North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Limits of reliability or is 99.999999999% realistic

  • From: Bennett Todd
  • Date: Mon Nov 27 12:07:09 2000

2000-11-27-11:07:34 Marshall Eubanks:
> [...] In other words, planning for very high reliability makes
> you do the engineering which gives you the redundancy which makes
> it possible to withstand unexpected events without (too much)
> failure. To the extent SLA's reflect that, they should be useful,
> regardless of how sound the statistics are.

A reasonable and good observation to keep in mind from an
engineering point of view, but I think the essence of the current
complaint with SLAs is that they are completely decoupled from
engineering; they seem to show up only with providers whose service
is sufficiently poorly run that they never, ever approach delivering
the claimed levels, and the SLA itself carries no weight since the
penalties for failure (if they can be extracted at all) are too
small to benefit the customer, or to influence the provider.

In today's internet world they're just marketing drivel.

Naturally such strong statements beg for counterexample; please,
someone, tell us about providers that offer SLAs with big enough
payoffs to provide some sort of incentive, who deliver on the
service levels they boast about. Please!


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