Tips for Understanding the Relationship Between a Web Application and SLAs

At the heart of any Service Level Agreement is the descriptions of the services you provided as well as the expectations a customer and business have regarding their work relationship. This is carried out by defining specific metrics regarding how parameters are measured as well as any and all guarantees. Generally, an SLA is a contract between a company and a customer, but it may also bet between different department found within the same company.

Regardless of the business industry, when it comes to understanding a Service Level Agreement, there are several steps you must follow. These include:

Understand the Descriptions of Services

Within the first portion of a Service Level Agreement are service descriptions. If you’re a new customer, this is where you’ll find specific descriptions for the services you are to be offered. It’s here you’ll understand what services are being offered and how they will be implemented.

Generally, within this section the business will create a catalog that describes exactly what they offer. This allows customers an easy way to determining a service is applicable to their needs. It’s not uncommon for this section to include provisions regarding applications, business functions and infrastructure.

Standards of Service

Once the services have been described, they must then be established using a set of standards. This is where you’ll find the standards by which a particular service will be rendered. Generally, this section includes information such as: availability of the service, reliability standards for the service as well as conflict resolution processes. For example, within this section you’ll typically find the communication hours of availability as well as the steps that must be taken should an emergency or disaster happen. Other pieces of information you’ll find include resolution processes and response times to help desk tickets. It’s important to read this section to determine if all communications are responded within a certain time frame or if response time is dependent on the reason for the communication.

Web Application Monitoring – How it Can Help

Just because your web app is online, doesn’t mean it’s functioning properly. Web applications can be intricate things, and there are often multiple steps that need to be tested to ensure that an app is working as it should be. Take for example, the web application that many people know about—a simple shopping cart. It can’t just be accessible, it needs to do a lot more than that. People need to be able to add items to the cart, edit their card, recalculate totals, adjust for shipping, and also check out. There’s a lot involved with that and if you aren’t monitoring your web app, it doesn’t matter if your SLA on it being up/down is at 100% because there could be other problems that are preventing it from working and causing a bad user experience. One of the best ways to mitigate things like this is to have some sort of web app monitoring in place that keeps track of your application and prevents any issues.

Responsibilities for the Business and Customer

This is perhaps one of the most important sections as it outlines the responsibilities that are expected by not only the business but also the customer.  When it comes to managing the expectations of a customer and a business, the waters can become murky. This is because the expectations from either party can dramatically vary. Therefore, look to this section to determine the exact responsibilities that are expected from both parties. For example, in this section you’ll discover if it’s the customer representative that has the responsibility of communicating specific points of information or if specific information must be solicited by the customer.

What Certificates Should My Microsoft Exchange Server Have?

Much like any other network application, in order to secure the functionality and safety of Microsoft Exchange Servers, it’s essential to adopt specific certificates. Due to the literally thousands, if not millions, of security threats bombarding your Exchange Server every day, these certificates ensure users have a safe messaging experience while simultaneously safeguarding your data and sensitive information from being intercepted. It’s important to note that as technology changes and adapts so does the type of ceritificates you should implement.

SSL Certificate for Unified Communications

While an SSL Certificate is essential for all websites, when it comes to the unique infrastructure of Microsoft Exchange Server, you must adopt a security certificate capable of safeguarding an entire transaction from beginning-to-end. The SSL Certificate for Unified Communications offers a vast array of security benefits, but perhaps one of the most acclaimed advantages of this certificate is its ability to secure client access for up to 100 various SAN, or Subject Alternative Names. This feature allows you to host various SSL websites on a single Exchange server without requiring multiple IP addresses.

Subject Alternative Names Certificate (SAN) 

The Subject Alternative Names certificate allows an SSL certificate to apply to multiple names. For example, an organization must use multiple DNS names. While it’s possible to have SSL certificate security on multiple DNS names, to manipulate the certificate administrators were required to engage in complex customization techniques. The larger the environment, the more complex and time-consuming this process would become. According to the website loadview-testing, this is where a SAN certificate comes into play. When adopted, a SAN certificate offers the flexibility of multi-domain protection without having to manually adjust SSL certificate attributes. Resulting in a significant reduction in time spent dealing with standard SSL certificate manipulation.

How to Establish an SSL Certificate

One of the most common questions asked by administrators revolves around establishing an SSL certificate. While each version of Microsoft Exchange Server differs in how an SSL certificate is applied, the basic steps are universal. However, always refer to the documentation specific to the version of your Exchange. This being noted, common steps to establish an SSL Certificate include:

  • Access the built-in SSL Certificate Wizard. This is found in Exchange Server 2010 and newer.
  • Once you’ve filled out the necessary information within the wizard, submit a certificate request to a Certificate Authority of your choosing.
  • After the request has been processed, install the newly issued certificate directly on the Exchange server.
  • Assign the newly installed SSL certificate on all applicable services within the Exchange server.