Service level agreements and virtual machines

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Title: Service level agreements and virtual machines
Author: Caminiti, Jordan
Abstract: Virtual machines (VMs) have been used for some time now, but only now with the newer and faster hardware that is being developed, now it is possible to consolidate many machines down to a single one running multiple instances of operating systems each with their own purpose. For as long as there have been users to use the servers, there has been the need for service level agreements. Now with the virtualization of services comes the need for a new breed of service level agreements. Service level agreements (SLAs) rarely exist for virtual servers unlike physical servers. Since this is the case, an effective SLA needs to be developed so the users of the virtual machines can know and be guaranteed their service like they were with the physical server. Questions such as, is it possible to take an existing service level agreement with the metrics from a physical server and transfer it directly to the virtual server? Are there changes that need to be made to the SLA in order for the SLA to be functional? These questions will be addressed in this study, along with a discussion on why changes would need to be made when moving a SLA to a virtual environment from a physical server. It is indeed possible to take most of the preexisting service level agreement that was written for a physical server and with modifications to metrics of CPU usage and memory utilization use it in a virtual environment. Additional metrics need to be made to the SLA when it is transferred to the virtual environment in order for the SLA to work effectively. These new metrics were found, tested and shown to be necessary in a virtual environment.
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Date: 2011

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