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European Commission Close to Standardising Cloud SLA Guidelines

The European Commission have almost finished creating a document detailing how to standardise Cloud SLA guidelines. This Cloud SLA document is targeted to help users save money and increase cloud trust from service providers and industry bodies.

Although the Cloud SLA guidelines are almost complete, the European Commission will test them on users such as SME’s before formalising and publicly announcing them.

When fully implemented, the guidelines will help cloud users ensure the most essential elements are documented in simple terms the availability and reliability of security levels, cloud services, quality of support and data management.

The Cloud Select Industry Group (CSIG)  have been the developers of this Cloud SLA document. The CSIG are made up of industry bodies such as Cloud security Alliance and ENISA, legal experts such as DLA Piper and cloud and IT service providers including Atos, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, SAP, IBM, Salesforce, Cisco, HP, Accenture, Intel and EMC among others.

The European Commission have said that these Cloud SLA guidelines are the “first step towards standardised building blocks for Service Level Agreements terminology and metrics” for cloud use in the region. Viviane Reding the Vice-President of the European Commission said that “the new guidelines will help generate trust in innovative computing solutions and help EU citizens save money. More trust means more revenue for companies in Europe’s digital single market,” and that “this is the same spirit as the EU data protection reform that aims at boosting trust. A competitive digital single market needs high standards of data protection. EU consumers and small firms want safe and fair contract terms. Today’s new guidelines are a step in the right direction.”

Once the guidelines have been tested and any flaws levelled out, they will be discussed with the “Expert Group on Cloud Computing Contracts” set by the EC in October 2013.

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