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Practical Service Level Management

Illustration: Eric Siegel Book Cover

If you would like to read a book about SLM for the Web, I recommend Practical Service Level Management: Delivering High-Quality Web-Based Services by John McConnell and Eric Siegel [Amazon].

The publisher's description does a pretty good job of describing the content and purpose of the book ...

Book Description

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.


As a friend and former colleague of Eric's, I am a little biased. But I think the Amazon reader reviews speak for themselves. For example:

This book is clearly aimed at technical professionals who design and implement tools supporting SLM; however, there is excellent material for professionals who work at the process level. Both groups will benefit greatly from this book, especially since in many organizations they work independently of one another. Another compelling reason to read this book is the material is consistent with the ITIL, as well as providing sound thinking and best practices in general service level management.

-- Mike Tarrani

and ...

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.

-- A reader

There are only 5 reviews, but all rate the book highly.

[A much shorter version of this post was first published on Blogger on October 18, 2005.]

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