Maintaining Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is essential -- especially because clients now have advanced ways of quantifying SLA performance.

Here are four types of tools that can help MSPs meet SLA expectations.

Over the past decade, SLAs have grown more common.

At the same time, it has become easier to track compliance with SLAs using software tools.

For example, if you manage networking for clients and your SLA says you will deliver 99 percent uptime, customers can use network monitoring tools to measure whether you meet that promise.

Uptime monitoring tools like this one are simple enough for even non-technical customers to deploy.

For this reason, meeting SLA promises is more important than ever in the MSP business today.

Technologies for Maintaining SLAs

Fortunately, tools are available to help MSPs, too, in the quest to maximize uptime and other SLA-defined guarantees.

Here are four technologies that can help maintain promises in SLAs:

  • Docker containers. Applications that run inside Docker containers scale more easily. In most Docker environments, applications are also resilient to hardware failures because services are spread across multiple host servers. Docker can help maintain service levels when demand for an application increases and in the event of infrastructure problems.
  • Serverless computing. Serverless computing services, such as AWS Lambda, provide a cost-efficient way to run compute-intensive operations. When built into your applications, serverless computing helps maintain service levels by providing a way to gain instant access to virtually unlimited compute resources, even if the rest of your hosting infrastructure is limited in computing power. As a result, your applications continue to perform optimally even when users throw unexpectedly heavy tasks at them.
  • Incident management tools. When a failure occurs in your infrastructure or software, you want to be able to solve it before it impacts customers. To do this, you need not only monitoring tools (like Nagios, a popular open source monitoring platform) that can detect a problem, but also tools that help you manage incidents by alerting someone on your team about the problem and ensuring that it is fixed in a timely manner. Open source incident management tools are hard to come by, but there are good commercial options, such as PagerDuty and VictorOps.
  • Anti-DDoS. Distributed-Denial-of-Service, or DDoS, attacks have emerged as one of the greatest threats to service levels today, as incidents like the Dyn DNS outage last fall make clear. MSPs that rely on the Internet in any way to deliver service to clients should therefore have an anti-DDoS strategy. The exact nature of your anti-DDoS strategy will vary depending on exactly how you deliver services. It may be as simple as ensuring that your cloud host provides anti-DDoS features, or it may require adopting a multicloud strategy in order to mitigate the impact of a DDoS attack.