Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide

Defining Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

You should develop SLAs for your deployment around such areas as uptime, response time, message delivery time, and disaster recovery. An SLA itself should account for such items as an overview of the system, the roles and responsibilities of support organizations, response times, how to measure service levels, change requests, and so forth.

Identifying your organization’s expectations around system availability is key in determining the scope of your SLAs. System availability is often expressed as a percentage of the system uptime. A basic equation to calculate system availability is:

Availability = uptime / (uptime + downtime) * 100

For instance, a service level agreement uptime of four nines (99.99 percent) means that in a month the system can be unavailable for about four minutes.

Furthermore, system downtime is the total time the system is not available for use. This total includes not only unplanned downtime, such as hardware failures and network outages, but also planned downtime, preventive maintenance, software upgrade, patches, and so on. If the system is supposed to be available 7x24 (seven days a week, 24 hours a day), the architecture needs to include redundancy to avoid planned and unplanned downtime to ensure high availability.