Service-level management is the monitoring and management of the quality of service(QoS) of an entity's key performance indicators(KPIs). The key performance indicators range from coarse-grained availability and usage statistics to fine-grained entity-contained per-interaction indicators. Service level management involves comparing actual performance with pre-defined expectations, determining appropriate actions, and producing meaningful reports.
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.
Service-level management provides a "comfort zone" about the quality of a given infrastructure solution.