HashiCorp SLA and Support
HashiCorp sells a portfolio of popular infrastructure automation and security products, including Terraform, Vault, Consul and Nomad. It also offers open source versions of these products and others (Vagrant and Packer), and it ties support levels directly to the tier of product that’s being used.
HashiCorp keeps its product tiers simple, so it’s easy to see what level of support you’ll get with each. As you can see with Terraform, for example, the free open source version doesn’t have any HashiCorp-provided support (beyond the community and documentation, that is), while Pro and Premium offer Silver- and Gold-level support, respectively. Silver support is available 9 hours a day, 5 days a week—the work week, essentially—while Gold support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While HashiCorp doesn’t provide public information on SLAs with regard to application uptime, it does offer SLAs with regard to support. And, importantly, the company’s support page clearly defines what those levels mean, as well as what other types of information users should include when they file a help ticket. This type of information is critical for vendors to make clear to users, because ill-defined expectations and vague help tickets can headaches for everybody involved.
Here is how HashiCorp defines SLAs across its enterprise products:
Severity 1 (Urgent)
Any error reported by customer where the majority of the users for a particular part of the software are affected, the error has high visibility, there is no workaround, and it affects customer’s ability to perform its business
- First reply: within 60 minutes of report time for Gold SLA and 8 business hours (US Pacific time) for Silver SLA.
- Resolution: 24 hours for Gold SLA and 24 Business hours for Silver SLA.
Severity 2 (High)
Any error reported by customer where the majority of the users for a particular part of the software are affected, the error has high visibility, a workaround is available; however, performance may be degraded or functions limited and it is affecting revenue
- First reply: within 4 business hours for Gold SLA and 16 business hours for Silver SLA.
- Resolution: 3 business days for Gold SLA and 5 business days for Silver SLA.
Severity 3 (Normal)
Any error reported by customer where the majority of the users for a particular part of the software are affected, the error has high visibility, a workaround is available; however, performance may be degraded or functions limited and it is NOT affecting revenue
- First Reply: 8 business hours for Gold SLA and 24 Business hours for Silver Support.
- Resolution: 7 business days.
Severity 4 (Low)
Any error reported by customer where a single user is severely affected or completely inoperable or a small percentage of users are moderately affected or partially inoperable and the error has limited business impact
- First Reply: 24 business hours.
HashiCorp also follows another best practice, which is maintaining a status page that shows the current availability of SaaS-hosted products, as well as recent issues and resolution reports. While it’s useful to see real-time information on how a service is performing, the real benefit of such a page is only realized when there’s a problem. It’s here that users will come to get details on what is actually causing a degradation, and whether it’s being fixed.
Here is an example of how HashiCorp communicated an issue on June 19, 2018. Notice how quickly its team is to provide updates once they have something to report.
Customer support can be a tough thing for companies to master, but HashiCorp shows how clear communication and expectations can help avoid a lot of problems that might otherwise arise when issues to occur.
This was published on Jul. 3, 2018.
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