16 key service quality metrics to boost cloud engagements

Summary:Key service quality, service availability, service reliability, service scalability and service resiliency metrics that should be part of cloud service level agreements.

What kinds of metrics should you demand from your cloud provider or data center?

Dashboard-Photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo credit: Joe McKendrick

In their just-released book, Cloud Computing: Concepts, Technology & Architecture, authors Thomas Erl, Zaigham Mahmood and Ricardo Puttini spell out some of the key varaibles that make for a successful service level agreement for cloud services.

Quality of service is essential to meet cloud consumers' business requirements, and the following are examples Erl and his co-authors provide as ways to measure and ultimately assure this quality:

Availability Rate Metric: "Percentage of service uptime; measured as total uptime against total time"; expressed in percentages.

Outage Duration Metric: "Duration of a single outage"; measured by date and time outage began and ended, expressed in hours and minutes.

Mean-Time Between Failures (MTBF) Metric: "Expected time between consecutive service failures"; measured by normal operational period duration and number of failures; expressed as average number of days.

Reliability Rate Metric: "Percentage of successful service outcomes under pre-defined situations"; measured by total number of successful responses; expressed as percentages.

Network Capacity Metric: "Measurable characteristics of network capacity"; measured by bandwidth, throughput in bits per second; expressed as number of megabits per second.

Storage Device Capacity Metric: "Measurable characteristics of storage device capacity"; measured and expressed in storage size in gigabytes.

Server Capacity Metric: "Measurable characteristics of server capacity"; measured and expressed as number of CPUs, CPU frequency in GHz, RAM and storage size in GBs.

Web Application Capacity Metric: "Measurable characteristics of Web application capacity"; measured and expressed as requests per minute.

Instance Starting Time Metric: "Length of time required to initialize a new instance"; measured by data and time the instance was up and the date and time of the start request; expressed in minutes.

Response Time Metric: "Time required to perform synchronous operation"; measured by date and time of response and total number of requests, expressed as averages in milliseconds.

Completion Time Metric: "Time required to complete an asynchronous task"; measured by date of request to date of response and total number of requests; expressed as averages in seconds.

Storage Scalability (Horizontal) Metric: "Permissible storage device capacity changes in response to increased workloads"; measured and expressed in storage size in gigabytes.

Server Scalability (Horizontal) Metric: "Permissible server capacity changes in response to increased workloads"; measured and expressed as number of virtual servers in resource pool.

Server Scalability (Vertical) Metric: "Permissible server capacity fluctuations in response to workload fluctuations"; measured and expressed as number of CPUs, RAM size in gigabytes.

Mean-Time to Switchover (MTSO) Metric: "Time expected to complete a switch over from a service failure to a replicated instance in a different geographic area"; measured by date and time of failure and total number of failures; expressed in minutes.

Mean-Time System Recovery (MTSR) Metric: "Time expected for a resilient system to perform a complete recovery from a service failure"; measured by date and time of recovery to date and time of failure and total number of failures; expressed in minutes.

Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Software, IT Priorities

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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