Service level agreements in IP networks
Internet services are being deployed over an infrastructure that involves co-operation between multiple organizations and systems. This has necessitated the need for standard means to share the information between the service providers and their customers. This information essentially pertains to the service level obligations between the service provider and their customers so that the customers can ensure the quality of service (QoS) that they are able to achieve at their end. A service level agreement (SLA) essentially quantifies the level of service as it includes the metrics that define the quality of service. The research undertaken identifies the QoS dimensions, which are required to define the multimedia services. Each application used by the user will involve different values of the QoS dimensions in order to maintain an expected level of service. The QoS requirement for a particular application will also depend upon the provisioning of the network resources depending on the client and server side CPU and memory available for processing. The relationship between the system resources, QoS dimensions and the SLA has been depicted in the form of a general model of SLA and as an example taken for the video conferencing application.