Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are the backbone of IT management. The structuring of IT into service delivery and service management organizations under ITIL/ITSM has made the SLA a primary method of setting expectations for services. SLAs are useful for estimating costs and budgets, and to justify and control the frequently high costs of IT services. GroundWork provides a simple, straightforward way to integrate and monitor your SLAs through a series of applications which are included in the core version, and a few additional in the commercially licensed enterprise version of GroundWork Monitor. These include Business Service Monitoring (BSM), SLAsSLA Dashboards, and SLA Reports.

SLAs in GroundWork Monitor are most useful when combined with Business Service Monitoring (BSM). BSM is included in the core version of GroundWork Monitor, and provides a way to group objects and assign status to a group based on the state of its members. Users can define the members as hosts or services, or even other BSM service objects. The resulting object is mapped to a simple service in GroundWork Monitor, and can be assigned to any host. Notifications on state changes work through the notification manager, and are essentially the same as other non-nagios services. BSM service objects can be very useful in defining SLAs, in that they can represent the status of complete areas of a business operation with a single service.

SLAs in GroundWork Monitor operate on services in GroundWork Monitor. Note that this is not necessarily the same as a service on a host. For example, a check_http in Nagios is a service, while a BSM service object might be the combined CPU measures of all ESXi hosts in a cluster, with the status of Warning when one CPU is over threshold, and Critical when two or more are. The concept of a service encompasses both of these ideas in the GroundWork Monitor model.