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Is your SLA business-critical or overkill?

By Linda Gail Christie

Steve Sopko (see also Tip #1 above) says many IT managers have a tendency to focus on hardware and connectivity issues instead of talking with their internal customers about their storage needs.

"I find it amazing how often IT people are negotiating service level agreements (SLAs) in a vacuum. They rarely do extensive consultations with the people most affected by it to find out what's important to them about storage," he says.

Consequently, many SLAs are overkill, costing the company far more than is necessary, "A lot of people are looking for extensive SLAs without considering their actual business impact," Sopko continued. "They're rarely successful if not socialized with various departments."

For additional information about SLAs, read, "The Forgotten Five: What Your SLA Does Not Cover," and "The 'Availability Gotcha' or Why 99.999% Still Equals Nothing," by Steve Sopko at For other resources, look up the aterm "SLA" on our sister site at

Storage management tips are written by Linda Gail Christie, a contributing editor based in Tulsa, Okla.

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