Making Cloud SLAs readily usable in the EU private sector

Termination & Consequences

This phase deals with the end of the relationship between CSP and CSC, including the end of the legal relationship even though the latter will generally continue for several years after any termination as per mandatory laws and legislation. This last phase for instance includes the assessment of alternatives, settlement and termination arrangements, cloud services transition projects and services, data export, customer and (end)use care and diligence, and adequate data deletion.

Termination is one of the lifecycle phases that should be clearly understood before entering into a contractual agreement. However, for an SME Cloud Service Customer, clauses dealing with termination are particularly complex, and, like many of the other components in the life-cycle, require the SME Cloud Service Customer to know where his/her rights and obligations lie. One example of termination regards data deletion while implying vendor lock-in:

"We may terminate the Agreement without notice to you and without providing any refund against your Credit Balance if any of the following occurs: you do not use your account for a continuous period of three (3) months or more; your Credit Balance is zero (or negative) and you do not purchase any additional Credits within five (5) Working Days. In which case we shall additionally be entitled to immediately delete all data and information previously supplied as part of the Services and in relation to your account."

Another example assumes the Cloud Service Customer is already familiar with Cloud Service Provider practices, such as data retrieval:

"We will provide you with the same post-termination data retrieval assistance that we generally make available to all customers."

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."