IT Service Delivery: Service Level Management
An enterprise succeeds or fails based on a number of factors, one of the most important of which is the IT service that powers computing and communications. Because of the mission‐critical nature of IT services it is then critical to be able to quantify availability, reliability, and performance.
Service Level Management provides a way to manage, maintain, and improve the quality of IT services. Like many ITIL processes, Service Level Management is a continuous process which includes a cycle of agreeing, monitoring, and reporting IT service levels, allowing system administrators and managers to determine where IT is falling short of expectations. A critical aspect of Service Level Management is that it provides metrics for IT service performance and quality.
Service Level Management relies on three types of agreements:
• Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Agreements between an IT organization and its customers.
• Operational Level Agreements (OLAs). Agreements between units within the IT organization.
• Underpinning Contracts (OCs). Agreements between an IT organization and its suppliers and service providers.
Each of these agreements requires that an IT organization define its services (known as the Service Catalog) and gather key metrics on the quality of those cataloged services. Knowing this, we can discuss the activities associated with Service Level Management,which include the following:
• Define Service Catalog. Defines the services either provided or supplied to an IT organization.
• Define SLAs. Defines and negotiates the agreements between an IT organization and its customers.
• Define OLAs. Defines and negotiates the agreements between internal units within an IT organization.
• Define UCs. Defines and negotiates the agreements between an IT organization and its suppliers.
• Status Accounting. Gathers metrics and monitors the performance of monitored services.
Table provides a review of the capabilities of each product to address the ITIL activities for Service Level Management.
Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) has an SLA monitoring capability. It is generally deployed in Windows‐centric environments
For configurability, MOM leverages a point‐and‐click configuration and template system. For example, by using the Exchange SLA Template within MOM several key Exchange SLA parameters may be tracked, ranging from the availability of specific servers within an Exchange infrastructure (e.g., Bridgehead Server Availability) to counts of actual blocked and delivered email.
Service Level Management Product URLs
GroundWork Foundation Monitoring http://gwfoundation.sourceforge.net/
Microsoft System Center:
http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/o ... fault.mspx
Hyperic HQ http://www.hyperic.com
IT Infrastructure Library V2/V3 and IT Service Management discussions
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