Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Service Level Automation Glossary

No decent glossary for this subject exists on the web, so here is my stab at the basic terms of interest:
Service - Any function provided by the IT organization on behalf of any "customer", including internal business customers and external revenue customers. In the context of SLA, a service is typically a software application component delivering functionality to humans or other software components.

Service Level
- Any measurement of how any component of an IT organization or its infrastructure is performing for its customers.

Service Level Goal - A target or limit measurement against which actual service levels are measured. Typically, service level goals are used to contstrain the acceptable value (or range of values) at which service levels are considered acceptable.

Service Level Automation (or SLA) - Digitally managing IT resources to service level goals without the interventions of humans wherever possible. Adjustments can be made to the deployment, capacity, or configuration of IT applications and infrastructure as needed to meet these goals.

Service Virtualization - Technology that decouples a set of functionality (a web service, an application, etc.) from any of the computing resources required to execute that functionality, regardless of whether those resources are themselves hardware or software.
I will update this as I go, and repost it occasionally. Please feel free to comment on this post with suggestions for terms and/or definitions that should be covered.


Lance said...

James, good to see another Cassatt blog. A good introduction to Service Level Automation, the Glossary is a great ides.

alanm said...

I like the glossary, James. Would be curious to see your take on some related terms (that might belong in here) and how you see them vis-a-vis service level automation:

1. real-time infrastructure
2. utility computing

I think of real-time infrastructure in Gartner's terms:

"the ability to provision applications on the fly; to virtualize resources, to cost-effectively employ servers and storage to higher utilization levels than experienced today; and to do this all in a heterogeneous environment to fundamentally adapt to changing business requirements in real time."

As for utilty computing...I guess it started with the idea that compute resources could be doled out and billed like a utility, but seems to be overloaded these days. Thoughts?