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Kedar Kodgire
Kedar Kodgire

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Understanding SLI, SLO and SLA.

SLI, SLO, and SLA are terms commonly used in service-level management to define and measure the performance and reliability of a system. These terms are often associated with key performance indicators (KPIs) that help organizations ensure their services meet specific standards. Let's break down each term and explore their connection:

SLI (Service Level Indicator)

Definition: SLI is a quantitative measure representing a specific aspect of a service's performance or dependability.

Purpose: It measures how well a service functions based on specific metrics, such as response time, availability, or error rate.


  1. A web service's SLI might be the percentage of successful HTTP requests.

  2. Request Latency - how long it takes to return a response upon request

  3. Failure rate: Unsuccessful requests/ all requests

SLO (Service Level Objective)

Definition: SLO is a target or goal set for an SLI, specifying the acceptable level of performance or reliability for a service.

Purpose: SLOs define the expected level of service and aid teams and organizations in understanding what is considered a satisfactory performance benchmark.


  1. If the SLI is the percentage of successful HTTP requests, the SLO might be set at 99.9% availability over a given period.

Shooting for 100% reliability is not a good idea. The closer you get to 100%, the more difficult and expensive it is. Users usually don't need it to be 100% acceptable. Get a number where the customer is satisfied enough.

SLA (Service Level Agreement):

Definition: SLA is a standardized contract between a service provider and a customer summarising the desired level of service, including the agreed-upon SLOs and consequences for not meeting them.

Purpose: SLAs are contractual obligations that help manage expectations and provide a basis for accountability between service providers and consumers.


  1. An SLA might include commitments like "99.9% uptime" or "response time under 100 milliseconds."


SLI, SLO, SLA differences

In summary, SLI, SLO, and SLA are interconnected components in managing and assuring service performance and reliability. SLIs measure specific aspects, SLOs set performance targets, and SLAs formalize commitments and consequences, creating a structured approach to service-level management.

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