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Template for an
Operational Level Agreement (OLA / SLA) for Databases


| Summary | Purpose | Audience | Deliverables | Table of Contents |

Summary and Scope

Does not only deal with availability, but contains also comprehensive service catalog of advanced DBA services and a template for the Service Level Reporting (SLR).

If a Service Level Manager needs to offer to Business a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for an End-to-End IS/IT-Service, he sign this SLA only after he arranged within IS/IT for each system or component used to provide this service an Operations Level Agreement (OLA) with the providing team or department.

This document provides a template for such an Operations Level Agreement (OLA) for Databases containing the agreed values and for QA-purpose also the measures implemented to reduce the likelihood of violations of those agreed values.

Too often only the availability (e.g. 99.9%) is associated with an SLA or OLA, but a real OLA contains a complete list of all services (tasks) which will be provided to which extend and with which quality and defines which of those are part of the "standard support" and which will be charged extra.

This Mercury template contains a comprehensive list of services provided / tasks done by System DBA's. In case that the project team does not request (and pay for) certain (extended) services, the author suggests to rather check the checkbox "NO" (best with an explanation) than to delete those from the agreement. This avoids discussions about "we were not aware that this is not included" which usually start after some unpleasant things happened.

Additionally a template for a (monthly) Service Level Report (SLR) is provided.

This template supports the creation of an Operational Level Agreement (OLA) between Service Level Manager and DBA Team and is an important part for implementing service level management.


Service Level Manager: Using this template he saves significant time compared to starting such a document from scratch. As the template lists a huge range of potential items for such an agreement the likelihood that an important item is forgotten is very low compared to a document started from scratch.

Manager of System DBA team: Knowing the potential requirements for a future OLA provides him the chance to prepare his service catalog, quality measures and his team for such an agreement, which might be requested any time.






367 KB

Zip-file containing all of the following files

Within this ZIP-file you will find following files:





410 KB

The document in Acrobat-Format, Acrobat Reader required


351 KB

Same content as DBOLA.PDF, but this file is in "Rich Text Format" (RTF) which can be imported into (nearly all) text processing programs. This enables you to fill out the documents

Table of Contents

Template Summary (to be removed after customization) 3

Table of Contents 5

History 6

Review History 6

General 7

Definition of Terms SLA, OLA, SLR, OLR, SLM 7

Establishing the OLA - General Condition 8

Mandatory Pre-Requisites 8

Support 9

Support Hours 9

Activities 10

Response time to error situations and other requests 11

Availability 12

Background 12

Definition 12

Requirements 13

Exclusion - unavailability not in scope of DBA responsibility 15

Protection against loss of data 19

Backup Reliability 19

Backup Window 19

Special Backup Features provided 20

Additional protection 20

Hardware 20

Logfile-Shipping and Similar 20

Special configuration settings 21

Additional Checks 21

Recoverability (Time to Recover) 22

Restore and Recovery Tests 23

Additional, Non-Standard Services of System DBA Team 24

Planned Outages and Maintenance Window 25

Service Level Reporting 25

Costing Background 25

Appendix A: External Literature 26

Appendix B: Related Internal Documents 26

Appendix C: Template for a Operations Level Report 27

Appendix D: Glossary of Terms 34

Copyright © 2005 Mercury Consulting Limited.