Maintenance and Upgrades
10. Most maintenance and upgrades are included in the application-leasing fee. How much of the cost for these activities is included in the leasing fee and how much is a billable service depends on the ASP; some ASPs might charge a premium for especially redundant backup or for extra storage, for example. As a rule-of-thumb, though, these activities come part-and-parcel with the hosted service. You should also expect certain key upgrade activities to be covered by the maintenance/upgrade agreement, have input on the date of upgrades, and expect the ASP to take sufficient change-management measures to ensure that the upgrades do not unsatisfactorily interrupt work. The ASP should routinely upgrade needed client software remotely or onsite, as well as the operating systems on the servers in the data center. It should also locate and install or develop patches for all software bugs in its vendor's software. And the ASP should keep at your reasonable disposal a database administrator certified on the databases used by the hosted application. The ASP should also routinely back up, restore, and archive data. The media on which data is stored are determined in the SLA, but most ASPs will back up data each night and store an extra copy on tape offsite. Some might offer less-frequent backup intervals for lower fees.