Internet Performance for Dummies

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Internet Performance For Dummies, Dyn Special Edition 24 These materials are © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Any dissemination, distribution, or unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. established performance standard and to customer service. Consider, for example, the following questions: ✓ When an SLA violation inevitably occurs, does the service provider self‐report the violation or is it the customer's responsibility to report an outage? Some service providers define an outage start time as the time that the customer logs a trouble ticket with the service provider. Thus, if you don't report an outage — it never happened! ✓ How difficult is it to claim an SLA credit? Some service providers will proactively and automatically initiate an SLA credit when a violation has occurred (rare). Other service providers will require the customer to request an SLA credit in order to initiate a process that could take months (more common). An SLA remedy that can sometimes be negotiated and gives the SLA "teeth" is an early termination clause. Such a remedy allows the customer to terminate a service contract without penalty if an SLA violation (usually several SLA violations) occurs. That way, you won't be stuck with a bad service provider for a three‐year term! You also need to understand — in business terms — what the specific performance standards will mean to your business. Some performance standards to understand include the following: ✓ Availability (or uptime): Uptime is usually expressed to some thousandth of a percentage point above 99 percent. Although that sounds really impressive, think of uptime like hand sanitizer. Most hand sanitizers claim to kill 99 percent of all germs. That's great, except that there are millions of germs that can make you sick, so that still leaves at least 100,000 germs on your hands! 99.9 percent uptime means nearly 9 hours of downtime per year. Can your business afford 9 hours of downtime? Surprisingly, your answer might actually be yes. 99.999 percent uptime may be cost prohibitive, and 9 hours a year is less than an hour per month. The outage might also occur at 3 o'clock in the morning, thus minimally impacting your business. Although even if it's 3 a.m. in your time zone, it's going to be noon somewhere.

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