Choosing the right data center services provider for your company is an important decision.

Every business has its own unique needs. But what works for your company may not be the right choice for another. In each instance though, there are six critical attributes you should always look for when selecting a provider.

Experience

Experience is one of the most important qualifications a provider should have. Check for the number of experienced employees on staff, as well as how many years of experience they have within the IT industry and certain platforms. Another thing to keep in mind is whether their experience is general or focused on solutions that fit your exact business needs.

Expertise

In addition to experience, look for a provider with expertise in your specific industry. If your business is in manufacturing, it doesn’t help to have a provider specialized in telecommunications companies. Ask for relevant case studies and try to find successful examples that fit your business in size, scope and budget.

Check for all necessary certifications and expertise in the platforms and software that you’re currently using. If your equipment and software don’t match the certifications of your provider, you should have serious questions to ask during introductory meetings.

Facilities

It’s true you can’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s also true that first impressions matter. You want to work with an IT infrastructure provider with top-notch data centers in locations that are convenient for your business. (Shameless plug: INAP has 56 Tier 3-design data centers in 21 metropolitan markets across the globe.)

Some of the most important things to consider about the facility include:

  • Power density
  • Available footprints and services offered
  • Heating and cooling capacity
  • Data and physical security
  • Fire and natural disaster protection

Reputation

The reputation of your IT provider is important to keep in mind as you progress through your selection process. Ask for references and follow up with them. Making the extra effort to reach out for testimonials early on will reap dividends later.

It’s important to find a vendor with a proven record of success. You should be concerned if your IT provider cannot direct you to successful case studies, happily satisfied customers or a long record of completed projects.

Communication

When something goes wrong, you want an IT provider that is available and easy to reach. Can they easily address concerns? Do they pick up when you call? If your provider is hard to contact during the selection process, imagine what it will be like if your networks are down and your projects are on fire.

Look for clear and effective communicators with high availability. You’ll be trusting your infrastructure with this vendor; you want to make sure you can maintain a working communication with them. Finally, find a provider who can give an honest and unbiased opinion on what they feel is the best service offering for your specific needs.

Cost

Let’s be honest, in the end, it usually comes down to costs. But remember, you get what you pay for.

Ideally, your provider’s rates shouldn’t fall too high or below industry standards. If rates are too high and outside of your price range, it’s okay to walk away. However, be equally wary of a provider promising rates that fall well below market price.

A provider offering rates significantly below market value should be viewed with skepticism. Assess whether they are truly providing the services they are offering. Providers who come in below could be skimping on services or quality. Network and server availability and reliability isn’t something worth bargaining for. Be wary of bottom barrel prices from any IT infrastructure provider!

The INAP Solution

Ultimately, you want to select a provider that you trust to keep your infrastructure secure and available. That’s a crucial assignment, so you want to be supremely confident that they’ll be able to do the job.

INAP has the expertise, experience, world-class service and quality facilities to provide your business with robust and cost-effective infrastructure services and solutions. Whether your business requires colocation, managed hosting, cloud or network services, INAP has the solutions to give your company the competitive advantage.

Contact us today and speak with an INAP specialist about how our data center services can help you meet your business needs.