Practical Guide to Cloud Service Agreements Version 2.0

The Practical Guide to Cloud Service Agreements was written to help enterprise information technology (IT) and business decision makers analyze cloud service agreements (CSAs) from different cloud service providers.

CSAs are written to set clear expectations for service between the cloud customer (buyer) and the cloud provider (seller), but should also exist between a customer and other cloud entities, such as the cloud carrier, the cloud broker and even the cloud auditor. This guide focuses primarily on the CSA details between the cloud customer and cloud provider.

“The Current CSA Landscape” section explains the dynamics that exist between cloud customers and providers, and the impact that company size has on the power to negotiate terms. This section also highlights the nuances of CSA development for different service models.

The “Guide for Evaluating Cloud Service Agreements” section is the heart of the paper. It provides a prescriptive series of steps that cloud customers should take to evaluate CSAs in order to compare multiple cloud providers or to negotiate terms with a selected provider. This section takes into account the realities of today’s cloud computing ecosystem and postulates how it is likely to evolve, including the important role that standards will play to improve interoperability and consistency across providers.

A related document from the CSCC, Public Cloud Service Agreements: What to Expect and What to Negotiate Version 2.0, provides additional details on evaluating CSAs from prospective public cloud providers.