Practical Service Level Management: Delivering High Quality Web-Based Services


Measure, manage, and improve the speed and reliability of web services

  • Complete reference for creating relevant, effective Service Level Agreements
  • Detailed discussions of both technical and business performance metrics and their statistical treatment
  • Performance and management implications of various web ...
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Measure, manage, and improve the speed and reliability of web services

  • Complete reference for creating relevant, effective Service Level Agreements
  • Detailed discussions of both technical and business performance metrics and their statistical treatment
  • Performance and management implications of various web services delivery infrastructures, including caching and load distribution
  • Discussion of the transport infrastructure, including quality of service (QoS) technology and traffic shaping
  • Instrumentation system design
  • Measurement collection, aggregation, correlation, and use for real-time service level control and reporting
  • Quick problem detection, "triage" problem diagnosis, and root-cause analysis
  • Automated, policy-based system management
  • Load testing, modeling, and capacity planning for web systems
  • Calculation of return on investment for web infrastructure improvements
  • Structured plan for implementation of SLM techniques

The web has become a major vehicle for transforming business processes, but ineffective management of web-based services can result in high costs and user dissatisfaction. Service Level Management (SLM) is therefore a competitive weapon in the web marketplace, providing the tools needed to improve performance and reliability of web services while simultaneously controlling costs.

Practical Service Level Management: Delivering High-Quality Web-Based Services shows you how you can measure, manage, and improve network performance and quality of experience (QoE) for critical web services. Starting with an explanation of SLM and common performance metrics, the book provides detailed discussions of methods to measure and improve performance. Service Level Agreements, instrumentation, performance-improvement technologies, load testing, and long-term planning are all covered in detail. This book provides both technical engineers and non-technical managers with an organized, cohesive plan for measuring, improving, and evaluating the performance of web-based services.

Whether you are delivering services to other businesses or directly to customers, Practical Service Level Management: Delivering High-Quality Web-Based Services walks you through the complete process of designing a balanced solution for your situation. Use it to help design a system with the speed, reliability, and flexibility that are critical success factors for your business.

This book is part of the Networking Technology Series from Cisco Press, which offers networking professionals valuable information for constructing efficient networks, understanding new technologies, and building successful careers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587050794
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 4/22/2003
  • Series: Networking Technology Series
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John McConnell was involved in networking and the Internet for more than 30 years. A member of the ARPANET working group, John contributed to early Internet architecture and protocol development. He was one of the most frequently quoted e-business management consultants, with clients worldwide. John received a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Eric Siegel, principal Internet consultant with Keynote Systems, Inc., first worked on the Internet in 1978. He has taught Internet performance tuning, SLM, and QoS at major industry conferences such as Networld+Interop. Eric received his B.S. and M.E.E. degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University, where he was elected to the electrical engineering honor society.

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Table of Contents



1. Introduction.

E-business Services. Webbed Services and the Webbed Ecosystem. Service Level Management. Structure of the Book. Summary.

2. Service Level Management.

Overview of Service Level Management. Introduction to Technical Metrics. Measurement Granularity. Measurement Validation and Statistical Analysis. Business Process Metrics. Service Level Agreements.Summary.

3. Service Management Architecture.

Web Service Delivery Architecture. Service Management Architecture: History and Design Factors. Service Management Architecture: A General Example. Summary.


4. Instrumentation.

Differences Between Element and Service Instrumentation. Information for Service Management Decisions. Instrumentation Modes: Trip Wires and Time Slices. The Instrumentation System. Instrumentation Design for Service Monitoring. Instrumentation Trends. Summary

5. Event Management.

Event Management Overview. Basic Event Management Functions: Reducing the Noise and Boosting the Signal. A Market-Leading Event Manager: Micromuse. Summary.

6. Real-Time Operations.

Reactive Management. Proactive Management. Automated Responses. Examples of Commercial Operations Managers. Summary.

6. Policy-Based Management.

Policy-Based Management. The Need for Policies. A Policy Architecture. Policy Design. Policy Product Examples. Summary.

7. Managing the Application Infrastructure.

Interaction of Operations and Application Development Teams. Application-Level Metrics. Transaction Response Time: An Example of Dependence on Lower-Level Services. Instrumenting Applications. Summary.

8. Managing the Server Infrastructure.

Architecture of the Server Infrastructure. Instrumentation of the Server Infrastructure. Summary.

9. Managing the Transport Infrastructure.

Technical Quality Metrics for Transport Services. QoS Technologies Managing Data Flows among Organizations. Summary.


10. Load Testing.

The Performance Envelope. Load Testing Benchmarks. Load Test Beds and Load Generators. Building Transaction Load-Test Scripts and Profiles. Using the Test Results. Summary.

11. Modeling and Capacity Planning.

Advantages of Simulation Modeling. Complexity of Simulation Modeling. Simulation Model Examples. Capacity Planning. Summary.


12. ROI: Making the Business Case.

Impact of ROI on the Organization. A Basic ROI Model. Soft Benefits ROI Case Study. Summary.

13. Implementing Service Level Management.

Phased Implementation of SLM. An SLM Project Implementation Plan. Summary.

14. Future Developments.

The Demands of Speed and Dynamism. Evolution of Management Systems Integration. Architectural Trends for Web Management Systems. Business Goals for Service Performance. Finding the Best Tools. Summary.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    Good Material for Experienced and Beginners

    I would say that Cisco Press has continues with a good material! This book talk about Service Level Agreement is just a good guide and an excellent material to start you in the field of Service Level Agreement. Today¿s IT industry is working around this concepts and you can see the in a lot of flavors ITIL, ITSM and other but what you will find in this book is a very useful material to start delivery and enrich your knowledge. The book is divided in 4 parts: Service Level Agreement and Introduction to Service Level Management. Components of Service Level Management Infrastructure. Long Term Service Level Management Functions. Planning and Implementation of Service Level Management. The authors John McConnell and Eric Siegel and the technical reviewers David M. Fishman, John P. Morency and Richard L. Ptak have done an excellent work. For the last 5 years I have work in the IT service industry and always struggle with the concepts of Service Level Agreement and how to deliver the best characteristics for my customer and for my company to establish a win-to-win relation and develop a long term relationship and this book has help me to clarify some concepts and get more deep knowledge on other concepts but the most helpful thing was to uncover some of the concepts in which you require to calculate a number and what components influence on it. The Chapter about the ROI has good information. Some would think it has just basic material about ROI but it helps you understand in a clear way the basic and form you a strong background for some deep knowledge later in this subject. I will read it several times to establish this solid foundation and to correlate with some present work I am doing to put it into practice for my benefits. I found that the Chapter about Modeling and Capacity Planning has not enough information. From my point of view the authors did not show us how modeling and capacity planning can impact the operations. In today¿s environment this two subject can help any IT professional justify and plan IT investment and to have a very useful information for the ROI and establish a more productive environment. This part of the book did not satisfy me at all. If the authors decides to put up a second edition I will suggest them to add some appendix in which some different tools are shown that can be use and some other practical scenarios are shown where the reader can see how to link all the concepts. I will have it as a reference if I am delivery any kind of it service; it will make my life easier and can standardize some concepts in my daily life. It is a useful guide for a professional with experience or beginners in this kind of IT field.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    Service Level Management Theory explained

    The book delivers an explanation for the staff and management of organizations that need to understand what Service Level Management (SLM) is and how to improve SLM in today¿s networks. There are not very many books out there that have tackled the subject of SLM and the author has done a good job in taking on this subject. The book begins with an introduction to Service Level Agreements (SLA) and SLM. It breaks down SLM into its basic components by introducing facets of a network that must be highly-available and responsive quickly to the inevitable failures that very few organizations can experience without major financial losses. Most network implementers know what needs to be done to design a network, or more specifically a web-based service, to be highly available but few have taken the step to analyze and detail it in the way that the author John McConnell has. The book enlightens the reader into parts of SLM that are performed everyday without thinking about the ¿what and why¿. I have worked on networks for over 8 years and have implemented Web-Based Services for half that time. Many of the points the author makes are taken for granted and never really analyzed to try to improve upon them by the majority of network designers and engineers. The book continues with a discussion on problem identification and resolution. The speed of identifying the everyday problems that may develop has become essential just as the amount of data a network administrator must weed through has grown. An example the book illustrates is a Denial of Service attack. This can be crippling to a business that depends on Web-Based Services to perform day to day operations or sales. The author reinforces the reason we need good tools to quickly identify the real issues among the false positives. The book ends with several chapters devoted to the steps in improving the quality of web based services from a theoretical level. You will not find any specific router configurations for example, but you will find out how the case can be made using Return on Investment (ROI) to begin planning on a web-based service. Included is a case study that analyzes this ROI. Lastly the book covers a SLM Implementation Plan moving from the documentation of the existing systems, to creating a baseline, and to fine tuning the service. The book continues with an explanation of creating and managing SLAs and ends with a look into the future of Service Level Management. Overall, I would rate this book a 5 out of 5. As I mentioned earlier, it is not a book that will teach you how to configure a router or switch to perform QoS. But it will teach you to think about the reasons why it needs to be done and the consequences of doing it without some planning. The book has diagrams interspersed throughout the chapters illustrating such things as a Web Service Delivery Architecture that enhance the author¿s description SLM. I would recommend this book to anyone who is serious about knowing the heart of SLAs and SLMs and how they affect business today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2004

    Practical Service Level Management

    This book really lives up to the title in that is focuses on a difficult subject matter and doesn¿t deviate into trying to cover a million other subjects. It will not tell you how to configure a router, a monitoring agent or set up a server application in detail; what it does is focus on how to correctly implement Service Level Management (SLM) across the various levels in an IT infrastructure just like the title says! It is a must read for anyone involved with or thinking of setting up an effective SLM organization for their company. I appreciate the authors¿ approach to traditional Service Level Agreements (SLA) being one of three portions for effective SLM that need covered with the others being Quality of Service and Quality of Experience. The latter is a subject that it seems like many in the field haven¿t paid nearly enough attention to as it is the most difficult to measure but is the most important to the customer. The portions of the book in regards to setting up correct Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are extremely useful. SLAs have to be carefully worded in order to accomplish their goal. One of their examples of how if you have a hundred sites and a 99% uptime SLA for the month, 99 of a 100 could not have any outage and the other can have 100% downtime for the month! It makes you think of all the SLAs that are sitting out there that really do not do what they are intended. The end to end picture that this book provides is especially helpful for those in management or project management positions. It covers how to make a business case for SLM based on the return on investment, the steps needed to correctly phase in the SLM for the company (a good strategy does not just get turned on overnight), and even how through the right modeling and testing it can continue to remain an effective tool going forward. SLM is not something that is just turned on and then everyone walks away. It is an ongoing project. If you are more focused on digging into the technology that pertains only to your position, hop through the book and read the chapters that are focused on the area you work in. There are dedicated chapters to the transport (network), server, and application areas in regards to SLM so if want to skip the big picture and focus on your area of responsibility it is easy to find the information. I would like to end this by saying that I wish I would have had this book three years ago when I was working for a company providing a managed web service over the Internet. It seems like the book is a perfect description of many of the things learned in real life. The only area that I would have liked to see additional coverage on is the number and types of tools that are available to perform the desired tasks. The book always gave at least one example of technology and at least one vendor (sometimes more) but I would have found it helpful to list a small chart with the vendors so I could easily use that as a reference but that is only my opinion.

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