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This article has defined and examined the SLM process. A carefully defined SLM solution is critical to be able to measure a data center infrastructure against SLAs and their associated SLOs.

An SLM system touches on all aspects necessary to organize, optimize, protect and control a data center infrastructure.

The SLM process includes the gathering of metrics regarding all aspects (FCAPS) at all platform layers to evaluate compliance and to facilitate the continuous improvement process. SLM is driven by the SLA.

By following our recommendations, the most common mistakes can be avoided.

A good approach to SLM will avoid what is quoted by nextslm.org as a widely anticipated pitfall—"The IT industry has a history of over-promising and under-delivering. This history repeats itself in the ASP model, with promises of absolute (99.99999%) reliability, global availability and rock bottom costs."—by setting realistic expectations, defined in mutually agreed upon agreements, and providing the process to show compliance and improvement when necessary.

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