A service-level agreement enables an organization to be assured of a defined amount of stability, reliability, and performance for the provided IT infrastructure. A service-level agreement may complement or be part of policy-based service-level management. Service-level management means that potential problems can be identified (such as gradual performance degradation) and alerts can be created, thereby minimizing the risk of downtime.
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Service-level management provides a "comfort zone" about the quality of a given infrastructure solution.