporting software, said such tools are most commonly used by IT groups looking to provide the best service for the applications they manage. But he added that a number of customers use the software to track outsourced serv- ers and applications. "They usually do this when they don t believe the availability metrics that come from the outsourcer, or they believe that the 'wrong metrics are being used to represent the avail- ability of applications," Bewley said. The fundamentals The use of automated systems to track SLAs has yet to become a common practice. "Most agencies do utilize some form of a help-desk or service-desk tool; however, very few actually utilize... service-level management in relation to services," said Jim Leake, Unisys Federal Systems vice president for end-user computing. Bewley said customers might take a step-wise approach to automation by starting with simpler tools and then evolving into a more mature setup for rigorous and comprehensive reporting on applications and infrastructure. Agencies automation options include ITSM and help-desk manage- ment systems. Products from BMC Software, CA Technologies, HP, IBM, Samanage and ServiceNow include an SLA feature. BSM products, which aim to help IT organizations run more ef ciently, can also play a role in SLA management. Some ITSM providers also operate in this space. SLA monitoring and management tools represent another alternative, with Heroix, ManageEngine and Uptime offering relevant software. Cloud management platforms and cloud service brokers provide anoth- er path to SLA management and one that tends to be more outward-facing. Brokers act as intermediaries between customers and cloud service providers. IT solutions provider NJVC operates a cloud service brokerage through its Cloudcuity framework. Kevin Jackson, vice president and general manager of NJVC s cloud services, said the Cloud- cuity broker can advise agencies on the best cloud service provider/SLA com- bination for them. The broker provides ExecTe c h 30 November 15, 2013 FCW.COM Software tools can help agencies manage service-level agreements, but the task is much easier if administrators start by negotiating a favorable arrangement. Cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers already have their own SLAs, but customers might be able to get ven- dors to budge to meet speci c require- ments.Thomas Trappler, a cloud consul- tant and director of software licensing at the University of California, Los Angeles, offers the following observations: • SaaS vendors will negotiate. "Factors impacting a client s ability to negotiate modi cations include how established the provider is, and the type or volume of business the client represents to the provider, " Trappler said. • It's easier to negotiate fee-based serv- ices. "It can be challenging to get Google to change their terms for their no-cost offerings, " he said. "For fee-based solu- tions, there s room for negotiation even with more established vendors. It just depends on how much they want your organization as a client. " • SLAs are only one factor in cloud adop- tion. Trappler said the key cloud risks to consider typically fall into the following categories: infrastructure/security, SLAs, data access, protection and location, and vendor relationship. "The relative importance of each potential risk will vary depending upon the client organization s unique tolerance for risk, and the data sen- sitivity and business criticality associated with the speci c function being moved to the cloud, " he said. --- John Moore Building better SLAs
October 30, 2013
November 30, 2013