Making Cloud SLAs readily usable in the EU private sector


This phase deals with contractual or other) non-compliance, breaches and other incidents during the term of the ongoing cloud services arrangements that have resulted in a dispute that needs escalation, (perhaps even litigation as a last resort), negotiation and resolution, either by parties themselves or by arbitration, court or otherwise.

The need for companies to protect their business from potential legal disputes or liability for potential losses and damages makes the life of the Cloud Service Customer harder in clearly identifying and extracting the relevant elements of the Service Level Agreements, then comparing them across different offers. One of the IaaS Cloud Service Providers we analysed makes an explicit reference to seeking legal advice. For example:

"If you do not accept any element of the Agreement you must not take up any of the Services offered by the Website. The Agreement imposes significant legal obligations on you and also places limits on your legal rights. Please seek independent legal advice before entering into the Agreement."

While yet another example indicates the obligations of the Cloud Service Customer with regard to back-up, including any related costs:

"You will not have access to your data stored on the Services during a suspension or following termination."

"You have the option to create a snapshot or backup of your Cloud Servers or Databases, respectively, however, it is your responsibility to initiate the snapshot or backup and test your backup to determine the quality and success of your backups. You will be charged for your use of backup services as listed in your Order."