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Vol. 5 No. 7 September 2006

Backup SLAs: The art of diplomacy

You need more than technical acumen to negotiate an SLA with your business units. Negotiating service-level agreements (SLAs) can be one of the trickiest elements of transitioning IT from a mere technology competence center to a real part of the business. Detailing what a backup service will provide to its customers, and figuring out how to measure and report on these promises, will improve satisfaction and alignment; however, many IT professionals lose their cool when discussing service levels with business managers. SLAs are a hot IT topic (see "The essential elements of an SLA"). They're a key element in transitioning IT from merely "something that has to be taken care of" to a critical business advantage. SLAs hinge on the proposition that proper feedback to a customer will yield better products. In other words, if IT can clearly articulate what they'll deliver, computer systems users will be better able to ask for what they need. And when people who know the business have their needs met more appropriately and efficiently ...

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Features in this issue

  • Tricky backup for SharePoint

  • CDP: Look before you leap

    Some pundits have postulated that continuous data protection (CDP) will replace backup. But is that just new technology hyperbole or is CDP a must-have technology?

  • Backup-to-disk performance tuning

    Disk-based backup can lower costs, reduce complexity and add scalability. But to achieve top performance, you'll need to do lots of benchmarking and watch for poorly configured production storage.

Columns in this issue

  • Backup best practices are always evolving

    Some new advances in backup, such as virtual tape libraries, represent evolutionary enhancements to the traditional backup process, while others like continuous data protection and single-instance storage are potentially far more transformational.

  • 10 points to consider before deploying an e-mail archive

    Selecting an e-mail archiving application based solely on features and functions may result in unexpected administration costs. Consider these 10 points before deploying an e-mail archiver.

  • Some small tech upstarts might play big roles

    Storage Bin: The big storage vendors are always trying to steal a piece of each other's pie. But some small tech upstarts might play big parts in determining who comes out on top.

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