Service & Operational Level Agreement (SLA & OLA)

The remedies set forth in this SLA are your sole and exclusive remedies for any failure of the service.

Statement of Intent

The purpose of this service level definition/agreement (SLD/SLA) is to ensure that the proper elements and commitment are in place to provide optimal data processing services for the business function. The customer uses this SLD/SLA to facilitate their planning process. This agreement is not meant to override current procedures, but to complement them. Service levels specified within this definition/agreement are communicated on a monthly basis to the customer.

Internal Network

The internal network includes cables, switches, routers, and firewalls within our network perimeter, under our exclusive control, or the control of our immediate upstream network partners. It does not include NIC cards within server hardware.

Downtime

Internal network downtime exists when two servers provided by MTH at the same hosting location cannot communicate with each other for a consecutive period in excess of fifteen (15) minutes due to a fault within the internal network. It does not cover any other reason for communication difficulties such as incorrect configuration on either server or firewall restrictions.

Guarantees

100% uptime for internal network connectivity.

Remedies

If we fail to meet our uptime guarantee, you will be issued a credit equivalent to one (1) day of service per sixty (60) minutes downtime. The first 60 minutes of downtime per month are not counted towards any credit and the maximum credit available is one (1) month of service.

Internet / External Network

The Internet (External Network) includes third party networks between the internal network and end user Internet connections. It excludes end user Internet connections and their respective provider networks, as these are the exclusive remit of the respective end user connectivity provider (ISP) and cannot be influenced or circumvented by any hosting provider.

Downtime

External network downtime exists when a server provided by MTH cannot send and receive data to and from the Internet for a consecutive period in excess of fifteen (15) minutes due to a fault within the external network. For practical purposes, a server is not considered to be experiencing external network downtime providing that it can send and receive data to and from at least any two (2) major transit networks as defined by MTH.

Guarantees

100% uptime for external network connectivity.

Remedies

If we fail to meet our uptime guarantee, you will be issued a credit equivalent to one (1) day of service per sixty (60) minutes downtime. The first 60 minutes of downtime per month are not counted towards any credit and the maximum credit available is one (1) month of service.

Critical Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure includes power and HVAC, including UPS equipment and cabling, but excludes server hardware, software, and power supply units (PSUs).

Guarantees

100% uptime for all critical infrastructure.

Downtime

Critical infrastructure downtime exists when your service is offline due to power or heat problems, and is measured from the first of (a) when infrastructure monitors alert our engineers, or (b) a technical support ticket is created to report a service problem with a critical infrastructure failure as the root cause.

Remedies

If we fail to meet our uptime guarantee, you will be issued a credit equivalent to one (1) day of service per sixty (60) minutes downtime. The first 60 minutes of downtime per month are not counted towards any credit and the maximum credit available is one (1) month of service.

Platform

Platform includes the physical hardware and any composite software layers such as virtualization technology responsible for providing the hosting service. It does not include the operating system inside your server, or any other application layer software.

Downtime

MTH strives to maintain the integrity of the hardware used to provide its services, and any Downtime caused by hardware failure shall be credited pursuant to this Agreement. MTH maintains a stock of all essential hardware necessary to provide the Services.

Guarantees

Downtime caused by platform defects will be corrected within a maximum time period from us identifying the specific fault for services with:

Self Managed: one (1) hours

Fully Managed: one (1) hours

Remedies

If we fail to meet our uptime guarantee, you will be issued a credit equivalent to one (1) day of service per sixty (60) minutes downtime. The first 60 minutes of downtime per month are not counted towards any credit and the maximum credit available is one (1) month of service.

Support and Server Management

Support and Server Management refers to the technical assistance and administration conducted by us to help you with your server. It forms a critical part of our service to you and makes the difference between your server working as you need it, and your server malfunctioning.

Scope

Support and Server Management included within our service to you is comprised of the following in relation to your managed server provided by us:

  • Troubleshooting and resolution of issues affecting the operation of pre-installed software (e.g. Apache or cPanel/WHM)
  • Upgrade, patching, configuration, and optimization of pre-installed software
  • Installation of additional modules for pre-installed software (e.g. PHP modules)
  • Installation of additional software components, subject to our sole consideration of technical feasibility, to ensure we can maintain a stable service for you.
  • Troubleshooting and resolution of server hardware, virtualization platform, and network connectivity issues

For the avoidance of doubt, this leaves the following as customer responsibilities:

  • Configuration tasks within the control panel interface (e.g. creating a new mailbox)
  • Website software installation / debugging
  • Operation of your own personal computer (we will advise email/FTP client settings etc. and try to assist with this where possible, but we cannot support problems with your personal computer)
  • End-user questions/technical support regarding operations to be performed inside optional control panels; you are required to provide first tier technical support and reproduce any reported problems before escalating to MTH with clear and precise steps to follow to reproduce the unwanted behavior.

Guarantees

Support and Server Management is provided on a 24x7x365 basis.

Although we aim to provide all customers with rapid and efficient technical assistance at all times, where response times are measured in minutes, we also guarantee that the maximum response time to any new support request will be as follows for services with:

Response times are measured from the time a ticket is created in our helpdesk, until the time an engineer logs an initial response within the ticket. This response will usually indicate findings of the engineer’s preliminary investigation into your issue.

We take responsibility for resolving a diverse range of issues of significantly varying complexity, so a reasonable time for resolving one issue is entirely unreasonable for resolving another. Therefore we are unable to guarantee support request resolution time (though other aspects of this SLA address fault repair guarantees). All of our engineers are technical experts in their field and we aim to resolve all issues as expeditiously as possible.

If we determine that multiple tickets are opened about the same or closely related issues we may merge the related tickets and reply to you only in one ticket. Any such superfluous tickets will be closed and excluded from this guarantee.

During the following holiday periods (exclusively) we operate with a reduced staffing level and may provide a reduced support service during which the maximum response time guarantee does not apply to some low-priority tickets. This allows us to ensure we can maintain a high quality support service for all other issues. We will assess the severity of a ticket based on our reasonable understanding of the impact on a customer’s business. All low-priority tickets will be responded to within two (2) hours of the relevant window ending, though in most cases will already have been handled during these windows.

  • December 24th, 16:00 to December 26th, 08:00 GMT
  • December 31st, 22:00 to January 1st, 08:00 GMT

Support ticket process

Our help desk system manages the support tickets raised by clients for the majority of our services for use when an issue is having a significant impact upon your business. The ticket priority level, is selected when opening a ticket from within the client portal. If your ticket is business critical we encourage you to select priority high within your ticket to ensure we can provide you with an even faster response than usual. In the vast majority of cases this is not necessary, but we have introduced this to provide added reassurance to our customers.

Priority

Description    

Initial Response Time           

Target Operational Fix Time

Target Permanent Fix Time

Priority 1

The entire Service is "down" and inaccessible. Priority 1 incidents shall be reported by support ticket followed by telephone.

Within two Normal Business Hours.

Four Normal Business Hours. Continuous effort after initial response and with Customer co-operation.

Permanent fix within two business days after operational fix and with Customer co-operation.

Priority 2

Operation of the Services is severely degraded, or major components of the Service are not operational and work cannot reasonably continue. Priority 2 incidents shall be reported by support ticket followed by telephone.

Within four Normal Business Hours.

Within two Business Days after initial response.

Permanent fix within seven business days after operational fix and with Customer co-operation.

Priority 3

Certain non-essential features of the Service are impaired while most major components of the Service remain functional.

Within 12 Normal Business Hours.

Within seven Business Days after initial response.

Permanent fix within fourteen business days after operational fix and with Customer co-operation.

Priority 4

Errors that are, non-disabling or cosmetic and clearly have little or no impact on the normal operation of the Services.

Within 24 Normal Business Hours.

Next release of Software.

Next release of Software.

 

 

Definitions relating to the above table:

Initial Response Time

The time after initial reception of the problem notification by which MTH will respond to the Customer to confirm that the problem has been accepted and recorded and that it is being dealt with at the stated Problem Severity Level.

Operational Fix Time

The time by which an Operational Fix will be made available to the Customer. The Operational Fix Time starts on completion of diagnosis or when MTH has acquired from the Customer all the information and (if necessary) assistance that MTH deems necessary for problem resolution.

During the Operational Fix Time, if MTH determines that an Operational Fix is not available for the problem it will revert immediately, upon informing the Customer, to the implementation of a Permanent Fix to be provided within the Permanent Fix Time.

Permanent Fix Time

The time by which a Permanent Fix will be made available to the Customer.

The Permanent Fix Time starts when MTH has acquired from the Customer all the information and (where applicable) assistance that MTH deems is needed for problem resolution.

Remedies 

Service credits (Self Managed Service): 1% of your monthly fee up to 5% maximum for the subscription discussed in the ticket per hour in excess of the guaranteed maximum response time. If this is about multiple subscriptions, this is calculated as a percentage of the highest cost subscription only.

Service credits (Fully Managed Service): 2% of your monthly fee up to 10% maximum for the subscription discussed in the ticket per hour in excess of the guaranteed maximum response time. If this is about multiple subscriptions, this is calculated as a percentage of the highest cost subscription only.

Backups

MTH take different backups of your server depending on the level of service taken out with us as shown below. Unlike many of our competitors we are able to restore individual files, directories or databases without overwriting your entire server - only targeted data is overwritten, and only upon your request; this applies to those with optional R1Soft Backup, however the cPanel backup system is able to restore individual accounts with some degree of detail.

Frequency

Backups of your server are taken as outlined for services with:

  • Shared & Reseller Hosting: Daily
  • VPS: None, CDP available up to 1 minute intervals; bespoke setup available
  • Dedicated Server: None, CDP available up to 1 minute intervals; bespoke setup available
  • Hosted Desktop: Hourly; bespoke setup available
  • Hosted Exchange: Hourly; bespoke setup available

NB. cPanel VPS/Dedicated Servers have a backup process built into them, however we would advise against using this. If you wish to backup a cPanel server, please speak to us about our CDP external backup.

Retention Policy

  • Shared & Reseller Hosting: 7x daily revisions available
  • VPS: None, CDP available up to 1 minute intervals; bespoke retention
  • Dedicated Server: None, CDP available up to 1 minute intervals; bespoke retention
  • Hosted Desktop: 7 days with hourly restore points
  • Hosted Exchange: 1 month with hourly restore points

Guarantees

Backup integrity and availability are important to us, however occasionally operational reasons such as software or hardware malfunction, or a backup or restore process taking longer than normal to complete, may prevent us from maintaining the configured backup frequency or overall number of backup snapshots. However, we guarantee to have at least 80% of the configured backup points available to restore to your server.

Remedies

If less than the number of guaranteed backups are available we will refund to credit 50% of the backup service monthly fee. Due to the nature of backups, this credit can be performed only once per month.

Monitoring

Monitoring helps us to maintain a highly reliable service - by monitoring important parts of your server we’re alerted to problems as soon as they develop, and can pro-actively put things right before they cause service disruption.

Although we try to detect all faults, software is complex and there are always new and diverse ways things can misbehave. We cannot guarantee to locate every possible fault condition, particularly as these are sometimes specific to your particular application code (e.g. the server might be working properly, but yet your application may not be). Bespoke monitoring engineered for your individual needs, available upon request, provides the most comprehensive monitoring.

Scope

The scope of our server monitoring varies according to the management level.

Network, Power, Physical Environment (temperature, water, fire and intrusion) and Hardware/Platform Health

Self Managed: Yes, fully monitored

Fully Managed: Yes, fully monitored

System Services

Self Managed: Internal

Fully Managed: Internal and remotely monitored, with tailored intensive monitoring upon request

System Health

Self Managed: None

Fully Managed: Basic, with tailored intensive monitoring upon request

Rapid Incident Response & Resolution

Self Managed: Reactive upon request

Fully Managed: Pro-active & Preventative

Security Patching

Our team of experienced server engineers regularly monitor a wide range of information sources to ensure we are quickly aware of emerging security threats. Our extensive experience and the technology we work with allows us to patch your servers in most cases without any downtime at all, or occasionally with a very quick service restart to ensure you are very quickly and fully protected. All managed servers are updated on a monthly basis, and a full log is kept of this which can be requested at any time.

Self Managed: MTH Alerts, Client's remit

Fully Managed: Monthly Updates, Update Logs available

Pro-active OS Update Checking

Self Managed: Client's remit

Fully Managed: Critical within 48 hours, non-critical monthly

In order to provide the highest quality of service, once our engineers identify a threat or updated software we follow a strict quality assurance procedure before installing the update. This involves determining the urgency of the patch so we can allocate appropriate engineering resources, perform a thorough routine of automated and human testing to ensure full compatibility with other software on our servers, then begin initial rollout to non-critical servers before increasing our rollout in phases to all other customers based within the guaranteed period offered by their management service level. While this process can take as little as a few hours in some more complex cases we are required to perform even more thorough procedures which can take longer but are essential to ensure the stability of your services.

Our guaranteed installation period begins when we have completed our quality assurance and are confident we can reliably deploy the updated software to your server. In many cases we can implement temporary security patches or workarounds to protect you during this process.

Remedies

Service credits: 10% of the management upgrade monthly fee if high priority security updates are not installed within the agreed timeframe and for every 24 hour period after you notify us that we have breached this guarantee.

Service Credit Conditions

  • The total value of service credits issued for any service in any one (1) month cannot exceed 100% of the monthly fees paid for that service, or monthly fees on a pro-rata basis if the payment period is not monthly.
  • Requests for service credits must be submitted in writing to our billing department within 5 business days of the related incident.
  • You must open a support case during the failure in question, including detailed information about the problem experienced and steps to reproduce the error symptoms. In most circumstances this will be considered as the start time for the downtime.
  • Service credits will not be aggregated if multiple failures overlap; you will receive credit as applicable only to the service component which we identify as the root cause.
  • Service credits are non-transferable and may only be applied to future service delivery on the account they’re issued to, and cannot be exchanged for cash or other forms of payment. Any outstanding or previously accrued service credits will be forfeited upon cancellation of the Customer’s account.
  • All downtime measurements will be exclusively at our discretion, and our sole decision in respect of service credit entitlement and amount will be final and binding.
  • Accounts that are past-due, have been in payment arrears two (2) or more times in the previous twelve (12) months, or have outstanding AUP violations, waive any right to claim under this SLA.
  • Excludes periods of scheduled and emergency maintenance.
  • Where multiple servers are load balanced in a cluster configuration, this SLA shall only apply in the event the entire cluster experiences downtime as defined within each SLA section, because a load balanced cluster is intentionally designed to be fault tolerant and allow one or more servers to be offline without service impact.
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