Service-based SLA monitoring with PRTG
- PRTG Enterprise Monitor & ITOps Board: The perfect combination for SLA monitoring
- What is a service level agreement (SLA)?
- Why is SLA monitoring important?
- How are SLAs measured?
- How service level agreement monitoring with PRTG Enterprise Monitor works
- 6 reasons why PRTG should be your SLA monitoring tool of choice
PRTG Enterprise Monitor & ITOps Board:
The perfect combination for SLA monitoring
Continuous monitoring of the IT infrastructure is a basic requirement for reliable business processes. When it comes to fulfilling service level agreements (SLAs) in particular, it is crucial that the monitoring data is available as granularly as possible – ideally in RAW format, that is, at the original interval. This is the only way to get meaningful numbers for creating relevant SLA reports.
ITOps Board, which is only available in combination with Paessler PRTG Enterprise Monitor, extends PRTG with a service-oriented overview of multiple PRTG servers, automated alert management, and service-based SLA monitoring and reporting to PRTG.
What is a service level agreement (SLA)?
A service level agreement, or SLA, describes an agreement between the provider of a service and a customer who uses the service.
The SLA defines various aspects of the service, including:
- Nature and extent of the service provided by the supplier
- Quality or level of service, that is, which service standards apply
- Metrics that make the quality of the provided service measurable
- Consequences which apply if the service is not provided as agreed
Service level agreements are usually set out in a service contract. SLAs are popular in the IT sector, for example with IT service providers, cloud service providers, or managed service providers (MSPs).
Why is SLA monitoring important?
Monitoring service level agreements is important for both sides: for the service provider as well as for the customer. After all, an agreement only has added value if the involved parties stick to it – and monitoring makes compliance with the standards defined in the SLAs transparent.
Transparency for the customer
Customers should be able to check for themselves – independently of the service provider – whether the provider actually delivers all agreed services in full. To do this, they need the most meaningful figures possible on the availability and downtimes of the provided services.
Transparency for the service provider
Service providers should be able to make sure that they comply with the defined SLAs. On the one hand, to ensure the quality of their services, and on the other hand, to avoid legal action by the customer if they do not comply with the SLAs.
In combination with service level management (SLM), service level agreement monitoring also helps to optimize services and adjust SLAs accordingly together with the customer.
Paessler named Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice in the category IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools.
“Excellent tool for detailed monitoring. Alarms and notifications work greatly. Equipment addition is straight forward and server initial setup is very easy. ...feel safe to purchase it if you intend to monitor a large networking landscape.”
Infrastructure and Operations Engineer in the Communications Industry, firm size 10B - 30B USD
How are SLAs measured?
Service level agreements are as different as the types of services a customer needs from a provider. This makes it all the more important to define measurable values for SLAs so that the parties involved can concretely show, based on numbers, how well (or poorly) service providers are achieving their service goals.
Common metrics for SLAs include:
- Availability or Uptime: the percentage of time, for example, that a device has been working or a service has been available and accessible to the customer.
- Business Results: the calculation, based on KPIs, of how service provider offers impact business performance.
- Defect Rate or Error Rate: the percentage of errors in the services provided, for example programming errors or missed deadlines.
- MTBF (Mean Time between Failures): the time elapsed before a fault or failure occurs.
- MTTR (Mean Time to Recovery/Repair): the time it takes to recover from errors or failures, for example by repairing a system or bringing it back online.
- Security: the measurement of controllable security measures such as antivirus updates or the application of patches.
Whether service providers monitor websites, services, applications, or specific devices in IT infrastructures that play an important role in production and delivery processes – all of these components should be available at all times.
However, planned maintenance windows and unplanned downtimes mean that you can’t usually guarantee 100% availability. This is where the magic "five nines" come into play: 99.999% is the target availability measure.
With PRTG Enterprise Monitor and ITOps Board, setting up your service-based SLA monitoring to keep track of your 99.999% is just a few clicks away.
Configuration of a business service
In ITOps Board, you define the business services that you want to monitor. Each business service groups sensors in PRTG that are important for monitoring the service.
In addition, ITOps Board breaks business services down into different categories, the so-called "perspectives". This means that you can view and monitor a business service from the end user, application and infrastructure perspectives, among others.
Definition of a service level objective
A service level objective (SLO) breaks down an SLA into measurable goals. For SLOs, you can specify:
- the time span for which the target values should apply
- the specification of a time in % for how long a device, service, etc. should be available
- the perspectives from which to monitor the SLA
- the target availability in % (the default value is 99%)
Adding PRTG sensors
Based on targeted search queries, ITOps Board lists sensors in PRTG that you need to comprehensively monitor the respective business service. These sensors are added to the service and an overview of the created business service appears, divided into the previously selected perspectives. Using rules, ITOps Board can also dynamically add new sensors as your PRTG setup changes.
Use of the service-based dashboards
In ITOps Board, you have various options for displaying the monitoring of your business services:
- An overview list of all business services as a table, in which you can hide columns and arrange them according to your needs – for SLA monitoring at a glance
- A monitoring overview of a specific business service, organized by perspective, in tile format – for drilling down to levels with more detailed information
- A detailed SLA dashboard related to a business service – for SLA information based on the previously defined SLO targets
All dashboards take into account the access rights set for a user. Thus no one gets to see anything they shouldn't. And if you need a dashboard 'at your fingertips', simply generate a PDF that covers a specific period.
What’s also very handy: If there is a problem, you can jump directly to the sensor on the PRTG core server that shows the error. This is particularly useful in very large organizations where there are a larger number of PRTG servers.
6 reasons why PRTG should be the monitoring tool of your choice
Everything for maximum availability
Every system failure leads to lost sales and customer complaints, making high availability essential – and in consequence, as little downtime as possible, of course.
With PRTG, you always have an eye on the targeted 99.999% uptime, no matter how ambitious these goals may seem.
Service optimization through transparency
As a service provider, you can increase customer satisfaction by being able to provide numerical information about the status of SLA compliance at any time.
And that's not all: service-based SLA monitoring with PRTG also makes it easier for you to communicate with the customer about the causes that led to downtime. For more transparency and customer focus.
Quick setup and configuration of SLAs
With ITOps Board, you define Service Level Objectives (SLOs) for your business services.
Based on the settings for these SLOs, ITOps Board calculates the performance and availability of Service Level Agreements and displays them in service-based, structured dashboards for different flight levels.
Service-based SLA monitoring at a glance
Large IT infrastructures require a monitoring solution that provides a complete overview of the entire infrastructure. Equally important are visualizations that allow you to get more detailed information and analyze individual components.
With ITOps Board, you get all this in different dashboards. Clear color coding always shows you at a glance if everything is okay or if there is a problem.
Easy availability of data for SLA reporting tools
ITOps Board stores data about the impact on defined SLOs in Elastic and thus enables SLA reporting with third-party tools, e.g. Kibana or PowerBi.
Additionally, you can use the extensive reporting functionality of PRTG to always keep your management, colleagues, or customers up to date.
Flexible pricing and licensing
With the flexible subscription license of PRTG Enterprise Monitor, you can not only install an unlimited number of PRTG servers, but also add as many sensors as you like.
Use more or fewer sensors according to your needs – billing is based on our opex-based cost model.
Success stories from our customers
Companies around the world trust PRTG when it comes to ensuring the function of their IT systems.
“The challenge for large organizations is to successfully monitor tens of thousands of elements in real time, and ensure that they are performing well, without drowning in a flood of information. ITOps Board solves the problem by providing that essential consistency, especially since PRTG “oversees” other monitoring solutions in an overall merging of dashboards that organizes all the information, from the global level to the most granular. It's a real help in our ongoing quest for simplification.”
Guillaume Baudry, Network Architect at ENGIE Solutions
“Ultimately, people do better when they focus on the solution, not the tool. This is the mantra we live by at Skyscanner. Without PRTG, we’d still be spending half a day or more on monitoring our internal tools..”
Barry Kelly, Systems Engineer at Skyscanner
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