Service Level Agreement

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Service Level Agreement or SLA is an official contract between the service provider and the user. The SLA defines the level of service being furnished by the network operator to the customers. The SLA can be between two or more than two parties, among them, one is consumer, and others are the service providers. Various internet service providers offer SLA to their customers.

Some parameters that SLA specifies include:

- Service availability

- Maximum time frame to recover

- Maximum time frame to repair

- Various data rates

- Number of users that can be served at a time

- Utilization statistics

- Query resolution time

Technically, an SLA includes a definition of the services, issue management, customer responsibilities, warranties, performance management, disaster recovery, methodologies, termination of the services, and various other segments. A service provider can add or amend the SLA’s as per their business standards. If the SLA is not regularly met, the service provider is liable to pay the defined penalty, as mentioned in the SLA. Broadly, Service Level agreements are categorized in two ways - Customer-based SLA, Multi-level SLA, and Service-based SLA.

A customer-based SLA is a contract between a single customer group; that covers all the services that they utilize. On the other hand, Service-based agreement is a contract between the service provider and all the clients that uses its services.

Multi-level SLA – This SLA is further categorized in different other segments, such as Corporate-level SLA, which is meant for generic service level management problems of the customers in an organization. Whereas, Customer-level SLA, covers all the problems appropriate to a specific customer group. Lastly, Service-level SLA, covers all the issues related to the services with a direct relation to the specific customer group.

SLA metrics, differ from the nature of business. For example – A call center metrics will surely differ from the internet service provider company.

An SLA for a Call Center is mainly based on:

TAT: Turn Around time to accomplish specified tasks

Unattended Call: Number of calls that were unanswered

FCR: Fast Call Resolution, means number of incoming calls that were wrapped with the resolution

MTTR: Mean time to recover from any failure or outage

Network uptime is also one of the metrics in a web hosting service providing company.


1. Service-level agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia