SLA Agreements: Guarantees of Performance

Obviously Joomla users care about performance, and one often times people are so fixated on page load speed and other performance issues that they forget about basic uptime altogether. Think about that for a minute; if your site isn’t online, then it doesn’t really matter how fast the page loads, does it? Exactly. And if you’re not hosting your own website and are paying a web host, then it’s likely that your agreements are bound by a Service Level Agreement, also known as an SLA. What an SLA does is specify the relationship between you and the web host, and lays out specific terms that both parties are bound to in terms of the business relationship. Generally though, an SLA is something that mainly stipulates at what frequency the web host must be online, and what will happen if they aren’t.

For example, many SLAs stipulate that the web hosting provider must offer 99.9& uptime or more. If they don’t they are bound by whatever the terms of the SLA are. For some people, this might be a credit on their bill, or something similar. One of the main things to think about here is that in order to make a claim against the SLA, you might want to have some third party data. If you don’t, you might be at the mercy of whatever your web host is willing to give you in terms of a credit. A third party monitoring solution can help you determine how long your site was up or down be querying your server at specified intervals and recording whether the site is up or down. After a specific amount of time (such as a month), you an generate a report that charts out the statistics of your site. Employing an SLA Management solution like this can be extremely valuable in situations where your web host doesn’t agree with your assessment of the situation.

There are a number of different vendors that offer services like this, including Pingdom and Site24x7, as well as many others. And like anything else, pricing and other factors vary between various vendors. Obviously, one of the best ways to find out which service works the best for you is to try difference providers, and vet them against each other, until you’ve arrived at a solution that works best for you and your specific needs. Again, although it’s not something that people commonly think about, managing the terms of your SLA can be crucial to running a reliable website that exceeds the expectations of users.