The management elements deal with such things as:
• How service effectiveness will be tracked (real-time, summarized end of day data, or some other mechanism)
• How service effectiveness will be reported and addressed
• How the service level indicated by the automatic provisioning template will be provided
• How the parties will review and revise the agreement.
There’s one final element that probably should be in every SLA. The penalty element defines the real, enforceable penalties that the involved parties agree to impose if either party violates the agreed-to service element terms of the SLA. If the user signs up for 2,000 digital widgets a day, and then consistently uses 2,500, the service provider should ensure that any latency addressing provisioning costs required to achieve the agreed upon Quality of Service (QoS) be covered with a reasonable profit. The same is true if the provider fails to achieve the QoS against the 2,000 widgets a day.
Using the SLA elements, a provisioning manager can be populated with QoS targets and identified with required digital resources. This data can be provided as templates. (For more on this, see “Template-Based Automated Service Provisioning—Supporting the Agreement-Driven Service Life-Cycle” at www.iw.uni-karlsruhe.de/Publications/ Ludwig_et_al._05_-_Template-based_ Service_Provisioning.pdf.) These service templates, using the WS-Agreement standard, can then be used as agreements with any requester.
WS-Agreement defines a template format that contains a partially completed agreement. The partially completed agreement has a definition of named locations where an agreement initiator of a new requester can provide agreement content and rules that limit what can be filled in.
As an example, a field could be the value for the QoS response time of an operation and a constraint could limit the choice to one, two, five, or 10 or more seconds. Another field could be the levels of security required by this requester. Based on the constraint selected, the provisioning manager will deploy the resources identified for that specific constraint situation. Those resources would include the bandwidth, processors, storage, and security layering required for the selected constraints.
This technique examines the assignment of digital resources and assets to address the initial provisioning needs of a service, but what about the issue of latency for the service?